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EPA library closings “Orwellian”

Why would a federal agency trash its libraries?, by Jeff Ruch, High Country News, April 9, 2007.

Then, after it had already begun closing libraries, EPA discovered that copyright limitations prevented it from digitizing materials not written by EPA staff. As a result, hundreds of reports from the agency’s contractors, as well as academic and corporate researchers, will remain in hard copy, but housed in one of three “repositories.”

At times, EPA’s actions have taken on an Orwellian cast, as thousands of documents and whole collections were hastily dispersed to anyone willing to accept them. The three repositories of documents have grown into giant information dumps whose contents will remain un-cataloged for years to come, and in Chicago, the largest regional library, furnishings — shelves, desks and cabinets worth some $40,000 — were sold for $327.

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