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News of EPA library closures makes headlines

Alternet just posted a story about the closing of the EPA libraries (“A Step Shy of Book-Burning.” By Kelpie Wilson, 11/23/06). This article, in addition to positive news stories over the last month or so has moved the plight of the EPA libraries into the mainstream and caused our Congress people to reevaluate the horrendously bad decision that has caused the closure of EPA libraries. But the fight’s not over yet. Please, please, please contact your representatives and let them know you support the refunding of EPA libraries — AND fill in ALA’s legislative action. See the ALA Washington office for background information.

In August, under the guise of fiscal responsibility, the Bush Environmental Protection Agency began closing most of its research libraries, both to the public and to its own staff.

The EPA’s professional staff objected strongly, insisting that closing the libraries would hamstring them in their jobs. In a letter to Congress protesting the closures, public employees said, “We believe that this budget cut is just one of many Bush administration initiatives to reduce the effectiveness of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and to continue to demoralize its employees.”

[..]Closing the EPA libraries is the perfect symbol to characterize the methods of the Bush administration. Since 2000, the Republicans have cemented their reputation as ushers of a new dark age. They have sought to shroud the light of science by closing libraries and by suppressing scientific reports. They have gagged their own scientists and persecuted whistleblowers. They have cloaked government in secrecy, a prime example being Dick Cheney’s secret meetings with oil companies to draft an industry-friendly national energy policy. But that era is now winding down.

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