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Thursday, 27th March 2008

EPA Officials Brief SLA on Plans to Reestablish Closed Libraries by September 2008

EPA Officials Brief SLA on Plans to Reestablish Closed Libraries by September 2008

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) today met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to review the agency's report to the U.S. Congress on the future direction of its library network. The report, submitted on 26 March, explains the steps EPA intends to take to reopen libraries closed over the last two years, and details how the agency will allocate an additional $1 million dollars for libraries provided in the FY08 EPA budget earmarked for that purpose.
The report lays out the general approach EPA plans to take for each library location to reopen, and establishes operational standards applicable to all libraries in the EPA network. Specific site plans are still in the works.

According to the report, "Over the next few months, EPA will continue communicate with the affected stakeholders (including employee unions) as specific plans for each library are finalized. The agency is committed to working with employees and outside parties on future digitization plans (based on the third party review), a customer needs assessment, and long term strategic planning efforts. This process will establish the future direction for EPA's libraries consistent with Agency needs, stakeholder interests, and library best practices and trends. The agency will foster growth of an effective network of coordinated services provided by professional library staff that focus on the customer's access."

EPA has also requested that, as a major stakeholder in the future success of the libraries, SLA and its members continue to provide counsel as part of a workgroup that will review the proposed digitization strategy and provide feedback on the agency's next steps.

+ EPA National Library Network Report to Congress (PDF; 52 KB)

Source: Special Libraries Association


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