Things are so political now! He said, she said, they said, but did they really? It is easy to believe the TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and of course, Facebook and other social media. Has something ever really bothered you enough to research the subject? Many times, every single source you read differs from the others. What do you believe? How do you make wise decisions based on such varying information? Although time consuming, research does help narrow down the truth!
Well, I’m not being political, well, maybe just a little, but not really! The deal is, on February 10, 2020, the Trump Administration released details from its budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2021. The White House has requested $23 million in funding, effective Oct. 1, 2020, for the orderly closure of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
I don’t think it is being political to point out that there have been some areas where our tax dollars have been used that are a little questionable. The Waste Report of Fall 2019 by Chairman Rand Paul has some excellent examples.
- As debate rages in the country over vaping, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is sponsoring a nearly five-year project that involves actively addicting its subjects, Zebrafish, to nicotine. The project, being conducted at the Queen Mary University of London, will cost the American taxpayer $708,466. [p. 5]
- With hits like “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” there can be no denying Bob Dylan is a musical icon. But do his musical accomplishments justify the State Department choosing to buy an original Bob Dylan sculpture, for $84,375, to place in its embassy in Mozambique? [p. 6]
- Knowing the problems that exist here at home, it may surprise Americans to learn that their government is investing up to $16 million to improve the quality of the Egyptian educational system. [p. 7]
- NIH has spent $4,658, 865.00 studying the connection between drinking alcohol and winding up in the emergency room. Their question is, “Can drinking too much get you injured?” [p. 6]
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. Now let’s look at what the Institute of Museum and Library Services offers! IMLS invests in communities of all sizes, from rural to urban, in every U.S. state and territory. IMLS funding has helped veterans transition to civilian life and preserved invaluable cultural heritage for current and future generations. IMLS investments have advanced digital inclusion for rural and tribal communities and empowered museums and libraries to provide increased access and navigation to information so that more people can continue their education, learn critical research skills, and find employment.
When there is a deficit, priorities have to be established. Please let your elected officials know that eliminating federal funding for libraries is not okay. Libraries benefit each and every community member who chooses to walk through the door, which should put libraries in the group of top priorities. Information found within libraries can whet an individual’s critical thinking skills and lead them to deduce that if nicotine is dangerous and addicting to humans, it’s not going to fare really well with Zebrafish either. There, that would have saved taxpayers $708,466 this past year! Let your officials know your priorities; they won’t know if you don’t tell them. You know what they say: “A squeaky wheel gets the grease!” You can find out how to contact your elected officials at https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials .