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State Spotlight:
Cal/EPA Library offers research on environment

The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), the state agency charged with restoring, protecting and enhancing California’s environment, and to ensuring the state’s public health and economic vitality, has a library full of resources about our environment.  The library is open to the public, and Cal/EPA staff will try to fill interlibrary loan requests from public libraries.

New Cal/EPA building in Sacramento.

The Cal/EPA library combines the libraries of the Air Resources Board, Integrated Waste Management Board, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control, agencies that joined when they all moved into the magnificent Cal/EPA building in downtown Sacramento in the late nineteen-nineties.  

Cal/EPA collection

Because Cal/EPA’s collection reflects subject interests of the Air Resources Board, Integrated Waste Management Board and the Department of Toxic Substances Control, it addresses everything from air pollution to recycling to hazardous waste. Under such headings as Scientific literature, Legal Research, Business/Industries and Maps, customers will find over 200 journals dating back to the 1960's, 100-150 active subscriptions, and over 20 thousand hard copy reports and texts, many of which professional Cal/EPA staff has written.

The Air Resources Board (ARB), a national leader in air pollution sciences, has a large collection comprised largely of reports concerned with air pollution and atmospheric science, a field that addresses not just automobile exhaust but how power plants, tobacco smoke, perfume, and even air purifiers can compromise California’s air resources. 

Cal/EPA Library team proud of customer service

Cal/EPA‘s Supervising Librarian, John Hoffman, a librarian since 1987, says that like many people who work at Cal/EPA, he has always had an interest in protecting California’s natural resources.  “I backpack the Sierras and the Lost Coast and I want to see incredible ecosystems like those protected and safe.  The work we do at the Cal/EPA library supports California’s scientists and researchers in their efforts on behalf of California’s environment,” Hoffman says.

Indigenous landscaping at Cal/EPA entrance.

Cal/EPA’s engineers and scientists do much of their research in universities, laboratories and in the field, so they rely on the Cal/EPA library for what Hoffman calls their “bibliographic needs.” “We search the literature for them and track down books and journals in their field,” he says. 

Hoffman’s staff includes Department of Toxic Substances Control Librarian Marianne Leach, two library technical assistants, an information technology specialist, and a staff analyst.   “When our customers - staff, other librarians, and members of the public - seek California environmental materials, our library team is ready.  Anyone can call us or use the email address in on the contact page on our website. We also welcome customers in our reference center.”

At the Cal/EPA library’s reference center in Sacramento customers may quickly look-up directories for various environmental and government agencies, legal materials concentrating on the regulatory aspects of environmental law such as the California Code of Regulations, scientific resources such as the Kirk Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology and a host of other materials.

In addition to using the Cal/EPA Library for interlibrary loans, people who work in libraries will find the library’s website an excellent online resource for customers researching environmental issues.  The Cal/EPA Library catalogs are available online as are a list of related links.

For more information about Cal/EPA Library services please contact John Hoffman at (916) 323-2257.

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