EPA Releases Plan for Restoring Library System

In the Fiscal Year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill, Congress ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore the network of EPA libraries that had been closed or consolidated by the Administration since 2006. On March 26, the EPA submitted to Congress its plan on re-opening its closed facilities and restructuring its library network to meet that mandate.

EPA will re-establish on-site libraries for EPA staff and members of the public in Region 5, Chicago; Region 6, Dallas; Region 7, Kansas City; and at the EPA Headquarters Repository and Chemical Library in Washington, DC. These libraries will reopen on or before September 30, 2008.

The EPA made a commitment that all libraries would be staffed by at least one librarian with appropriate expertise and experience. In addition, the libraries must provide access for EPA staff and public patrons at least four days per week on a walk-in basis or by appointment during business hours. The libraries must also provide adequate space and separate workstations for library staff and patrons.

In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to close its nationwide network of scientific libraries, without prior notice to its employees, Congress or the public. In early 2007, EPA placed a moratorium on additional library closings in response to congressional pressure.