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Carla Hayden becomes first woman and African American Librarian of Congress

July 14, 2016


Carla Hayden just broke the glass ceiling of the Library of Congress. On Wednesday, the United States Senate confirmed Hayden to serve as the Librarian of Congress, making her the first woman and African American to serve as head librarian in the country’s history.

Hayden was a children’s librarian in Chicago before rising to become the head of the American Library Association and Baltimore’s free library system. Now, she will preside over the second largest library in the world, just behind the British Library. Hayden will replace James Billington, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served as head librarian for nearly 30 years, overseeing major renovations and the growth of the library’s collection. Hayden, who will be the 14th Librarian of Congress, will oversee the library’s transition in the digital age — a challenge with which she is very familiar. According to The Atlantic, Hayden publicly criticized parts of the Patriot Act that allowed police to access public library borrowing records for investigations, and helped modernize Baltimore’s technology in its library system. Hayden will be allowed to serve for 10 years.

Read the full story at The Atlantic.