FW: PRESS RELEASE: EPA Closing Its Midwest Library

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FW: PRESS RELEASE: EPA Closing Its Midwest Library

metasj

The copyright status of the research involved isn't completely clear to
me, but this seems the kind of information that is theoretically, but not
practically, free.  I'm not sure who currently advocates for fixes to
these access problems; but it seems like something Wikimedia might want
to do.

"...the agency has allocated no money for moving collections to other
  libraries or digitizing the holdings so that they would be available
  online."

SJ


---------- Forwarded message ----------
For Immediate Release:  Thursday, March 16, 2006
Contact:   Chas Offutt (202) 265-7337


EPA Closing Its Midwest Library


Holding Will Be Stored Indefinitely; Public Access to Research
Compromised





Washington, DC - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is closing its
Midwest Regional Library serving universities, the public and its own
staff in a six-state area, according to an internal email released today
by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The agency
is acting without waiting for Congress to approve the proposed budget
cuts that are the basis for dismantling EPA's entire library network.



In a March 13, 2006 memo to employees, EPA Midwestern Regional
Administrator Thomas Skinner wrote that "the library will close in the
near future" so as "to allow time for an orderly relocation of our
library collection."  The affected library located in the Chicago
regional headquarters serves the six-state region of Illinois, Indiana,
Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.



The memo cites a 90% loss of funding for the regional library in
President Bush's proposed 2007 budget as the reason for closing the
library, even though the proposal has yet to be voted on by Congress and
the new federal fiscal year does not begin until October 1, 2006.  The
Midwest Regional Library is one of 27 libraries across the country whose
budget the administration has proposed to reduce by 80%.



"By putting its research collections into indefinite storage, EPA might
as well start burning books because these works are not likely to see
the light of day again," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch,
noting that the agency has allocated no money for moving collections to
other libraries or digitizing the holdings so that they would be
available online. "The loss of access to this research will remove
potentially key information from the hands of researchers, inspectors
and decision-makers."



The plan to slash library funding is among the $300 million in EPA
budget cuts proposed by the Bush administration.  As originally
proposed, the plan would also have de-funded the electronic catalog
maintained by the EPA Headquarters library.  When it was pointed out
that eliminating the electronic catalog would make it impossible to find
any holding within the network, EPA announced last week that it would
restore the $500,000 reduction to its headquarters for the catalog.
Unfortunately, EPA indicated that it would compensate for this action by
spreading even deeper cuts cut among the other libraries.



In his email, Regional Administrator Skinner pledged that limited
electronic access to research will remain available to EPA's own staff
but it is unclear what happens to the tens of thousands of research
reports that are now only available as hard copies. At the same time,
employees in other EPA regions are reporting parallel scrambles to
cutback library services in anticipation of adoption of the agency's FY
2007 budget.



"EPA might want to wait for Congress to act before its shutters its
libraries," Ruch added, noting that EPA spends more than a half-billion
dollars a year on research and the total library network budget is only
$2.5 million.  "EPA's national research plan is supposed to build on
what we already know; but effectively deploying our existing knowledge
base will be increasingly difficult if decades of research are locked
away in storage."



###



Read the email announcing the library closure

http://www.peer.org/docs/epa/06_13_03_EPA_Library_email.pdf



Learn more about the Bush plan to close the EPA library network

http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=643








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Re: FW: PRESS RELEASE: EPA Closing Its Midwest Library

SJ-5
A librarian cleared up a few points for me:

* The content that's going to be mothballed is essentially public
domain.  Most, if not all, of the documents in such libraries are EPA
reports.
* Few people or organizations lobby for these particular libraries...
despite having many unique collections, they're not part of the in
crowds.

This may not be sexy or where the bling is at, but it's the only
public-domain content about a crucial niche of human knowledge.  Most
libraries might not be willing to tray some radical new archival /
distribution method while their old one isn't broken -- some are quite
shy about technology changes -- but this one has little to lose, and
could some positive publicity.

SJ

On 3/16/06, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> The copyright status of the research involved isn't completely clear to
> me, but this seems the kind of information that is theoretically, but not
> practically, free.  I'm not sure who currently advocates for fixes to
> these access problems; but it seems like something Wikimedia might want
> to do.
>
> "...the agency has allocated no money for moving collections to other
>   libraries or digitizing the holdings so that they would be available
>   online."
>
> SJ
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> For Immediate Release:  Thursday, March 16, 2006
> Contact:   Chas Offutt (202) 265-7337
>
>
> EPA Closing Its Midwest Library
>
>
> Holding Will Be Stored Indefinitely; Public Access to Research
> Compromised
>
>
>
>
>
> Washington, DC - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is closing its
> Midwest Regional Library serving universities, the public and its own
> staff in a six-state area, according to an internal email released today
> by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The agency
> is acting without waiting for Congress to approve the proposed budget
> cuts that are the basis for dismantling EPA's entire library network.
>
>
>
> In a March 13, 2006 memo to employees, EPA Midwestern Regional
> Administrator Thomas Skinner wrote that "the library will close in the
> near future" so as "to allow time for an orderly relocation of our
> library collection."  The affected library located in the Chicago
> regional headquarters serves the six-state region of Illinois, Indiana,
> Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
>
>
>
> The memo cites a 90% loss of funding for the regional library in
> President Bush's proposed 2007 budget as the reason for closing the
> library, even though the proposal has yet to be voted on by Congress and
> the new federal fiscal year does not begin until October 1, 2006.  The
> Midwest Regional Library is one of 27 libraries across the country whose
> budget the administration has proposed to reduce by 80%.
>
>
>
> "By putting its research collections into indefinite storage, EPA might
> as well start burning books because these works are not likely to see
> the light of day again," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch,
> noting that the agency has allocated no money for moving collections to
> other libraries or digitizing the holdings so that they would be
> available online. "The loss of access to this research will remove
> potentially key information from the hands of researchers, inspectors
> and decision-makers."
>
>
>
> The plan to slash library funding is among the $300 million in EPA
> budget cuts proposed by the Bush administration.  As originally
> proposed, the plan would also have de-funded the electronic catalog
> maintained by the EPA Headquarters library.  When it was pointed out
> that eliminating the electronic catalog would make it impossible to find
> any holding within the network, EPA announced last week that it would
> restore the $500,000 reduction to its headquarters for the catalog.
> Unfortunately, EPA indicated that it would compensate for this action by
> spreading even deeper cuts cut among the other libraries.
>
>
>
> In his email, Regional Administrator Skinner pledged that limited
> electronic access to research will remain available to EPA's own staff
> but it is unclear what happens to the tens of thousands of research
> reports that are now only available as hard copies. At the same time,
> employees in other EPA regions are reporting parallel scrambles to
> cutback library services in anticipation of adoption of the agency's FY
> 2007 budget.
>
>
>
> "EPA might want to wait for Congress to act before its shutters its
> libraries," Ruch added, noting that EPA spends more than a half-billion
> dollars a year on research and the total library network budget is only
> $2.5 million.  "EPA's national research plan is supposed to build on
> what we already know; but effectively deploying our existing knowledge
> base will be increasingly difficult if decades of research are locked
> away in storage."
>
>
>
> ###
>
>
>
> Read the email announcing the library closure
>
> http://www.peer.org/docs/epa/06_13_03_EPA_Library_email.pdf
>
>
>
> Learn more about the Bush plan to close the EPA library network
>
> http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=643
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --- You are currently subscribed to newslib as: [hidden email]. To unsubscribe send a blank
> email to [hidden email]
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>


--
++SJ
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