Library of Congress swears in Carla Hayden, the first African American and first Female Librarian of Congress
By: Victoria Ouyang
Carla Hayden was sworn in on Wednesday, September 14, as not only the first woman but also the first African American to hold the title of Librarian of Congress. Hayden, representing the 85 percent women dominated library workforce, is now the head of the largest library in the world. Originally nominated for the position by President Obama last February, Hayden was officially approved by the Senate in July of 2016. This decision comes after much controversy in regard to the Library’s leadership. In March 2015, U.S Accountability Office claimed that “the Library does not have the leadership needed” to solve its problems, largely referring to the Library’s failure to effectively digitize. As a result, James H. Billington, the predecessor of Carla Hayden and head of the Library of Congress for 28 years, ultimately retired from his position. Carla Hayden assumes her new title with high expectations of transforming the Library into a 21st century institution. Mrs. Akers, the Assistant Director of the St. Mary’s Library, said “Not only is great to see an African American woman in this position for the first time, but I’m also pleased that President Obama nominated a person with a master’s degree in library science. Many Librarians of Congress have not come from library backgrounds, but have been illustrious scholars. I think Hayden’s experience makes her particularly suited to lead our nation’s library.”
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