In February, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Dr. Carla D. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress. If confirmed, Dr. Hayden will become the first African-American and woman to head one of the oldest federal institutions in the nation.
Hayden, a native of Tallahassee, Fla., is a graduate of Chicago’s Roosevelt University. At the University of Pittsburgh, she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in library science. Upon returning to Chicago, Hayden took a job with the city’s public library system and in 1991, rose to second-in-command. It was during that time when Hayden and Obama first crossed paths.
Hayden became the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Library system in Baltimore, Md., in 113, a position she holds today. Hayden’s approach to revamp the Baltimore library system earned her the National Librarian of the Year honor from the Library Journal publication. She was the first Black person to receive the award.
In 2010, President Obama nominated Hayden as a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board and National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.
Among Hayden’s achievements, she also served as the American Library Association’s president in 2003 after serving as vice president a year prior. In addition to her Librarian of the Year award and other honors, Hayden has been awarded the title of Woman of the Year from Ms. Magazine and was ranked one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women in the 2003 edition of the Maryland Daily Record.