Carla Hayden Confirmed As First Woman, African-American Librarian of Congress

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Senate on Wednesday confirmed Carla D. Hayden to serve as the first African-American and the first woman to lead the Library of Congress.

Hayden, who now leads Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, will serve a 10-year, renewal term, under term limits set by Congress. The confirmation vote was 74-18.

“I look forward to working with the dedicated staff of the Library of Congress,” Hayden said in a statement. “I will be honored to build on the legacy and accomplishments of my predecessors in this position, to be part of a continuing movement to open the treasure chest that is the Library of Congress even further and to make it a place that can be found and used by everyone.”

Hayden fills a vacancy left by former Librarian James H. Billington, who retired in January after a 29-year tenure in which he came under fire for a host of technology failures.

Hayden is the 14th librarian of Congress.

President Barack Obama, who nominated Hayden in February, said he knew he and first lady Michelle Obama knew the librarian from her time at the Chicago Public Library, where she worked from 1973 to 1981 and again from 1991 to 1993.

Read more about Hayden and her appointment at Library of Congress.