The Library of Congress is the biggest in the world and it’s now in the hands of Dr. Carla Hayden. Carla became first new Librarian of Congress in almost 30 years on Sept. 14 and made history at the same time! Get to know more about this amazing woman.
1. She shattered two glass ceilings with one blow.
After Chief Justice John Roberts, 61, swears her in on Sept. 14, Dr. Carla Hayden, 64, will officially become the newest Librarian of Congress. Nominated by President Barack Obama, 55, in Feb. 2016, she was confirmed by the Senate in July with a vote of 74-18, per Fusion.
With that, she became the first female Librarian of Congress and the first African American to hold the job. There have only been 13 librarians before her, the last being James H. Billington, 87, who was nominated by then President Ronald Reagan.
2. She’s an actual librarian.
That would seem obvious, right? Well, James H. Billington was an academic who studied Russian. The Librarian before him, Daniel Boorstin, was a historian. It’s been over 40 years since a real librarian, Lawrence Quincy Mumford, held the position.
3. Carla will bring the Library of Congress into the future!
Her biggest task when she officially starts the job? Carla will have to head the Library of Congress’s IT and digitization efforts. “It’s critical that the Library of Congress regain its leadership in showing how a library can digitize collections, make things available on line, and also preserve the items as well,” she told USA Today.
She also said that the Library of Congress is working to partner with the Digital Public Library of America. “Some of the items from the Library of Congress are already available, but to be a full partner would be a significant step and so I can’t wait to be the librarian that signs that paper.”
4. She’s a privacy advocate.
While the head of the American Library Association (from 2003-2004) she went up against then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, 74, over the PATRIOT Act’s surveillance of citizen’s library records. “Libraries are a cornerstone of democracy—where information is free and equally available to everyone,” she told Ms. Magazine in 2003. “People tend to take that for granted, and they don’t realize what is at stake when that is put at risk.”
5. There’s one book that she likes best.
“My favorite book goes back to childhood, Bright April, by Marguerite de Angeli,” she told USA Today. “She was a wonderful illustrator-author who did a series of books right after the war to promote cultural understanding about children from different cultures. She did an Amish girl; she did a Polish girl. And she did a young African American girl, Bright April. Years later, as a children’s librarian, I realized children need to see themselves reflected in books. Books can be mirrors, and they can be windows.”
What do you think about the new Library of Congress, HollywoodLifers?