Science librarians question cuts

Health Canada decision raises debate over cost-saving of electronic journals

David Secko
Jan 24, 2006
Science librarians are questioning the logic behind an announcement that Health Canada will shortly cut its library budget by 50% -- a decision they say will affect the ability of government scientists, clinicians, and policy makers to do their jobs.This month, Health Canada announced that it plans to cut the budget of its six Ottawa-based health science libraries over the next three years, potentially reducing its library staff by 60%, said Ken Sato, Acting Director General of the Office of Biotechnology and Science at Health Canada."The decision is based on a government-wide expenditure management review," Sato told The Scientist. "Library services were identified as an area for reduction," he added, since growing access to electronic journals and other scientific information allows libraries to cut print journals, and hence the staff that attend to them.However, Tamsin Adams-Webber, president of the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA) and a current librarian at...

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