This week, we’re joined by the current Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. And what an honor it was. Dr. Hayden was nominated to the position by President Obama and was sworn in on September 14, 2016. She’s only the 14th Librarian of Congress since 1802, but her role is made even more historic because she’s the first woman AND the first African American to hold the position. On top of that, she’s the first professional librarian to do the job in more than 60 years.
Prior to the Library of Congress, Dr. Hayden served as the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore—a role that swept her into the headlines during the unrest that consumed the city following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015. During her tenure in Baltimore, she was also the president (from 2003-2004) of the American Library Association.
Yeah, she’s kind of a big deal.
On this episode, we talk to Dr. Hayden about her appointment to the position, her decision to keep the libraries open during the violence in Baltimore, her resistance to the Patriot Act in 2001, how a change in administrations affects her job and the Library as a whole, current and upcoming pop-culture events at the Library, and collaborating with the National Archives. Plus, we find out if she prefers Chicago- or New York-style pizza.