In February 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Carla D. Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, for the open Librarian of Congress position. In the library’s 216-year history, there have been only 13 Librarians of Congress. Information Today brought this interesting news to our attention in their article, “The Next Librarian of Congress: History Has Its Eyes on Her.”

Few people know that much like supreme court justices, this position was offered for life until just recently when legislation changed it to renewable terms of 10 years. Also rarely known is that none of the former librarians were actual librarians, although two did have library experience. Not so surprising was the fact that they have all been men. This is the first time that a true librarian and a woman has been nominated for this position.

The American Library Association (ALA) supported the nomination by stating “the Library of Congress has never needed more the unique combination of character, acumen and humanity that Dr. Carla Hayden is so professionally, intellectually and personally qualified to offer that great institution. We urge her earliest possible approval by the Rules Committee and rapid confirmation by the Senate.”

Melody K. Smith

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