BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore has made history. Dr. Carla Hayden has been confirmed as the 14th Librarian of Congress by the Senate.
“The thing that will really keep me going throughout the rest of my career is the fact that in Baltimore, the library mattered to people’s lives,” Dr. Hayden said.
Dr. Hayden will be the first woman and African-American to lead the Library of Congress, and Baltimore is proud.
“I think that’s an awesome accolade for a person to be commemorated from the president,” said Teonya Lewis.
“I think it’s awesome that someone who is local is going to be taking such an important position,” said Erin Dowd.
“She’s been so proactive in terms of trying to make certain that everyone culturally has been represented within the library,” said Mary Jane McGill.
Dr. Hayden has worked at the Pratt Library for the last 23 years. In that time period, she is credited with making it accessible to more people.
“When most library systems were kind of like, ‘Oh, what are we going to do about e-readers and e-books?’ She embraced it and made sure the Pratt Library had its own Pratt e-library,” said Roswell Encina, Enoch Pratt Free Library.
Dr. Hayden spearheaded several library construction and renovation projects in her decades there.
“One of our architects said, ‘Carla, this building is going to get a heart and lung transplant with a little Botox,'” said Hayden.
Now she will be bringing her passion to the nation’s capital.
“People might not realize that the Library of Congress is America’s library — it’s the national library — and it holds all of the books that have ever been printed in the United States,” Hayden said.
It has not been announced when Dr. Hayden will leave Baltimore for D.C., but the Pratt Library has already started a national search for a new CEO.
In a post on Facebook in which he announced her nomination earlier this year, President Barack Obama said, “Michelle and I have known Carla since her days working at the Chicago Public Library, and her dedication to learning and education is unparalleled.”