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$16.00 Muffins

A colleague posted a newspaper article covering the Inspector General’s report outlining the extravagant spending on conferences by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  This included spending “$16 on each of the 250 muffins served at an August 2009 legal conference in Washington” and $600,000 for events planning for five conferences.(Allen, 2011)    In fact, the DOJ’s exceeded its own spending limits, spending $121 million on conferences for the fiscal 2008 and 2009 year (Allen , 2011).

It is unacceptable that schools and libraries across the nation are forced to continue to provide “quality” services to the public on budgets which are continuly reduced, and yet there is money for the DOJ to feast on $16 Muffins and $8 cups of coffee.  It goes without saying that education is vital to the nation and that without access to knowledge and discussion it is impossible to safeguard democracy. Yet, the DOJ, Senate and House of representatives (which provide oversight) believe their conferences are more important over the services provided by schools and libraries.  Keep this arrogance in mind, my fellow librarians and citizens next time you hear of a “necessary” budget cut.

But, perhaps it is time to stop being disgusted and resigned.  We cannot blame the senators if they are ignorant of the importance of libraries.  Therefore, we must pass a law mandating those who represent our interests at all levels of government must  have a library card and go into a library on a regular basis!  Hopefully then, these senators and DOJ officials will be able to understand why librarians and libraries are more awesome then $16 Muffins.

Allen, JoAnne (2011, September 21).  $16 muffins, $8 coffee served in Justice Audit. Rueters. http://news.yahoo.com/16-muffins-8-coffee-served-justice-audit-023623142.html


About Dorotea Szkolar

My name is Dorotea and I am in my last semester of earning my Masters of Library and Information Sciences at Syracuse University with a Certificate of Advance Study in Digital Libraries. I am an aspiring digital librarian and metadata expert, currently seeking full time opportunities. Because of my specialization in Digital Libraries, my coursework continues to cover a wide array of practices, issues and technologies specific to digital libraries including metadata, digitization, copyright, database management, internet services, institutional , open access, policy, and the preservation of digital assets. In addition to my studies, I completed an internship with the Mountain West Digital Library. The internship trained me in Dublin Core, metadata cross walking and harvesting, Open Archives Initiative and CONTENTdm, and I researched, analyzed and composed a report on spatial metadata interoperability issues within the MWDL. My strengths, in addition to my knowledge of digital and academic libraries, include exceptional communication, presentation, analytical and interpersonal skills; and expertise with current trends, technologies and software in metadata and digital librarianship. I am also an experienced professional researcher who has worked for numerous organizations. Before moving to Santa Barbara, I was also the Research Editor for Utah Business Magazine responsible for contacting, researching and authenticating data about businesses for special publications like Utah’s Major Employers Guide. Additionally, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in History at SUNY Binghamton and worked extensively at several non-profits including the Bundy Museum of History & Art, White Plains Ecumenical Food Pantry and Community Options Inc.


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