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NARA HOLDS PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED CUTBACKS

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  • Bob Huddleston
    Take care, Bob Judy and Bob Huddleston 10643 Sperry Street Northglenn, CO 80234-3612 303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@comcast.net Don t argue with someone who
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 10, 2006
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      Take care,

      Bob

      Judy and Bob Huddleston
      10643 Sperry Street
      Northglenn, CO 80234-3612
      303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@...

      "Don't argue with someone who claims the earth is flat. You haven't given it
      a second thought, whereas he has spent 20 years thinking about and obsessing
      over why it is flat."


      -----Original Message-----
      From: H-Net Distribution List for NCH Reports [mailto:H-NCH@...]
      On Behalf Of Robert Bruce Craig
      Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 6:02 AM
      To: H-NCH@...
      Subject: NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 12, #31; 10 August 2006)

      **********************
      NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE (Vol. 12, #31; 10 August 2006) by Bruce Craig (editor)
      NATIONAL COALITION FOR HISTORY (NCH) Website at http://www.h-net.org/~nch/
      ***********************
      SNIP
      2. NARA HOLDS PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED CUTBACKS
      SNIP


      2. NARA HOLDS PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED CUTBACKS On 3 August the National
      Archives and Records Administration (NARA) conducted a public meeting
      regarding the elimination of NARA's weekend and evening hours. This report
      has been compiled from information gleaned from correspondents Brian Martin
      of History Associates and Robert Townsend of the American Historical
      Association, both of whom were in attendance.

      The meeting was crowded, with mostly professional independent researchers,
      genealogists, representatives from several national history and archives
      organizations, as well as a few private sector history research firms in
      attendance. It was moderated by Archivist of the United States Allen
      Weinstein, who was assisted by Nancy Allard and Michael Kurtz who are
      shepherding the proposed rule through the process. During the meeting the
      Archivist made it clear that this is just the first in a series of cutbacks
      that NARA will have to initiate in order to adjust to its anticipated
      reduced budget in FY 2007.

      Weinstein emphasized that this rule was not put forward arbitrarily, but
      rather was being advanced only after a great deal of consideration. He
      announced that after the review of the comments gleaned from the meeting and
      those received in writing, he would announce a final decision on the
      reduction in research and museum hours by 29 September. According to
      Martin, "Weinstein and the other NARA staff expressed a genuine desire to
      consider ideas for compromises on these hours issues."

      The meeting lasted for a full two hours with impassioned and diverse range
      of views being represented. Although several speakers strayed a bit from
      the specific issues surrounding the changes in research and museum hours,
      for the most part the meeting focused on those issues. The general consensus
      was that NARA faces significant budget challenges and that NARA's staff have
      many difficult choices ahead, but that eliminating all of the Saturday and
      evening hours (roughly 33% of the currently available research hours) would
      cut off access to NARA's holdings by a significant and diverse community of
      users who are not generally able to access these holdings during the normal
      business day. Suggestions for compromise were offered.

      Participants also made several constructive suggestions relating to how NARA
      might serve researchers more efficiently and effectively. There was some
      discussion of possible private sources of funding to make up for the budget
      shortfall.

      As the meeting came to a conclusion, Archivist Weinstein stated that he was
      gratified to hear from so many passionate supporters of the Archives and its
      mission. He reiterated his desire to hear from archives users and urged
      everyone to continue to provide their thoughtful suggestions on how NARA can
      serve researchers and accomplish its mission more effectively.


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