Carla Hayden

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Carla Hayden
Carla Hayden.png
14th Librarian of Congress
Taking office
July 2016
President Barack Obama
Succeeding James H. Billington
Personal details
Born (1952-08-10) August 10, 1952 (age 63)
Tallahassee, Florida
Alma mater Roosevelt University
University of Chicago

Carla Diane Hayden (born August 10, 1952) is an American librarian and the Librarian of Congress. She was formerly the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, and president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2003 to 2004.[1][2] During her presidency, she was the leading voice of the ALA in speaking out against the newly passed United States Patriot Act.

On February 24, 2016, President Barack Obama nominated her to serve as the Librarian of Congress. The nomination was received by the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration.[3] On April 20, 2016, the Committee on Rules and Administration, chaired by Senator Roy Blunt with Charles E. Schumer as ranking member, held the confirmation hearing.[4][5] On July 13, 2016, she was confirmed by the Senate as Librarian of Congress.[6]

Life and career[edit]

Hayden was born in Tallahassee, Florida.[7] She is a graduate of Roosevelt University and received her master's and doctorate degrees in Library Science from the University of Chicago Graduate Library School.[8] She taught as an Assistant Professor of Library Science at the University of Pittsburgh before returning to Chicago to begin her professional career as a children's librarian at Chicago Public Library. She was appointed second-in-command at Chicago Public Library in 1991.[9] In 1993, she was appointed to the position of Director at Enoch Pratt Free Library.[9] She was honored as the national Librarian of the Year by Library Journal in 1995,[10] becoming the first African American to receive the prestigious award.[11] Hayden has twice given the Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture.[12]

External video
Meet President Obama's Nominee for Librarian of Congress, (3:46), The White House[13]
External video
Librarian of Congress Nominee Carla Hayden Confirmation Hearing, (1:01:03), C-SPAN[14]

As ALA President in 2003–2004, Hayden was vocal in her public opposition to the Patriot Act, leading a battle for the protections of library users' privacy. She especially objected to the special permissions contained in Section 215 of that law, which gave the Justice Department and the FBI the power to access library user records.[15] Hayden often sparred publicly with then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft over the language of the law. Ashcroft often ridiculed the library community, and stated that the ALA had been "misled into opposing provisions of the act that make it easier for FBI agents to fish through library records".[15] Hayden's response was immediate, stating that the ALA was "deeply concerned that the Attorney General would be so openly contemptuous" (to the library community), while also pointing out that librarians had been monitored and been under FBI surveillance as far back as the McCarthy Era. Hayden asserted that Ashcroft should release information as to the number of libraries that had been visited under the provisions of Section 215.[15]

Along with her objections of the Patriot Act, Hayden has done much in her career in outreach programs. As ALA President she wrote:" At a time when our public is challenged on multiple fronts, we need to recommit ourselves to the ideal of providing equal access to everyone, anywhere,anytime, and in any format. . . . By finally embracing equity of access we will be affirming our core values, recognizing realities, and assuring our future.[16]

One program she is notable for is for the outreach program she began at the Pratt Library. This outreach program included "an after school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling." Because of this, Hayden received Library Journal's Librarian of the Year Award.[17]

In January 2010, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Hayden as a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board and National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.

On February 24, 2016, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress. In a press release from the White House,[18] President Obama stated:

Michelle and I have known 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. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today's digital culture. She has the proven experience, dedication, and deep knowledge of our nation’s libraries to serve our country well and that’s why I look forward to working with her in the months ahead. If confirmed, Hayden would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue.

Hayden was subsequently confirmed by a 74-18 vote in the United States Senate on July 13, 2016.[6]

Fortune magazine ranked Hayden among the World's 50 greatest leaders in 2016.[19]

Hayden was named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal in 1995. Her commitment to equity of access was central to the honor.[20] As president of the American Library Association Hayden chose the theme "Equity of Access." [21]



Books and book chapters[edit]

  • Hayden, C. D. (2014). LEO the Maker Prince: Journeys in 3D printing. OCLC 865100009
  • Hayden, C. D. (1994). New approaches to Black recruitment. In Josey, E. J. (Ed.), The Black librarian in America revisited (55-64). Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press. OCLC 29519257
  • Hayden, C. D. (1992). Venture into cultures: A resource book of multicultural materials and programs. Chicago: American Library Association. OCLC 24953316
  • Hayden, C. D. (1993). A New Way of Thinking about Librarians. In Curry, E. (Ed.), Your Right to Know: The Call to Action/Your Right to Know: Librarians Make It Happen (34-37). Chicago: American Library Association. OCLC 28951031


  • Hayden, C. D. (2008). Free Is Our Middle Name. Unabashed Librarian, (146), 10-11.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2004). ALA President's Message: Building accessibility for all. American Libraries, 35(4), 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2004). ALA President's Message: Reaching Out to the Underserved. American Libraries, 35(3), 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2004). ALA President's Message: Advocacy from the Outside and from Within. American Libraries, 35(2), 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2004). ALA President's Message: Libraries Matter Because People Believe in Them. American Libraries, 35(1), 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2004). ALA President's Message: The Equity Struggle Must Continue. American Libraries, 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2004). ALA President's statement to Judiciary Committee. Newsletter On Intellectual Freedom, 53(1), 1-35.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2003). ALA President's Message: What Are Libraries For?. American Libraries, 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2003). ALA President's Message: Something for Everyone@ Your Library. American Libraries, 5-5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2003). Equity of Access—the Time Is Now. American Libraries, 34(7), 5.
  • Hayden, C. D. (2003). ALA reaffirms core values, commitment to members. Newsletter On Intellectual Freedom, 52(6), 219.
  • Hayden, C. D. (1991). Children and Computer Technology in American Libraries. Books by African-American authors and illustrators for children and young adults, 14.
  • Hayden, C. D. (1989). Public Library Services for Children Barbara T. Rollock. The Library, 59(3).
  • Hayden, C. D. (1989). Multicultural literature and library services for children: a continuing challenge for the new century. In International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Council and general conference. 55.
  • Hayden, C. D., & Raseroka, H. K. (1988). "The Good and the Bad: Two Novels of South Africa." Children's Literature Association Quarterly, 13(2), 57-60. doi 10.1353/chq.0.0619
  • Hayden, C. D. (1986). Literature for and about black adolescents. Illinois Libraries, 68, 372-374.
  • Hayden, C. D. (1985). Museum of science and industry library. Science & Technology Libraries, 6(1-2), 47-54.


  1. ^ ALA website
  2. ^ Carla Hayden Elected American Library Association President. Jet (Johnson Publishing Company). 2002-05-27. 
  3. ^ "PN1180 -- Nomination of Carla D. Hayden for Library of Congress, 114th Congress (2015-2016)". Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Librarian of Congress Nominee Carla Hayden Confirmation Hearing". Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Nomination of Dr. Carla D. Hayden, to be Librarian of Congress: Hearing before the Committee on Rules and Administration, Congress of the United States, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, Second Session, April 20, 2016. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Office. 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b McGlone, Peggy (July 13, 2016). "Carla Hayden confirmed as 14th Librarian of Congress". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Carla D. Hayden Biography". 
  8. ^ PhD dissertation: "A Frontier Of Librarianship: Services For Children In Museums." University of Chicago, 1987.
  9. ^ a b St. Lifer, E., & Rogers, M. (1993). Hayden leaves Chicago PL to head Enoch Pratt Free Lib. Library Journal, 118(10), 19. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
  10. ^ Berry, J. N. (1996). Carla D. Hayden, Enoch Pratt Free Library: Librarian of the year 1995. Library Journal, 121 36-38.
  11. ^ Gatewood, Tracey. (1996, February 3). She's top librarian in U.S. Afro-American Red Star, p. A1. Retrieved April 4, 2010, Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW). (Document ID: 507909941).
  12. ^ "Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture". American Library Association. American Library Association. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "Meet President Obama's Nominee for Librarian of Congress". The White House. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Librarian of Congress Nominee Carla Hayden Confirmation Hearing". C-SPAN. April 20, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c John N Berry III. (2003, October). The stuff of patriotism. Library Journal, 128(17), 8. Retrieved April 4, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 456699961).
  16. ^ Hayden, Carla D. as quoted in Introduction to Public Librarianship. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011, p.49.
  17. ^ ""The President could not have made a better choice": ALA comments on the pending nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden for Librarian of Congress | News and Press Center". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  18. ^ "President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Carla D. Hayden as Librarian of Congress". The White House. The White House, Office of the Press Secretary. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Geoff Colvin, "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders, Fortune March 24, 2016.
  20. ^ Berry, J. N. (1996). Carla D. Hayden, Enoch Pratt Free Library: Librarian of the year 1995. Library Journal, 12136-38.
  21. ^ “Serving the Demands of Democracy.” Threshold: Exploring the Future of Education (Winter 2004): 22-30).
  22. ^ American Library Association Lippincott Award: 2013
  23. ^ Women of the Year 2003: Carla Diane Hayden by Catherine Orenstein

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
James Billington
David S. Mao (Acting)
Librarian of Congress