Carla Hayden: New Librarian Of Congress Ponders Challenges Ahead, Her Legacy at Enoch Pratt | WYPR

Carla Hayden: New Librarian Of Congress Ponders Challenges Ahead, Her Legacy at Enoch Pratt

Aug 15, 2016

Carla Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library since 1993, is the 14th Librarian of Congress.
Credit photo courtesy Baltimore Sun

Carla Hayden, who has led Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library for nearly a quarter-century, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13 as President Obama's pick to be the 14th Librarian of Congress.  When she is sworn in, Ms. Hayden will be the first woman, the first African-American - and only the third professional librarian - to hold the esteemed position, whose mission is to curate and champion the nation's literary treasures.

In her first interview since being confirmed as the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden joins Tom in the studio to reflect on her long career heading Baltimore's public library system, and to describe the digital conversion and public awareness projects she hopes to tackle first in her new job at the Library of Congress.

At the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Hayden managed 500 employees and a $40 million budget. The Library of Congress has more than 3,000 employees and a budget of $618 million. 

The Library of Congress, a resource for lawmakers, federal agencies and the public, has a collection of more than 162 million items and adds 12,000 each day. Headquartered in the elegant Jefferson Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the library houses the largest rare-book collection in North America, the papers of 23 presidents, and two manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address.

In her first interview since being confirmed as the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden joins Tom in the studio to reflect on her long career heading Baltimore's public library system, and to describe the digital conversion and public awareness projects she hopes to tackle first in her new job at the Library of Congress.