CRS Views EPA Library Closures

01.05.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

Last October the Environmental Protection Agency closed five of its libraries, including the headquarters library in Washington DC, and limited public access at four others.

EPA said the closures were part of an ongoing restructuring and that public demand for EPA records would be increasingly satisfied online. Public interest groups and librarians warned that valuable documentary resources were in danger of being lost or destroyed.

A report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service fleshes out some new details of the library closures and finds some cause for concern.

“EPA determined that the utility of some of its libraries had declined as the agency has made more information available through the Internet, and as heightened security at its facilities has led to fewer public visitors,” CRS observed.

But “Which materials will be retained, dispersed, or discarded, and the amount of time and funding needed to complete this [restructuring] process, are uncertain.”

See “Restructuring EPA’s Libraries: Background and Issues for Congress,” updated January 3, 2007.