3/13/2008 - Washington, DC ? A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) effort to close regional and research libraries around the country has been plagued by managerial problems. The report says that the decision to close libraries was not justified and strongly suggests that the entire process EPA has followed in closing the libraries is flawed and could deprive the public, EPA staff, state and local agencies, and academics with valuable environmental data. GAO recommends that EPA continue its moratorium on further changes to its libraries until it takes actions to justify its decisions, improve outreach, ensure sufficient oversight, and implement procedures for dispersing and disposing of materials. For more of this story, see: http://science.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=2127
To address these an other problems, on Thursday, March 13th, the House Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing titled, "EPA Library Closures: Better Access for a Broader Audience?." The Hearing Charter is posted on the committee website. It provides some background on the EPA library closures and outlines five key questions to be addressed during the hearing. These questions are:
- Did EPA Have a Plan for Maintaining Continuity of Library Services When the Plan Was Implemented in 2006?
- Did EPA Realize Budget Savings Through Implementation of Their Plan?
- Has EPA's Effort to Digitize Library Holdings Resulted in Greater Access to Library Collections?
- Did Implementation of EPA's Plan Ensure Continuity of Library Services to EPA Employees and the Public or Improve Library Services?
- What Is The Path Forward?
For more information, see: http://science.house.gov/publications/hearings_markups_details.aspx?NewsID=2118
To send your own comments to the House Committee, see: http://science.house.gov/contact/contact_generalform.htm