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Closure of 6 federal libraries angers scientists

The NASA library in Greenbelt, Md., was part of John C. Mather’s daily routine for years leading up to the astrophysicist’s sharing of the 2006 Nobel Prize for shedding new light on the big bang theory of creation. He researched existing space hardware and instrumentation there while designing a satellite that collected data for his prize-winning discovery.

So when he learned that federal officials were planning to close the library, Mather was stunned.

“It is completely absurd,” he said. “The library is a national treasure. It is probably the single strongest library for space science and engineering in the universe.”

Mather is one of thousands of people who critics say could lose access to research materials as the government closes and downsizes libraries that house collections vital to scientific investigation and the enforcement of environmental laws.

Government officials responsible for these closings are neglecting their duty to protect the people of the United States. Is it just me or has that feeling become way too common?

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