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EPA National Library Network Report to Congress

The Special Library Association (SLA) announced today that EPA plans to re-establish the closed libraries by September 2008.

SLA met with EPA officials today to review the agency’s report to Congress on the future direction of its library network.

The report, submitted to Congress yesterday, includes a summary of the network standards developed with respect to physical space, on-site collections, staffing and services of EPA’s Regional and Headquarters libraries, as well as a plan for allocating resources from the the 1 million dollars given to them by Congress:

•Re-establish on-site libraries in Region 5, 6, and 7, and the consolidated EPA Headquarters Repository and Chemical Library in DC.
•Enable Regional EPA libraries to update their collections, facilities, and equipment to meet Network standards.
•Conduct a formal needs assessment for EPA library services to support future development.

I am glad to see that EPA took the hearing’s recommendations to meet with affected stakeholders and library organization officials seriously, but I do not think they met with anyone before the report to Congress was due, as was recommended at the hearing. At least, I have not heard or read about any such meeting. Correct me if I’m wrong. Nevertheless, EPA states:

“Over the next few months, we will continue to engage affected stakeholders (including our employee unions) as we finalize our specific plans for each library. The Agency is committed to working with its employees and outside parties on its future digitization plans (based on the third party review), a customer needs assessment, and long term strategic planning efforts”.

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