Yesterday's vote came at the end of the group's annual meeting in San Francisco.
"It's a very gloomy day at the library," a library worker told DrBicuspid.com.
“It's a very gloomy day at the library.”
The library's collection and space at the ADA's Chicago headquarters will be kept for a year. The library has already stopped buying books, and no more books will be purchased.
All but five of the 13 library staffers will be laid off.
However, reference services and the delivery of journal articles will continue, as well as services for internal ADA staff.
The ADA said previously that library services would be limited to those that are used the most, noting that less than 1% of its members used the services in 2012.
The decision to severely curtail the ADA's library services was criticized by many members, who say it will mean losing access to a research resource that has been invaluable for 85 years.
Dan Jenkins, DDS, president of the American Association of Dental Editors (AADE), noted that many AADE members use the library's services.
"While only a small percentage of ADA members may utilize the library, those who do, such as dental editors and researchers, are the ones who write the articles that many ADA members and nonmembers read," he stated in an email to DrBicuspid.com.
Mary Hayes, DDS, a practicing dentist with a master's degree in medical library science, participated in the reference committee that discussed the issue during the San Francisco meeting.
"It's not just about books, it's about people," she told DrBicuspid.com. "I've received many emails from grassroots members who are so upset they're considering not renewing their ADA membership, because this was the only benefit they used."
Dr. Hayes said she told committee members: "The 1% of members who use the library produce work products that affect 100% of each and every dentist in this room."
She pointed out the eliminated positions were support staff, meaning that higher-salary librarians will now be used to copy articles, and turn around time for requested materials will be greatly reduced.
There has been a growing trend among medical and other associations to use online catalogs in place of hard-copy materials, according to the ADA, noting that the American Medical Association's library is only available for employees.
The House of Delegates also approved a 2013 budget of $119.7 million in revenue and anticipated expenses of $118.6 million. Members' dues were set at $522 as of January, an increase of $10 over 2012. The delegates rejected a proposed $50 special assessment.
ADA should think twice about dismantling library, October 16, 2012
ADA may cut library services, raise dues, September 4, 2012
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