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EPA Libraries Update (detailed)

The EPA reported the following to the Washington Office on May 8, 2007.

EPA is committed to increasing access to environmental information through a combination of online and traditional library services via the EPA Library Network.

EPA is in the process of reviewing its methods of delivering library services. No changes are being made in the EPA Library Network at this time; no changes will be made until we have completed stakeholder input and review. EPA is engaged in a planning process for the future of the Library Network and is soliciting, receiving and responding to input from Agency librarians and library managers, and we are working on a communications plan to involve a broader group of internal and external stakeholders.

A meeting of EPA’s federal library managers was held in Chapel Hill, NC on April 10-11 to discuss our overall future plans, review our draft library policy and procedures, and chart out next steps. As part of this meeting, our enforcement office representative developed and presented a paper describing various issues that were discussed at length. Following the meeting, we issued an Interim Library Policy and are continuing to work on draft library procedures (Dispersion and Library Usage Statistics). [Links to these documents are located on the EPA Libraries webpage.]

An Interim Library Policy was issued in mid-April and supporting draft procedures are under development. EPA’s Chief Information Officer issued an Interim Library Policy on April 16, 2007 that simply clarifies the governance and responsibilities for the Library Network. Two draft procedures, one on library usage statistics and another on dispersion procedures, are being developed with our EPA library managers and external stakeholders will participate in the review process. Additional procedures will be developed in the course of the coming months and will go through similar development and review processes. As you know, EPA has commissioned an independent third party review of our draft Digitization procedures. As you recommended, we are involving digitization expert, Cathy Hartmann of the University of North Texas, in this process.

Stakeholder input and communication efforts are being expanded. EPA is developing a communications plan for involving internal and external stakeholders as we review our plans for the Library Network. EPA is participating in several external conferences over the next three months to engage in information exchange (including exhibiting at your upcoming June meeting). Other opportunities for stakeholder input are being explored. We greatly appreciate your offer (and accept) to host a meeting with key stakeholders this summer.

Also, EPA’s web presence for the Library Network is being updated to reflect current information and activities.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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