Saturday, January 25, 2014

Health Canada Library Turmoil

The Harper government assault on Canada's libraries is of continuing concern not only to those in the information profession, but also to the communities that utilize our nation's resources. In an article published on January 22, 2014, the CBC disclosed a report criticizing government cuts to Health Canada libraries. The report, provided by a consultant to the department, noted a decrease in utilization of the library's resources. Health Canada scientists have blamed the decreased use on increased difficulty in accessing professional library services and materials.

For its part, Health Canada disputed the findings in the report, stating that "the recommendations [were] based on inaccurate information and [were] not . . . accepted."

Still, there remains cause for concern. Scientists and information professionals alike are worried about the impact of the government cuts on research and to Canada's international scientific reputation, and therefore, it is essential to be vigilant in ensuring that the concerns of those who are both directly and indirectly affected by these cuts continue to be heard.

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