Berkeley, California, 12 June 2012 -- Members of the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists (SALIS) are calling for urgent action to halt the closure of specialist libraries and databases, before valuable resources and expertise are lost forever.
Since SALIS started actively campaigning against the closure of alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) libraries and databases eight years ago, more than twenty-five libraries and databases worldwide have been downsized or closed, their resources dispersed or destroyed.
In 2004 SALIS waged a campaign to persuade the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to reverse its decision to cut funding for ETOH, the most comprehensive alcohol science database in the world. Then in 2006, when the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse closed its library, a collection of great value dating back to the mid 1930s, SALIS brought the issue to the forefront of the ATOD media.
To raise awareness, SALIS members have published an editorial in the journal Addiction calling for collaboration among librarians, the research community and other stakeholders to maintain ATOD library services and preserve core collections; fund digitization; and create digital repositories.
If action is not taken, important documents could be lost forever, especially the grey literature, i.e. unpublished reports and working papers, government documents, and programmatic materials, which tend to disappear when libraries are closed.
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Andrea Mitchell, Sheila Lacroix, Barbara Weiner, Clare Imholtz, Christine Goodair. Collective Amnesia: Reversing the Global Epidemic of Addiction Library Closures. Addiction, 107: doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03813.x
Media seeking interviews may contact SALIS Executive Director Andrea Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org
For a full text copy of this article, please contact Jean O’Reilly, Editorial Manager, Addiction, email@example.com, tel +44 (0)20 7848 0853.
SALIS (Substance Abuse Librarians & Information Specialists) is an international association of individuals and organizations with special interests in the exchange and dissemination of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) information. Formed as an association in 1978 and incorporated in California since 1988, SALIS is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under the Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3) as a non-profit corporation. http://salis.org
Addiction (www.addictionjournal.org) is a monthly international scientific journal publishing peer-reviewed research reports on alcohol, illicit drugs, tobacco, and gambling as well as editorials and other debate pieces. Owned by the Society for the Study of Addiction, it has been in continuous publication since 1884. Addiction is the number one journal in the 2010 ISI Journal Citation Reports Ranking in the Substance Abuse Category (Social Science Edition). Membership to the Society for the Study of Addiction (http://www.addiction-ssa.org/) is £85 and includes an annual subscription to Addiction.