NLM Staff: Supporting Biomedical Discovery and Advancing Public Health

I am very pleased and proud of the hard work, dedication, and accomplishments of the 1,700 NLM staff members who have gone above and beyond in 2021 by demonstrating their commitment to advancing our critical mission. Every day, NLM staff transform information into knowledge, which enables researchers, clinicians, and the public to use biomedical data to improve health and save lives.

This month, we celebrate the many accomplishments of our staff across NLM. While our celebration will not be in person this year, it still gives me great pleasure to recognize the individuals and teams at NLM who have demonstrated their hard work and dedication through special acts of service, exemplary performance, and decisive moments of leadership.

I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for the technical staff at NLM who have worked tirelessly to ensure that people around the world continue to have access to NLM’s vast research and information services including ClinicalTrials.gov, GenBank, PubMed, and PubMed Central. They can also take credit for making it possible for NLM staff to continue to work under maximum telework conditions, ensuring that each and every quibble with technology is fixed, and our employees are able to be online wherever their home office may be.

We recognize 565 staff this year for an impressive list of accomplishments. I’m happy to report that NLM staff continue to make incredible achievements that advance our mission despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to recognize more than 200 Special Act or Service awards made by our colleagues encompassing both individual and group awards. These awards recognize short-term accomplishments, meritorious acts, public service, and scientific or other achievements accomplished within or outside one’s designated responsibilities. Achievements include continued efforts to support a variety of COVID-19 initiatives, ensuring contracts and grants are awarded, and upgrading to modern and more efficient systems – all accomplished while working remotely!

We also honor individuals’ milestone years of service, including three staff members with 40 or more years of service and 12 people who have worked in the federal government for 30 years or more. They were joined by 28 staffers with 20 years of service and another 20 with 10 years — representing years upon years of experience and dedication to public service. The efforts of these people have made a lasting difference to NLM and to the public.

In addition to honoring the recipients themselves, these awards also bring important recognition to the talents and contributions of NLM staff across the biomedical research enterprise.

As 2021 ends, I want to recognize all NLM staff for their commitment and service to make scientific literature and genomic, clinical, and other types of biomedical data readily available to those who need it — 24/7. Our success is driven in large part by our ability to adapt to changing technologies that support biomedical discovery and enhance individual and public health. I remain impressed by and grateful for our NLM team!

Guest NLM contributors: Sarah Ashley Jolly and Christine Winderlin.

Author: Patti Brennan

Director, US National Library of Medicine

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