JANUARY 17th, 2018

As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

I'd like to thank Dr. Carla Hayden and her team for the kind invitation to speak with you today and to celebrate the achievements of the Library of Congress staff in this year's Combined Federal Campaign.

This is a very appropriate venue for my first CFC closing event as this year's National Honorary Chairperson. As you may know, promoting literacy and academic achievement is a cause very close to my heart. And there are few institutions which advance this cause as much as our nation's libraries.

The Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress is perhaps the most beautiful structure in Washington.

Across the nations of the Old World, you would find such palaces built for kings and queens-but here, America built a palace of knowledge and learning, for all her citizens.

I'm also happy to visit with Dr. Hayden, who spent many years serving Americans of all ages in Baltimore, a city where I have lived and worked as well.

In a challenging year with significant programmatic changes, the CFC Campaign teams at the Library of Congress and across the Federal Government have performed wonderfully.

I especially want to recognize your internal campaign leaders, Angela Kinney and Anchi Hoh, as well as Cassi Brown and Flora Green from the CFC, for your outstanding work.

We're still tallying donations to see if we reached our monetary goals: three hundred and fifteen thousand dollars at the Library of Congress, and 47 million dollars overall. As of yesterday, you were about 99% of the way to your goals, not counting the thousands of paper pledges that are still being processed or are still in the mail.

Congratulations on that impressive result, and thank you for your generous hearts!

Equally impressive is the overwhelming commitment to volunteerism by Federal employees across the Government, including the Library of Congress.

This is the first year we've offered volunteer opportunities through the CFC, and more than 40,000 hours of volunteer time were pledged by employees across all branches of Government.

I'd call this very impressive. But also, it's not surprising at all: because this spirit of goodwill comes from so many wonderful individuals already serving our Nation as Federal workers. And I have come to expect the very best from them.

At the Library of Congress, your creativity in promoting the CFC Campaign, raising staff awareness, and inspiring participation were commendable.

It was especially gratifying to hear about your events that celebrated reading and literacy.

Dr. Hayden, I applaud you for your leadership, your staff's commitment to the CFC, and your final achievements in this year's Campaign. And I thank you on behalf of the thousands of charities that will benefit from your support, both from your monetary donations and your volunteer time.

God bless you, and have a happy new year!


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