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EPA Region 4 Library Tour Report

by Stephen Sherman


Our first brown bag tour of 2017 took place on March 29th at the EPA Region 4 Library located in downtown Atlanta. The library is located within the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center, which houses a number of Federal agencies with over 5,000 government employees. Our host was Joshua Grimes, Region 4 Librarian and contractor to the EPA through AMTIS. The Region 4 Library is part of a system of libraries and research centers that make up the EPA National Library Network. The Network currently consists of ten regional libraries, eight research laboratory libraries, four specialty libraries, three centralized repository libraries (including at Headquarters in DC), and several additional service centers. Each library contains specialized resources focusing on topics such as environmental protection and toxicology. While the libraries primarily serve EPA employees, most locations are also open to the public for research purposes.

The Region 4 Library specifically serves the Southeast states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The library first opened in 1973 in the basement of the 345 Courtland Street Building. It was relocated to its current space in 1996. When funding for EPA libraries was cut in 2006 and some locations were forced to close, the Region 4 Library was able to remain open due to demonstrated need for its services among employees and the broader community. When funding was restored the following year, the Region 4 Library was able to allocate funds for renovation of the space and to update its collections.

Another big change came in 2015, when the Region 4 Law Library was combined with the main Region 4 Library. The Law Library had been housed on a separate floor, but staff cuts necessitated the merger to ensure adequate staffing and access for EPA attorneys. The result is that in addition to its core collection of over 36,000 catalogued print publications and more than 20,000 USGS topographic maps, the Region 4 Library now holds another 1,200 legal monographs and documents. The library also provides access to legal databases such as PACER, Accurint, and LexisNexis Advance. Joshua explained how he has gained a new skill set from working with the newly-added legal resources in the collection.

The Region 4 Library is open to the public Monday-Friday from 8:00am – 3:45pm. The library is located on the 9th floor of the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center at 61 Forsyth Street SW. Visitors are required to show a government-issued photo ID and check in with security. For more information, visit:

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