President Obama just nominated Dr. Carla Hayden to be the 14th Librarian of Congress. If approved, Hayden would be the first woman and first Black person to lead the organization since it was established in 1800.
Currently, Hayden is the chief executive of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and made the bold move to keep the Pratt open during last year’s uprising in the city. The opportunity to make history as the first person of color to lead the Library of Congress isn’t lost on Hayden, who also served as the president of the American Library Association a decade ago.
“Being the first female and the first African-American really brings together two aspects of — of course — my life that make this even more significant in terms of how people view the future of libraries, and what a national library can be,” she said in a video produced by the White House. “It’s inclusive. It can be part of everyone’s story.”
In a statement announcing her nomination, President Obama spoke glowingly of Hayden.
Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation’s oldest federal institution as our 14th Librarian of Congress. Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture. She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation’s libraries to serve our country well and that’s why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead. If confirmed, Dr. Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue.
Check out a video produced by the White House to learn more about Hayden and her work.