ALA applauds the reopening of five EPA libraries

Contact: Alston Roberts

ALA Washington Office

(202) 628-8410


For Immediate Release

October 2, 2008

WASHINGTON - The American Library Association welcomed the reopening of five Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) libraries on September 30. With significant pressure from Congress, the EPA took steps to reopen the five locations in: Chicago (Region 5); Dallas (Region 6); Kansas City (Region 7); and the EPA Headquarters Repository and the Chemical Library in Washington, DC.

ALA and others in the library community have been challenging the closings of these unique environmental information resources, arguing that such libraries are important to the American public as well as to EPA employees and other stakeholders. "We are glad to see that the EPA has reopened these five libraries. We hope that the federal government has obtained a better understanding of the importance of federal libraries through this difficult battle," said ALA President, Jim Rettig.

ALA acknowledged the importance of ongoing Congressional oversight of the EPA libraries and expressed its appreciation to congressional leaders Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), who were particularly helpful in pushing EPA to reopen its libraries. "We want to express our thanks to Congress for conducting the needed oversight and demanding that these EPA libraries not be closed. The American public will benefit by having important environmental information and library services made available to them again," added Rettig.

Rettig also added, "We will continue to work with Congress and the EPA to assure that these libraries remain open and that full library services have been restored."

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 66,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.