Some regional libraries maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency will permanently shut their doors because of a proposed cut to their funding, agency librarians and former librarians say. Several libraries have already cut staff and hours, and others are preparing to close by Sept. 30.
The funding cut, advanced by the administration in its proposed budget for 2007, will save U.S. taxpayers about $2 million in direct annual expenses. However, union representatives of thousands of EPA employees maintain that the change will squander the agency's money in the long run.
The proposed budget cut will affect 10 regional libraries and the headquarters library, which operate on a budget of $3.5 million, EPA says.