Librarian gap? This again?

Apparently University of Missouri-Columbia got a big grant through IMLS to help them train more librarians. Apparently this is because there is a librarian shortage. They are not even trying to bring up numbers to justify this anymore, there are just statements like this

“With only a certain number of accredited programs, we can only graduate so many people a year,” [Professor John] Budd said. “There is a bit of a supply-and-demand inequality.”

Reading the actual grant guidelines is less of an exercise in tooth-gnashery than reading the way it is portrayed in the article.

EPA libraries slated to close under new budget proposal

Big ugly news in the Government/Special libraries sector. The proposed US Budget includes slashing the EPA library budget by 80% which means no more library and no more electronic catalog.

The size of the cuts will force the Headquarters library and most of the regional libraries to shut their doors and cease operations. Each year, the EPA libraries

  • Handle more than 134,000 research requests from its own scientific and enforcement staff
  • House and catalog an estimated 50,000 “unique” documents that are available nowhere else
  • Operate public reading rooms and provide the public with access to EPA databases.

“Access to information is one of the best tools we have for protecting the environment,” added Ruch, calling the cuts the “epitome of penny wise and pound foolish.” “By contrast, closing the Environmental Protection Agency libraries actually threatens to subtract from the sum total of human knowledge.”

Add to this the proposed elimination of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science by rolling it into the Institute of Museum and Library Services and you have to wonder what sort of price we’re paying for the deep budgetary hole the country has been falling in to.

why don’t we say more about Bush’s information ethics?

Also from Library Juice, why isn’t ALA or any other large organization taking on some of the more egregious affronts to free access to information perpetuated by the Bush Administration? My guess? ALAs non-profit status and their fear of protecting it are going to make it difficult for them to challenge the administration’s policies even when these policies run counter to the continued operation of our profession. That’s a real drag.

Secrecy, propaganda and disinformation represent three core evils in government from an information ethics point of view. As such, they are the aspects of Bush administration policy and practice that ALA is eminently justified in publicly addressing.