Press Release

February 24, 2016
Cardin, Mikulski Applaud President Obama’s Nomination of Enoch Pratt Library Director Dr. Carla Hayden to Serve as Next Librarian of Congress

WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today applauded President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to serve as the next Librarian of Congress in Washington, D.C. Since 1993, Dr. Hayden has served as the Director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. In October, Senators Cardin and Mikulski wrote to President Obama in support of her nomination. A copy of that letter is available here.


“For more than two decades, Dr. Carla Hayden has overseen one of the crown jewels of Baltimore, the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Dr. Hayden is a cultural treasure to our city and a long-time defender of the free flow of information. I was proud to recommend her to President Obama for a groundbreaking nomination to become the next Librarian of Congress. In the best tradition of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, which was established ‘for all, rich and poor without distinction of race or color’, the eminently qualified Dr. Hayden will become the first woman and the first African American to serve as the Librarian of Congress in its 216-year history,” said Senator Cardin. “Besides being headquartered in one of the most beautiful buildings in our Nation’s Capital, the Library of Congress was America’s first established cultural institution and is the largest library in the world. While the loss will be a great one for Baltimore City, I look forward to introducing Dr. Hayden to my colleagues and to welcoming her as our Nation’s top librarian.”


“I’m proud to have recommended Dr. Hayden to President Obama to serve as our next Librarian of Congress, and look forward to her confirmation by the Senate,” Senator Mikulski said. “Dr. Hayden has brought knowledge and truth to our communities, helping the leaders of today blaze trails and forge the way to the future. She has done a great service to Baltimore families, leading the way as Enoch Pratt Libraries light up the way for so many with knowledge. For more than 20 years, Dr. Hayden has honored the spirit of Enoch Pratt and his libraries, as a champion for causes of civil liberties and freedom of information. She has been a fighter for the freedom of all library users, no matter your age, race, religion or zip code, to be able to explore and learn. Baltimore’s loss of Dr. Hayden would be Congress and the nation’s gain.”


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 after school 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.


In the next steps of the process, Dr. Hayden’s nomination goes to the Rules Committee for consideration and then to the full Senate for a vote.