Roosevelt University alumna Carla D. Hayden is the new head of the Library of Congress. After being nominated by President Barack Obama, she was confirmed by the United States Senate in July 2016 and is serving a 10-year term.
Hayden received a BA degree in political science from Roosevelt in 1973 and also holds masters and doctoral degrees in library science from the University of Chicago’s Graduate Library School.
She is the first woman and the first African-American to head the nation’s largest library, which has a 160-million-item collection. The library houses the largest rare-book collection in North America, the papers of 23 presidents, and two manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address.
Hayden began her professional career in Chicago as a children’s librarian. In 1991, she was appointed second-in-command of the Chicago Public Library. Two years later she was appointed CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.
During her 23-year career in Baltimore, Hayden, 63, was widely credited with advancing technology at the 22-branch Enoch Pratt system. She boosted the number of computers available to patrons and rapidly expanded the library's electronic book collection when e-reader technology was still in its infancy.
In addition to her leadership role in the Baltimore public library system, Hayden has also served as president of the American Library Association and made history in 1995 as the first African-American to be named Librarian of the Year by Library Journal.
"Dr. Hayden has been a cultural treasure to our city and a longtime, passionate defender of America's libraries," said Maryland Senator Ben Cardin. "In the case of Dr. Hayden's historic confirmation, Baltimore's loss is America's gain."