Resuscitated! The EPA Libraries' Near-Death Experience

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Resuscitated! The EPA Libraries' Near-Death Experience Powered By Docstoc
					                          Resuscitated!
                           The




                                        Libraries’
                                        Near-Death
                                        Experience
                                                                             In February 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection
                                                                             Agency (EPA), facing its preliminary 2007 fiscal
                                                                             year budget, announced a series of library closures
                                                                             intended to save the agency money. The Bush
                                                                             administration’s proposed FY 07 budget for EPA
                                                                             regional libraries was $500,000, an 80% reduction
                                                                             from the previous year’s $2.5 million funding (this
                                                                             funding applied to just 10 of the 28 EPA libraries).
                                                                       by
                                                           Toby Pearlstein   The agency’s reaction — to move for immediate
                                                      Former Director        closures and reductions in service — was considered
                                          Global Information Services        by many within and outside the agency — to give it
                                                      Bain & Co., Inc.       the most kindly characterization — as precipitous.
                                 Fellow, Special Libraries Association       After all, the budget had yet to go through the
                                                                  and
                                                                             congressional approval process that could have
                                                          James Matarazzo
                                                                             provided oversight for how to implement such a
                                Dean and Professor Emeritus
          Graduate School of Library and Information Science                 significant reduction. Many believed the congressional
                                            Simmons College                  process would also have offered an opportunity to
                        Fellow, Special Libraries Association                make a case for restoring some of the funding.



12   SEARCHER ■ The Magazine for Database Professionals
                                                                         RESUSCITATED! THE EPA LIBRARIES’ NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE




                                                                                     First in a Series
                                                                                         In the past, most often in difficult
                                                                                     economic times, one frequently heard
                                                                                     about special library closures or reductions.
                                                                                     Recently, however, the pace of these
                                                                                     cutbacks seems to be increasing, fueled
                                                                                     by the erratic economy and unprecedented
                                                                                     corporate bankruptcies, mergers and
                                                                                     acquisitions, and, sometimes in the case
                                                                                     of government agency libraries, by calls
                                                                                     for reduction in the cost and complexity
                                                                                     of government itself.
                                                                                         This article on the EPA “library affair”
                                                                                     is just the first case study in the series,
                                                                                     exploring a near-death experience and
                                                                                     subsequent resuscitation in a government
                                                                                     agency. The articles that follow will explore
                                                                                     some of the life-threatening challenges
                                                                                     faced by other segments of the special
                       
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Thanks to the tireless and sometimes very public efforts of the stakeholders, more than alitile success has been achieved in restoring access to critical materials and services, but challenges remain.
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