On Wednesday, Carla Hayden was sworn-in as the 14th Librarian of Congress. Her appointment marks a couple of milestones for the institution: she is the first woman and the first African-American to serve in the role.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts administered the oath of office to Hayden, who used President Abraham Lincoln’s Bible from his first inauguration to take the oath. Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan and Sens. Roy D. Blunt and Barbara A. Mikulski also participated in the ceremony.
“It is an honor to be nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to lead one of the greatest institutions of our nation, and of the world,” Hayden told the audience at the ceremony. “I am truly grateful and humbled by this selection.
“Today, through the power of technology, thousands around the country are able to watch this ceremony live. This is the opportunity to build on the contributions of the Librarians who have come before, to realize a vision of a national library that reaches outside the limits of Washington.”
Hayden’s comments were met with resounding applause, echoing through the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building.
“Public service has been such a motivating factor for me, in my life and my career. When I received the call from the White House about this opportunity, and was asked, ‘Will you serve?’ Without hesitation I said ‘yes,’’ concluded Hayden. “But we cannot do it alone. I am calling on you, both who are here in person and those watching virtually, that to have a truly national library, an institution of opportunity for all: it is the responsibility of all.”