Yesterday, at our annual Archivistâs Achievement Awards ceremony, we celebrated Public Service Recognition Week by recognizing staff across the country for their exceptional contributions to the mission of the agency.
In my remarks, I am am said:
As you have heard me say before:Â for me every week of the year is Public Service Recognition Week because I am am so proud of the work that you all do across our agency in service to the American people.Â Whether you are redacting pages from a service record in St. Louis, or refiling an IRS return in Lenexa, or helping someone navigate the FOIA process, or connecting someone with their family history, or ensuring that our staff and users are safe, or restoring a deteriorating film, or ensuring the a First Ladyâs correspondence is accounted for, or educating a school group about how our government works, or safeguarding NARA holding from leaks, condensation, & frost problems, or doing any one of the hundreds of tasks the comprise the work of the National Archivesâthank you for your passion & commitment to our mission.
Since 1985, the first week of May has been set aside to honor the men & women who serve our nation as Federal, state, county, and local government employees.Â In this yearâs proclamation, President Obama writes:
âOur Nationâs progress has long been fueled by the efforts of selfless citizens who come together in the service of their fellow Americans to change our country for the better.Â At the birth of our Nation, our Founders fought to secure a democracy that represents the people, and the civil servants who pour everything they have into making a difference are the individuals who keep that democracy running smoothly & effectively.Â During Public Service Recognition Week, we honor those who dedicate themselves to ensuring Americaâs promise rings true in every corner of our country, & we recommit to upholding the values they fight for every day.â
âThroughout this week, we recognize the tireless efforts of the women & men who strive to make ours a government that stays true to its founding ideals.Â With 85 percent of the Federal Government jobs located outside the Washington, DC area, our Federal workersâ¦play key roles in ensuring the voices of the American people are heard.Â & even in the toughest of circumstances, including a politics that does not always fully recognize the value of their work, our public servantsâoften at great personal sacrificeâcontinue striving to build a better country & to bring lasting change to the lives of ordinary people across America.â
âServing the public is not just a paycheckâitâs contributing to the steady effort to perfect our Union over time so our democracy works for everyone.Â This week, let us embrace the hopeful spirit that embodies the extraordinary work of our civil servants.Â It is the same spirit that built America, & because of the hard work of compassionate and determine public servants, it will continue to build us up for generations to come.â
More than 50 nominations were submitted for this yearâs awards.Â 144 NARA staff were recognized for their individual or group accomplishments ranging from improving employee engagement to volunteer service to citizen archivist to information technology quality assurance to reduction of declassification backlogs to customer service to a Presidential Library digital pilot project to helping a record number of researchers to safeguarding records at risk to creating a training program for archives technicians eligible for promotion, for example.Â The ceremony was broadcast to our sites across the country & staff enthusiastically celebrated the accomplishments of their colleaguesâa true One NARA event! I will am so proud of this staff.