Urgent alert for Water Resources Center Archives

I received the following e-mail. If you appreciate the WRCA, write a letter today:

Respect the Water Resources Center Archives Campaign to Preserve the Water Resources Center Archives May 2010

URGENT ACTION – NEEDED BY MAY 12th!

Dear Water Person,

As a party interested in the UC Berkeley Water Colloquium, you probably know that the Water Resources Center Archives (WRCA) on the Berkeley campus of the University of California is the premier water library in the United States. Its collections are focused on California water and WRCA is open to the public as well as the academic and professional communities. If you are not familiar with it, please take a moment to visit the web site at http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/WRCA/. Since the WRCA at Berkeley is at risk, so is the colloquium; please read further.

Its substantial collections include hundreds of thousands of water-related documents. Its small staff continue to actively acquire documents generated by agencies, irrigation districts, retiring academics, and other water professionals and organizations. The library materials are uniquely arranged and cataloged to make access very convenient. Over 65% of its holdings are entirely unique within the UC system.

WRCA has traditionally been funded by the University of California’s (UC) Office of the President, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR). In October 2009, in response to a 20% UC budget cut, ANR announced that it would no longer support WRCA. ANR could have reduced WRCA’s budget by 20%, but instead chose to solicit responses to a Request for Application (RFA) to move/disband the WRCA – a request that was sent to only four UC campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Riverside and Merced; responses are due on May 15th.

Early feedback from the campuses is showing that this limited scope ANR process puts this precious and heavily used collection in jeopardy of dissolution. To my knowledge, no assessment has been made of the intrinsic research and societal value of the collection; please see relevant statistics at http://respectwaterarchives.org/id6.html. The direction the University is taking on this issue also seems to ignore the numerous facts concerning how vital water information is to university faculty and students, humankind and ecosystems; please see http://respectwaterarchives.org/id1.html.

As a forty-year user of the Archives, I can attest to the remarkable service provided to library users, as well as its superb holdings. Copy fees are reasonable; access to documents is speedy; you can copy most items yourself (including using your own scanner or camera). As you might have seen on the WRCA web site, they have undertaken many special water resources related digital projects and stay on top of this critical type of information management.

I would like to ask you to write a letter of support, as a water person or professional, to endorse keeping WRCA intact, fully operational and accessible on the U.C. Berkeley campus. Without your help, the collection may be broken up; reference, cataloging, and research services by subject specialists may end; active collecting may cease; or WRCA may move from Northern California, the seat of state government and the source of most of the water. If it moves, the Water Colloquia in Berkeley will, in all likelihood, cease.

Please address your email letter collectively to:

Regents of the University of California
President Mark Yudof, University of California
Chancellor Birengeau, Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Breslauer, University of California, Berkeley
Director Linda Vida, Librarian, Water Resources Center Archives

Corresponding email addresses, which may be loaded as a block are:

regentsoffice@ucop.edu; president@ucop.edu; chancellor@berkeley.edu; bresl@berkeley.edu; lvida@library.berkeley.edu

We also ask that you copy (BCC) us on any correspondence so we can use it later in the campaign. Please send a copy to:

letters@respectwaterarchives.org

Sincerely yours,
Daniel O. Holmes, M.A., M.L.I.S.
Geographer and Librarian

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One thought on “Urgent alert for Water Resources Center Archives

  1. Pingback: Urgent alert for Water Resources Center Archives … | Water First International

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