Yesterday, Dr. Carla D. Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and former OSI-Baltimore advisory board member, cleared her first Senate confirmation hearing as President Obama’s nominee to librarian of Congress. If confirmed, Hayden will be the first African American as well as the first woman to head the Library of Congress.
Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin and former Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes praised her 20 years of management of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and her commitment to making libraries more accessible to everyone. Mikulski called her nomination “bittersweet.” She said, “It will be a great, great gain for the nation, but it will be a loss for Baltimore.”
She was applauded by Mikulski as well as President Obama for keeping the Enoch Pratt open during the Uprising last year. Mikulski said because of her decision, the community had a place to gather, which “fed body, mind and spirit during those tough days.”
President Barack Obama nominated Hayden in February to a 10-year term that could be renewed by future presidents.
After Dr. Hayden’s tenure on the OSI board, she became co-chair of our Leadership Council, of which she is still a member. We have also partnered with her and the Pratt on the Talking About Race series. Read her OSI post on “One Laptop Per Child” here.
“Of all the titles I’ve had in my professional career,” she said, “I’m most proud to be called a librarian.”
If nominated, she will be the 14th librarian of Congress.
Image courtesy Barbara Haddock Taylor / The Baltimore Sun via AP