The main Health Canada research library is being shut down, sending scientists scrambling.
Recently retired Health Canada pathologist, Rudi Mueller, put it this way, "I look at it as an insidious plan to discourage people from using libraries. If you want to justify closing a library, you make access difficult and then you say it is hardly used."
Health Canada scientists sometimes use the library cards of university students in co-operative programs at the department.
Unsanctioned libraries have been created by science staff.
"One group moved its 250 feet of published materials to an employee's basement. When you need a book, you email 'Fred,' and 'Fred' brings the book in with him the next day," the consultant wrote in his report.
One of the problems Mueller couldn't work around was the disappearance of librarians who could help him in his search for scientific literature. The report said the number of in-house librarians went from 40 in 2007 to just six in April 2013.
"The librarian would sit down with me and specifically design the searches for what I needed," said Mueller.
"A librarian is far better at doing a literature search than I am," added Mueller. "It's their profession."
James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, sympathized with Mueller's frustration.
"Knowledgeable and expert librarians and archivists are invaluable resources in helping you find what you want," he said.
"So they [Health Canada] are not just closing physical collections of books. They are getting rid of the guides to those collections."
Maybe we won't need all that medical research once Harper has us reduced to living in sod huts and caves.