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Virginia Saunders, GPO’s longest-serving employee, passed away in her sleep on June 19, having recently celebrated 64 years of Federal service. She started as a clerk typist at the F.B.I. in 1945, before spending the last 63 years working at GPO. Since 1969, Virginia had been responsible for the Congressional Serial Set—a case-bound compilation of all House and Senate documents and reports for each session of Congress.
Virginia was a staunch supporter of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). She was meticulous and generous with her time and energy in answering librarians’ questions about the Serial Set and congressional publications in general. A paper based on her remarks on the Serial Set at the Depository Library Council/Federal Depository Conference in 1998 is available on the FDLP Desktop. In her early years compiling the Serial Set, she also served as an occasional inspector of depository libraries.
The American Library Association’s Government Documents Round Table bestowed the James Bennett Childs Award on her for "distinguished contributions to documents librarianship" in 1999. The award was presented to Virginia “in recognition of her lifetime and significant contributions towards the compilation and publication of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.” The award commendation continues: “One of Virginia's most lasting contributions is the enthusiasm for the Serial Set as a source of information which she has shared with so many documents librarians across the nation…Virginia has meticulously maintained a set of documents of historical significance, has worked with information professionals and government officials to improve the organization, to lower the publication costs, and to enhance the accessibility of the set to librarians, researchers and the public. She has ensured the continued existence of the Serial Set and her delight in describing the historical importance, contents and value of the early set has helped to convey to new and seasoned documents librarians the importance of this research collection.”
Below is a video highlighting Virginia’s career.
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