Librarians are worried that public access to state documents and historical information will be lost when the Oregon State Library completes its reorganization next year.
The State Library reorganization is part of a larger, 10-year plan Gov. John Kitzhaber is pushing on the premise that it will improve government administration and inter-agency communication. A proposal released last week outlined plans to eliminate the library’s government research services, give control of federal and state documents to the State Archives, build an online search engine that crosses multiple agencies and improve the state’s library for the visually impaired.
One area of particular concern to Craig Smith, who worked for the library as a reference and information specialist, is that the library will likely give ownership of a significant number of digital and physical resources to the archives.
“(The archives) main mission is to retain state of Oregon office records, which are eventually destroyed following a schedule,” Smith said. “The State Library role is very different as it is part of a federal and state repository for published documents that are to be retained for free public access.”
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