Resolution in Support of EPA Libraries

Adopted at 1999 Annual Conference

Whereas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the importance of its mission to “move the Agency to the forefront of information management and providing the public with integrated and high quality information” (Memo; to Assistant Administrators, Carolyn M. Browner, EPA Administrator, October 14, 1998); and

Whereas, the EPA Administrator has laid out an ambitious and welcomed plan to “create a structural frame work for EPA's new information office... consisting of three offices:

  • Information Policy and Collection
  • Information Technology and Services
  • Information Analysis and Access”

(Carol Browner, Inside EPA, December 11, 1998; Carol M Browner, letter to Peter Robertson, Acting Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, November 23, 1998); and

Whereas, the U.S. House of Representatives is drafting a bill to “promote a “Second Generation” of Environmental Protection entitled, the Second-Generation of Environmental Improvement Act (May 17, 1999, Representatives Calvin Dooley and James Greenwood, Members of Congress)' and

Whereas, Title I of this proposed bill, “Information Management” further recognizes EPA's role as steward of environmental data and information in the broadest sense of its responsibilities; and

Whereas, Title I of this bill would require the EPA Administrator to, among other actions, designate a Chief Information Officer, publish an annual report of environmental indicators, review existing agency monitor and reporting activities and requirements, and establish a program to provide money for states and localities to assist them in improving environmental reporting, highlight environmental monitoring activities of all Federal agencies through budget reviews, establish a public recognition program; and

Whereas, the EPA Library Network serves as and timetested, reliable, and trusted gatekeeper for the identification, acquistion, management, dissemination, and archiving of critical environmental data and information through the development of its special collections, repositories, services, networking, and expertise; and

Whereas, the EPA Library network has made tremendous strides to provide the American people a strong commitment to the skills and services of libraries and librarians to make environmental information as accessible; and

Whereas, the EPA and the American Library Association are initiating the development of stronger ties to improve, enhance, and evolve existing programs, services, and resources to provide comprehensive, long-term and consistent data and information base of environmental information; and

Whereas, the Task Force on the Environment is dismayed at the failure of any public comments about the EPA's environmental initiatives to recognize or mention the data and information management roles of its (or other) libraries or its (or other) librarians; and

Whereas, the Task Force on the Environment deplores the recent and proposed massive cuts in budget allocations to support the EPA Libraries, EPA and EPA-contract librarians; EPA library collection; and

Whereas, the Task Force on the Environment feels that these reductions will serious diminish the EPA Libraries to provide collections, services, and expertise not only for the public but to the scientific, policy, and administrative staffs of the agency;

Be it resolved that the American Library Association continue to work with the EPA Libraries and centers for environmental information to construct stronger relations and resource sharing; and that the American Library Association work with the U.S. Congress to include a clear and meaningful recognition of the skills, resources, expertise, and collections of the EPA Libraries and Library Network; and that the American Library Association investigate the funding of the EPA Libraries and Library Network to assure that government resources are being used to adequately fund the collections, staffs, resources, services, and functions all of the EPA Libraries, EPA Librarians, and EPA-contract librarians.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 133, pp. 4, 7