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Continued Backlash Against EPA Library Closings & The Digitization Award Goes to...

WASHINGTON - Concerned about the kinds of pollutants spilling into your local rivers and streams and how they could affect your health?

As the Environmental Protection Agency closes some scientific libraries around the country, EPA scientists and other environmental advocates worry whether that kind of information could become harder to find.

They fear that the agency's plan to save money by replacing printed resources with digitized versions on the Internet could make information less - not more - accessible. This information was reported by Boston Globe, and .

Earth Times and Yahoo Finance report that the computer company SGI, SILICON GRAPHICS, IN (NasdaqCM:SGIC) has been chosen to digitize information previously stored in EPA libraries. Further research reveals that SGI filed for Chapter 11 in May of this year according to HPC Wire.

New Discussions at FGI: December 3, 2006 & Com

This past week at Free Government Information (FGI)( ), we started a new poll looking into reasons why we have over 1500 daily visitors yet suffer a dearth of comments. We also said goodbye to November Blogger of the Month (BOTM) Lori Smith and said hello to December BOTM Duane McCollum. Duane and the FGI volunteers posting the following stories: Duane's postings:

Volunteer postings:

If you use Bloglines ( or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

EPA Libraries Closing Follow Up: Ramifications

Fang-Face writes "An article titled Shutdown of EPA Libraries Worries Scientists, Advocates has been reposted at It looks at how some academics and scientists view the closing. Best quote: Francesca Grifo, a botanist and the director of scientific integrity at the Union of Concerned Scientists : "Nobody is against modernization, but we don't see the digitization. We just see the libraries closing. We just see that public access has been cut off.""

Are PLs Treasonous, or Government Censors Slack?

Fang-Face writes "An article at the MSNBC News web site, Nuclear plant info available to public: NBC News investigation finds sensitive documents in libraries, reveals how hidden camera investigators were able to walk into public libraries and cull "sensitive information" on vulnerabilities from what was available to the public. In the context of Bush administration "War on Terror" hysteria, this situation raises the question: Are public libraries soft on terrorism, or is the government soft on censorship?"

New FGI Discussions: November 27, 2006

This week found the Free Government Information (FGI)( ) volunteers posting the following stories:

If you use Bloglines ( or some other RSS reader, consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at to get FGI stories as they are posted. 160 people already have.

Op/ed on the quick action against the EPA library

Fang-Face writes "There is a piece reprinted at, originally published at, titled
A Step Shy of Book-Burning
. It is about the closure of the EPA library, and the author, Kelpie Wilson, basically accuses the Bush administration of attempting to implement a new Dark Age. Given that:

The EPA's precipitous move to close the libraries was based on a $2 million cut in Bush's proposed $8 billion EPA budget for 2007. EPA bureaucrats did not wait to see if Congress might restore the funds or shift budget priorities in order to save the libraries; it acted immediately to box up documents for deep storage, and shut the doors.

. . . I can certainly see her point; although I do think the title is a touch over the top myself."

New Discussions on FGI: November 20, 2006

This week found the Free Government Information (FGI)( ) volunteers and November BOTM Lori Smith posting the following stories: Lori's Posts:

Volunteer Posts

Lori and all the volunteers at Free Government Information wish everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. If you use Bloglines ( or some other RSS reader,consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at toget FGI stories as they are posted. 159 people already have.

New Discussions at FGI: November 13, 2006

After a week break, New Discussions at Free Government Information is back. The past two weeks found our volunteers, plus BOTMs Lori Smith and Tim Skeers posting the following discussions we hope you will join: Lori's Posts

Tim's Posts

Volunteer postings:

In addition, volunteer James Staub was busy putting audio and notes from several librarians from the recently closed Fall 2006 Depository Library Council meeting. You can see the coverage he put together at ( GPO has made great strides in being more current with their official proceedings, and you can now find a mostly complete set of proceedings at ( edings/06fall/index.html).Way to go GPO! If you use Bloglines ( or some other RSS reader,consider subscribing to the FGI Feed at to get FGI stories as they are posted.

Dems are Looking Out for EPA Libraries

A group of 17 Democratic senators and one Independent (James Jeffords of VT) has joined the fray over whether the Environmental Protection Agency should stop a campaign to digitize materials in its technical libraries and close the facilities. The agency has portrayed the library closures as part of an effort to modernize its library system and make the materials more universally accessible, but the senators who questioned the cut cited a 2004 EPA report that found agency libraries more than paid for themselves. Here's the Senators letter to the Appropriations Committee and here's the story from Gov.Exec.

U.S. intelligence Launches Intellipedia Wikipedia

Search-Engines writes "The office of U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte announced Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to collaboratively add and edit content on the government's classified Intelink Web much like its more famous namesake on the World Wide Web. A "top secret" Intellipedia system, currently available to the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, has grown to more than 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users since its introduction on April 17. Less restrictive versions exist for "secret" and "sensitive but unclassified" material. [ed.]I thought this comment was of interest -- "We're taking a risk," acknowledged Michael Wertheimer, the intelligence community's chief technical officer. "There's a risk it's going to show up in the media, that it'll be leaked." .aspx?type=technologyNews&storyID=2006-10-31T23394 7Z_01_N01237389_RTRUKOC_0_US-INTERNET-INTELLIGENCE .xml"


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