Jason Whong//February 24, 2016
//February 24, 2016
President Barack Obama Wednesday announced he would nominate Carla Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, to be Librarian of Congress.
Hayden has been CEO of Baltimore’s public library system since 1993. She is also a past president of the American Library Association. In 2010, she was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board.
Hayden, who was not giving interviews on Wednesday, said she was thankful to everyone involved with the library, including patrons.
“This is truly a great honor to be nominated by President Obama to lead the nation’s library,” Hayden said. “It is my privilege to serve the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the citizens of Baltimore for more than 20 years, during which time we restored its world-renowned reputation.”
President Obama praised Hayden in his statement announcing her nomination.
“Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture,” Obama said. “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.”
The nomination was praised in statements issued by leaders of education institutions.
American Library Association President Sari Feldman said, “Hats off to President Obama for nominating Dr. Hayden, a professional librarian uniquely positioned with the leadership and management skills and understanding of digital technology to make the Library of Congress the pre-eminent national library in the world, highly valued by and serving all Americans as a treasured resource.”
National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William D. Adams said, “Carla D. Hayden has dedicated her career to making libraries vital to the fabric of our national life. Her decision to keep the Baltimore library open during last year’s unrest is an example of the power of the humanities in uncertain times.”
Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both said they were proud to have recommended Hayden to the president.
“Dr. Hayden has brought knowledge and truth to our communities, helping the leaders of today blaze trails and forge the way to the future,” said Mikulski. “She has done a great service to Baltimore families, leading the way as Enoch Pratt Libraries light up the way for so many with knowledge.”
“Dr. Hayden is a cultural treasure to our city and a long-time defender of the free flow of information,” Cardin said.
Members of Congress also reacted warmly to the announcement.
Rep. John Sarbanes said, “I am confident that she will bring to the Library of Congress the same innovative thinking and commitment to education that she is known for in Baltimore, and I wish her much success in the years ahead.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings said, “I can think of no better public servant for the position of Librarian of Congress than Dr. Carla Hayden. … Under her leadership, the Pratt Library has transformed from an aging system into a world-class, 21st century institution of information and technology.”
As she waits for the Senate to decide whether to confirm her, Hayden will remain “devoted and dedicated” to the Pratt library. The library’s board of directors and trustees plan to start a nationwide search for a new CEO upon Hayden’s confirmation.
A brief look at Carla Hayden’s career and accomplishments:
– Deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993.
– Assistant professor for library and information science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991.
– Library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987.
– President of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004.
– In 1995, she was 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 afterschool center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling.
Hayden holds a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University and a master’s degree and doctorate from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.
Source: The White House