As any good librarian knows, quick and easy access to information is crucial for scientists and researchers to be able to conduct their work effectively. So when Poly librarian, Ingrid Redman, heard about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closing its Headquarters Library and three regional libraries, she expressed her views in an opinion essay that was published in Newsday last month. As a librarian with a M.S. in natural resources and environment, Redman could not overlook the detrimental consequences of obstructing access to environmental information.
EPA’s 35-year old national library system contains troves of information on pollution prevention, chemical risk assessments, and a wide range of environmental hazards. Scientists, universities, and concerned citizens rely upon this information to protect the public’s health and the environment. In her essay, Redman questioned the agency’s plan to shut down the libraries and proposed the closures had more to do with the administration’s desire to weaken EPA’s oversight than with fiscal responsibility.
Criticism from Redman, along with the American Library Association, environmental groups and others, has paid off. According to Library Journal, EPA won't close more libraries without further consultation with stakeholders.
To read the full opinion editorial, download the PDF here.