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Government Shutdown Impact on Libraries

US Capitol BuildingThe National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region office remains open, regular business hours, during the government shutdown.

The following post provides information on the broad impact of the shutdown on libraries and research.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has posted the following message on their homepage:
“Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted.”

This message is echoed on the National Library of Medicine homepage.

Resources from the National Library of Medicine:

  • PubMed is available however the following message is displayed: “PubMed is open, however it is being maintained with minimal staffing due to the lapse in government funding. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries. For updates regarding government operating status see USA.gov.”
  • Other databases from the National Center for Biotechnology Information are also available with the following message posted: “The information on this web site remains accessible; but, due to the lapse in government funding, the information may not be up to date, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. For updates regarding government operating status see USA.gov.”
  • MedlinePlus is available however the following message is displayed: “Due to the lapse in government funding, the information on this web site may not be up to date, transactions submitted via the web site may not be processed, and the agency may not be able to respond to inquiries until appropriations are enacted. Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at USA.gov.”

According to USA.gov:

  • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.

According to the American Library Association libraries may be impacted by the shutdown in the following ways:

  • U.S. Census websites and collection surveys will be unavailable until the government is funded.
  • The Government Printing Office (GPO) is closed. Gpo.gov will not be updated during the shutdown. Federal Register services will continue in a limited capacity.
  • The Library of Congress will be closed to the public and researchers for the duration of the shutdown. The Library of Congress website is unavailable. As of Friday, October 4th the website was available but not being updated.

Medical Librarians have already been posting about the impact and chronicling federal websites that are inactive during the shutdown. Posts from Michelle Kraft, Alisha Miles, and the Eskind Biomedical Library at Vanderbilt University provide detailed information about the status of online access to some of the most used library and medical library resources during the government shutdown.

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