WASHINGTON — On February 6, ALA President Leslie Burger will testify at an oversight hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the impact of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) library closings.
Since first becoming public in early 2006, the closure of several libraries in the EPA network has given the library community cause for grave concern. Over the past several months, the issue has snowballed into a genuine national priority with a wide range of organizations voicing protest, including ALA.
“The EPA’s policy with regard to its libraries is a very important issue, not just for the library, science, and environmental communities, but also for the general public,” Burger said. “This information is vital to public health and needs to remain accessible.”
“Further,” Burger continued, “while having the information digitized is indeed important, it should not be the driving force behind shuttering the libraries and, thus, taking from the public one of the libraries’ most important assets: the librarians.”
The hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will be held on February 6, 2007, in Room 206 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, 1st St. and Constitution Ave., Washington, DC. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. The meeting is open to the public, with limited seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
This will be the second time Burger has spoken on the issue of EPA library closures in a public setting. On December 14, 2006, she spoke at a meeting of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT), a group that provides independent advice to the EPA Administrator.