On Wednesday, July 13th, the Senate approved the nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to serve as the nation’s 14th Librarian of Congress. Hayden, American Library Association (ALA) past president and director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, is the first female and the first African American to lead the Library of Congress. She also is the first professional librarian to be confirmed in more than 60 years.
Hayden’s appointment comes in the wake of the retirement of Dr. James H. Billington and on the heels of a rigorous ALA grassroots and social media campaign (#Hayden4LOC) that encouraged thousands of library advocates to contact their Senators to support her confirmation.
“The library community is elated that Dr. Hayden is our nation’s new Librarian of Congress,” stated ALA President Julie B. Todaro. “She holds all of the professional competencies needed to successfully lead the nation’s library.
“There is no doubt that Dr. Hayden will have a positive impact by leading efforts to establish a more modern approach to serving members of Congress, researchers and the public at large. Hayden holds a profound understanding of the integral role libraries play in formal education, community-based learning, and the promotion of individual opportunity and community progress. I believe that through her visionary leadership the Library of Congress will soon mirror society’s rapidly changing information environment, while successfully preserving the cultural record of the United States.”