Thursday, May 08, 2008

SLA efforts to restore funding cuts proposed for the National Library of Agriculture

The Government Information Division of SLA, also known as the Special Libraries Association, today asked members to consider contacting U.S. congressional representative and senators to urge them to oppose proposed cuts to the budget of the National Library of Agriculture. Of course, any one can email their opinions to their representatives.

Why would New Yorkers be interested in this issue? Agriculture is an important part of the state's economy. Also, the library is an excellent source for nutrition information for people of all ages, as well as policy issues relating to food, food safety, food labels, and nutrition. Recent headlines and our pocket books are evidence of increased food costs. For those who qualify, food stamps, administrated through the Department of Agriculture, help prevent hunger. And, gardens are also important to New Yorkers.
Both practical and scholarly information is available from this library, and their web site is available at

I have referred a number of students to the resources of this library when they are researching food related topics, such as the costs of starting a business producing a particular food item, which is a way many entrepreneurs start out. I have also referred students to the site for energy related information on biofuels. I have also used their email reference services for my own questions and an occasional inquiry from students.

So I hope you will consider giving your opinions on this issue. Last year when the EPA libraries were threatened, public responses helped changed the situation.

(A member of SLA)

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