libraries

EPA’s Award Winning Libraries – A Great Resource For Environmental Information

In the photo are: Blane K. Dessy, Executive Director, FLICC; Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress; Deborah Balsamo, National Program Manager, EPA National Library Network; and Malcolm D. Jackson, Assistant Administrator for Environmental Information, EPA

By Deborah Balsamo

With more and more online technology and the Internet, some people might wonder, “Are libraries even necessary anymore?” EPA’s National Library Network is proof positive that libraries serve a critical need – and now EPA has an award that speaks to the relevance of its libraries in today’s information world: Library of the Year.

On May 17, 2011, the Library of Congress presented EPA with the Federal Library and Information Center Committee’s (FLICC) 2010 “Federal Library/Information Center of the Year” award. You might say it’s the “academy award” in the world of libraries, and we at EPA are very proud of this accomplishment!

As EPA’s National Library Network program manager for the past four years, I am so excited to see that we’re being recognized as a real leader in creating a vibrant and collaborative community. Every day I see our libraries respond to patrons’ needs through innovative projects such as:

Whether seeking information on an environmental topic, searching for an EPA publication or requesting assistance with EPA’s many online tools, I encourage you to try out our library system, now celebrating its 40th anniversary. Information professionals at EPA are dedicated to supporting you by providing timely and accurate information. In fiscal year 2010 alone, EPA’s librarians serve as a point of contact for public inquiries, answering nearly 9,000 public reference questions and loaning more than 8,000 documents!

To read more about EPA’s “Federal Library of the Year Award,” check out the press release from the Library of Congress: Federal Library of the Year Award .

About the author: Deborah Balsamo works in EPA’s Office of Information Analysis and Access and is the National Program Manager for EPA’s National Library Network. She has the responsibility for coordinating the operations, overseeing the implementation of policies and procedures, and leading the strategic directions of EPA’s libraries. And yes, she is a librarian!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Climate for Action: Save Some Money…and the Planet

image of the inside of a library with tables, chairs and shelves of booksIn almost every neighborhood there are local libraries and these libraries provide a great wealth of information. They provide books on many different subjects and also supply daily newspapers, magazines, movies and CDs—everything you could possibly need to keep you up to date. And, the best part about all the information you can get at a library is that it is all free to borrow.

The next time you want to purchase a popular book or CD, go to your local library and chances are they will have it and will lend it out to you for no cost. Borrowing books, CDs, movies and papers is a great way to save money. Borrowing these items could also help protect the environment in a big way. You can save a lot of resources by reusing items instead of purchasing them. By reusing books and CDs at a library, you can save energy, water, trees and metals, etc. thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Libraries are one place we can all go to borrow items for no cost. Can you think of any other places? Please let us know so we can all help reduce the amount of resources we use!

Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.