February 25, 2024
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Just days after the New Year, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers showcased her commitment to recognizing community members by presenting an award on behalf of the Library of Congress. The recipient of this distinguished honor was none other than Jeremy Mullin, a dedicated employee at the Spokane Valley Library.

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Spokane Valley Library employee is recognized by the Library of Congress
2/3/2024

Spokane Valley Library was recently honored to receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the Library of Congress for its involvement in the Veterans History Project. The Library of Congress recognized the library's continuous dedication to preserving the stories and experiences of our nation's veterans. As part of this recognition, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Jeremy Mullin, a local resident actively involved in the project.


The Veterans History Project is an initiative led by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2020 and was signed into law on October 27, 2000, by President Clinton.


The projects mission is to collect, preserve, and make accessible the firsthand accounts of American veterans who served in conflicts from World War I to the present day. By gathering personal narratives, photographs, diaries, letters, and other original materials, the project aims to capture the voices of veterans and ensure their stories are documented for future generations.

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There are specific criteria for oral submissions to be accepted and the new Spokane Valley Library has the ideal recording sound room. Spokane Valley Library employee Jeremy Mullin, 43, is the Technology Instruction Specialist with the library and helps set up and record oral stories of local veterans.


Mullin, an advocate of the Veterans History Project, has played a crucial role in its success by helping set up recording sessions for veterans to tell their stories that provide insight into their service and sacrifices.


In a special ceremony held at the Spokane Valley Library, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers presented Mullin's with the certificate. The certificate acknowledges Mullin's exceptional commitment to the Veterans History Project and recognizes his invaluable contributions in preserving the rich history of our nation's heroes.


"I am here to present the Library of Congress Veterans History Project certificate of appreciation to you, Jeremy Mullin," Rodgers shared with the assembled group of over twenty-five attendees. "Today we wanted to acknowledge his work and support of the Veterans History Project. He is the ultimate professional in assuring that the audio and visual room is prepped for each recording session and that the recordings meet the Library of Congresses strict submission requirements."


During the ceremony, Rodgers praised Mullin's dedication and expressed her gratitude for his efforts. She emphasized the significance of preserving the stories of our veterans, not only to honor their service but also as a means of educating future generations about the realities of war and the sacrifices made on their behalf.


"It is also the community that makes this possible," Jeremy shares while accepting the certificate, "and with the help of our amazing staff. Without that support we wouldn't have the ability to reach out to the community to make these great things happen."


The Spokane Valley Library, in collaboration with Mullin and other volunteers including the local Jonas Babock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, has been actively engaged in the Veterans History Project for several years.


Congressional Aide Claudette Becker conducts interviews for the Veterans History Project at the library and shares that, "[Jeremy] sets up the room so that when I come with a veteran who has been in combat, he'll set up the space so that they feel comfortable." The library provides a platform for veterans to share their stories, ensuring that their experiences are recorded and properly archived at the Library of Congress for posterity. "It's being able to create a space for them to share their stories where they feel comfortable to share what they are feeling and what has gone on. It has an organic feel to it," Mullin expands on the collaboration.


The recognition received by Jeremy Mullin and the Spokane Valley Library serves as encouragement for the ongoing efforts of the Veterans History Project. It highlights the importance of preserving personal accounts and memories of veterans, ensuring that their sacrifices and contributions are never forgotten. "This is so important to preserve the stories for future generations and to get the stories directly from the veterans so that we can have a better understanding of what they saw and what they felt during their time in service." Rodgers explains about the project.


As the Veterans History Project continues to expand, individuals like Mullin play a vital role in capturing the extraordinary stories of our nation's heroes. Their dedication and commitment are crucial to preserving the legacy of those who have served and reminding us of the sacrifices made in defense of our country.


"It's great to have the studio," Mullin said, "it gives us another opportunity to reach more parts of our community." The studio is open to residents to reserve a time slot to learn all about the process of recording. From recording stories to starting a podcast, the library has the optimal equipment. "It about getting exposure for the teens who might not have access to at their homes." The studio is commonly in use up to four times a day.


"They went above and beyond on the sound proofing of the studio room. One issue is sound echoing. But in this room sound lays flat."  The library studio also works on Project Memory, where families can bring in their old photos and videos to be archived.

The Veterans History Project collection includes veterans from World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, Korean War, Persian Gulf Wars, and the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. 


The Veterans History Project has an up-to-date website that provides answers from how to recommend a veteran for the project to how to donate journals and artifacts. Visit their website at loc.gov/programs/veterans-history-project. 

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