Michael Kelley's article, Statistical Abstract Faces an Untimely Death, from the March 28th post to Library Journal Online reports that the US Census Bureau is looking to eliminate its Compendia Branch in the next fiscal year, an action that would also eliminate one of the most trusted and well-used reference tools in a librarian's arsenal: the US Statistical Abstract, affectionately known as StatAbs.
StatAbs has been around since the 1800s and is a go-to reference for important information about the US population, its communities and people-- information that the government source sites claim should be accessible to any citizen. Many librarians argue that StatAbs is not just an important resource that aggregates statistics about the country and its people which are not easy to find elsewhere, but also that it is a "a standard national publication that many countries produce as a matter of course. For example, Canada offers the similarly useful and organized E-Stat."
The ALA is mobilizing an effort to convince the Census Bureau to reconsider its plan by providing extensive data and anecdotal evidence that supports the value and importance of StatAbs, not just to library service, but to all citizens. Take part in this historic effort! Read up on StatAbs and contribute to the effort to save it!
Check out these links:
Join the Save the US Statistical Abstract Facebook Group
Library Journal's "Statistical Abstract Faces an Untimely Death"
Sign the Change.org petition to save the Statistical Abstract!