Forty years ago this month a 20 year old Marist College student walked into the Roosevelt Library to start a part time job as an archives aide. The pay was $2.61 an hour, the work was physical; moving boxes and pushing carts, and the place was inspirational. Fast forward 40 years and I make a lot more money, I only push a cart once in a while to help out and the place is still inspirational.
On my way to becoming the acting director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library I was a GS 2,3,4,5,6,7,9,11,12,13,14, and now a 15. I held a wide variety of jobs from sales store clerk to archivist to director of public programs and even left for four years to pursue motherhood. But the one constant in this wonderful career is that I am inspired every day by the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm of the people I am privileged to work with. We all take great pride in being civil service professionals focused on the mission of the National Archives. We safeguard and preserve the records of our government, and ensure that people can discover, use and learn from this documentary heritage. Our job is to make sure our visitors and researchers have access to the Library’s holdings and that we promote research and education on the lives and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their continuing impact on contemporary life.
We have much to look forward to. On June 30, 2013 we will open a brand new permanent museum exhibit and rededicate the Roosevelt Library to the purpose FDR talked about in his dedication speech on June 30, 1941. FDR said “a nation must believe in the capacity of its own people to learn from the past that they gain in judgment in creating their own future.” We believe that is the message we must bring to a new generation of learners and we plan to do just that with an amazing new exhibit, innovative educational programming and informative and interesting public programming. I hope you will join us on our new adventure!