By Pat Warren

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Enoch Pratt Library CEO Carla Hayden clears her first Senate confirmation hearing. Dr. Hayden is President Obama’s nominee to librarian of Congress.

Political reporter Pat Warren explains what happens next.

The questioning by Senate committee members lasted about an hour, but written statements are still being accepted.

Dr. Carla Hayden sat before the Senate committee, flanked by Maryland senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin and the additional support of former Maryland U.S. senator Paul Sarbanes.

Dr. Hayden told the committee the library has been her life.

“My love and passion for reading and books started at a very early age when my mother, who is here today, helped me check out a book, Bright April, the story of an African-American girl with pigtails from a storefront branch in Queens,” said Dr. Hayden.

If confirmed, Carla Hayden will be the first African-American and the first woman to head the Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest cultural institution created to promote scholarship.

Her leadership got attention in D.C. during the unrest last year.

“Your libraries became safe havens when schools were closed, when local businesses were closed, when government offices were closed,” said Sen. Roy Blunt.

Dr. Hayden has been at Enoch Pratt Library over 20 years.

“Her nomination is bittersweet. It will be a great, great gain for the nation, but it will be a loss for Baltimore,” said Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Until she brings the Library of Congress here.

“As more of its resources are readily available for more people online, users will not have to be in Washington, D.C. Everyone will have a sense of ownership and pride in this national treasure,” said Hayden.

Dr. Hayden has said nothing publicly about her nomination until Wednesday.

The committee will accept written statements about the nomination through Friday.

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