By KIMBERLY RIEKEN
Three Library of Congress employees were honored by Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) for their hard work and dedication in serving the nation. On March 22, as part of his Great Federal Employees Initiative, the senator honored Mary Klutts, Donna Scheeder and Ronald O’Rourke, three Library employees who he said have lived up to this standard.
It was a fitting time for the senator to honor Library employees, as March is National Reading Month.
“The month-long celebration … reminds us not only of the joy found in the written word but also the critical role libraries play in all our communities,” said Kaufman in his introduction.
He discussed the importance of libraries and the existence of the Library of Congress.
“The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, and its ornate reading room remains an awe-inspiring cathedral of learning. Today, I have chosen to honor three public servants who work at the Library of Congress,” Kaufman said.
Mary Klutts, budget officer for the Library, was recognized by the senator as “an expert in every aspect of the Library’s operating budget.” She began her federal career as a U. S. Marine and in 1990 joined the Library as a budget analyst.
“Since 2007, when Mary was named budget officer, she set out to transform the way the Library’s budget proposals and funding justifications are formulated. Her work has helped make the Library’s budget operations more transparent and its funding proposals are more concise,” said Kaufman.
Thanks in part to Klutts’ efforts, the Library received strong support from Congress in appropriations for the past two fiscal years.
Donna Scheeder, deputy chief information officer for the Congressional Research Service (CRS), has worked at the Library for more than 40 years. “Donna was an early champion of integrating computers into libraries, and she introduced the idea of electronic briefing books for Congress,” said Kaufman.
Until recently, Scheeder served as the acting law librarian of Congress and was awarded the Federal Librarian’s Achievement Award in 2009.
In recognizing Ronald O’Rourke, a specialist in naval affairs at CRS, the senator also praised CRS. “They are our ‘go-to guys’ with information on every topic and they are truly great in their jobs.”
He continued, “at CRS Ronald quickly distinguished himself as a leading expert on naval-strategic and budgetary issues, and he frequently briefs members of Congress and their staffs on defense programs and appropriations.”
Kaufman also credited O’Rourke for stepping in when CRS’s expert in military aviation passed away suddenly last year. “Ronald took responsibility for that portfolio in addition to his own, and his reports on high-profile aviation programs proved invaluable during the Congressional debates on defense spending in the 2010 budget,” said Kaufman.
“They are just three of the many talented and dedicated men and women whose work benefits not only those of us in Congress but also tens of millions who access resources from community libraries throughout our nation. I hope my colleagues will join me and recognize the important contribution made by the employees of the Library of Congress. They are all truly great federal employees.” Kaufman concluded.
The three employees were nominated by their service or support units and then selected by Kaufman. A list of employees recognized as part of the senator’s Great Federal Employees Initiative can be found at www.kaufman.senate.gov/great_feds/.
Kimberly Rieken is an office operations assistant in the Library’s Public Affairs Office.