President Obama has nominated Carla Hayden, the current head of Baltimore’s library system, to become the Librarian of Congress. If confirmed by Congress, she would be the first woman and first African-American to head the nation’s leading library, replacing James H. Billington who held the position for almost three decades. “Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation’s oldest federal institution as our 14th Librarian of Congress,” President Obama said in a statement. “Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today’s digital culture.”
Whether she will be confirmed, at a time when Republicans have tried to stop nearly all of President Obama’s nominations, remains to be seen. The nomination comes at a difficult time for the Library, which has had no permanent leader since September and appears to be falling behind other prominent libraries when it comes to digitizing their 160-million-item collection. In a video posted to President Obama’s Facebook page, the 63-year old librarian said that being the first woman and African-American to hold the position would be significant “in terms of how people view the future of libraries and what a national library can be,” saying: “It’s inclusive. It can be a part of everyone’s story.”
Read the full story at The New York Times.