Carla D. Hayden will be sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in a historic ceremony in the Thomas Jefferson Building Wednesday, Sept. 14
at noon. The ceremony will be broadcast live, beginning at 11 a.m., on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. The YouTube broadcast will be captioned.
The ceremony marks two milestones: Hayden will become the first woman and the first African-American to serve as Librarian of Congress. She plans to take the oath using a book, drawn from Library collections, with historic connections of its own: the Lincoln Bible.
Hayden has recently overseen the renovation of the central branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, a four-year, $112 million project, and has also led $40 million in renovations to other units within the 22-branch Pratt system. The system is named for the businessman and philanthropist who financed its founding in 1886.
Longtime chief executive of the Enoch Pratt Free Library system in Baltimore and a former president of the American Library Association, Hayden took the helm of the Baltimore system in 1993, winning strong praise for her work to ensure that the city’s library system offers a broad array of services to assist citizens from all walks of life, from access to books and other learning materials to computer access and job information. A program of outreach into neighborhoods served by the Pratt libraries included after-school centers for teens, offering homework assistance and college counseling; a program offering healthy-eating information for residents in areas with insufficient access to high-quality food; programming in Spanish; establishment of an electronic library, and digitization of the Library’s special collections.
Hayden first served as a children’s librarian in the Chicago Public Library system, eventually rising to the post of deputy commissioner and chief librarian in that system. She also taught Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She received Library Journal’s 1995 Librarian of the Year Award, and served as president of the American Library Association 2003-2004.