“The President could not have made a better choice": ALA comments on the pending nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden for Librarian of Congress

For Immediate Release
Wed, 02/24/2016


Nancy Gravatt
Press Officer
Washington Office
ALA Washington

Washington, D.C. – President Obama announced today his intent to nominate Dr. Carla Hayden, a former president of the American Library Association (ALA) and the current Chief Executive Officer of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland as the 14th Librarian of Congress.  Commenting on the announcement, ALA President Sari Feldman said:

“The President could not have made a better choice. Hats off to President Obama for nominating Dr. Hayden, a professional librarian uniquely positioned with the leadership and management skills and understanding of digital technology to make the Library of Congress the preeminent national library in the world, highly-valued by and serving all Americans as a treasured resource.  We look forward to working closely with her to further librarians’ bedrock principle that all Americans everywhere deserve and must have equitable access to the information that they need to succeed and lead productive lives in the digital age.”

Dr. Hayden, who served as President of ALA from 2003 to 2004, would be the first woman and first African American Librarian of Congress.  She is a veteran of the Chicago Public Library.

Dr. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed by the Senate in June 2010.  Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Dr. Hayden was Deputy Commissioner and Chief Librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993.  She was an Assistant Professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991.  Dr. Hayden was Library Services Coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987.  She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the Young Adult Services Coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a Library Associate and Children’s Librarian from 1973 to 1979.  Dr. Hayden was President of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004.  In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an afterschool center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling.  Dr. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.