The Baltimore Sun has reported that “the longtime leader of Baltimore’s public library system was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday to head the Library of Congress, despite concerns from some conservative lawmakers about her opposition to a law intended to limit access to pornography.
Carla D. Hayden, the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library since 1993, will become the first woman and the first African American to oversee the nation’s largest library. Hayden was nominated by President Barack Obama in February, and was confirmed by the Senate on a 74–18 vote.
“She moved the Enoch Pratt into the digital age,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat. “She’s a transformational leader.”
Despite politically sensitive challenges facing the 216-year-old library — including criticism that it has not kept pace with technology — Hayden’s nomination initially was uncontroversial. Republicans and Democrats applauded her appointment, she sailed through her confirmation hearing in April and was unanimously approved by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration last month…
The 63-year-old Cross Keys woman was widely credited with advancing technology at the 22-branch Enoch Pratt system, itself a historic institution. 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.
“It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Baltimore for 23 years and help restore the Enoch Pratt Free Library as a world-renowned institution,” 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 will succeed James H. Billington, a Ronald Reagan appointee who retired last fall after 28 years on the job. Obama signed legislation last year to limit the term of librarians to 10 years, ending the practice of lifetime appointments.
Hayden will be the 14th librarian of Congress…”