This morning, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Carla Hayden as Librarian of Congress.
“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,” President Obama said in a statement released on the White House’s website.
Since 1993, Hayden has been the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Before joining Pratt, she served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Librarian of the Chicago Public Library. She also served as Assistant Professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. President of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004, Hayden is credited with being the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling.
In her new role, Hayden “will work in close partnership with Congress, support the copyright office that serves our nation’s creative communities, and explore new ways to share the information housed within our library through innovative technologies,” the President said.
Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.