article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)
According to whitehouse.gov, President Barack Obama has nominated Dr. Carla D. Hayden as the 14th Librarian of Congress— which would make her the first woman and African-American to hold this prestigious position in the library’s 214-year history.
Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Hayden became the first African-American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award, and also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.
Obama’s own praise for Dr. Hayden and an accompanying video follow:
Today, I’m nominating someone to be our new Librarian of Congress — the leader of one of our nation’s oldest federal institutions — and I want to introduce you to her.
Meet Dr. Carla Hayden.
Michelle and I have known Dr. Hayden for a long time since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and her dedication to learning and education is unparalleled.
More recently, she’s devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture. She’s been hard at work revitalizing Baltimore’s library system as the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library, updating its technology and raising money to fund essential improvements. Under her leadership, the Pratt library has become the largest provider of public-access computers in Maryland.
As Librarian of Congress, she’ll 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.
And I know she’ll be a good steward for the important role that libraries play in our communities. Last year, during the unrest in Baltimore, Dr. Hayden and the library’s staff kept the doors of the Pratt open as a beacon for the community.
Finally, she’d be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue.
So I hope you’ll take a couple minutes to watch this video and meet Carla for yourself. I have no doubt she’ll make a fantastic Librarian of Congress.
President Barack Obama
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