Carla Hayden Becomes 1st Black Librarian of Congress

The first black, and first female, librarian of Congress was sworn in Sept. 14.

Carla Hayden in January 2015
Carla Hayden in January 2015 Dave Munch/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

On Sept. 14, the Library of Congress made history as Carla Hayden became the first black—and first female—librarian of the world’s largest library, the GED Section reports. Hayden was sworn in by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts.

“To be the first female librarian of Congress speaks to what Melvil Dewey said when he started the Library Association in 1876 and decided that women might be good for the profession because—and I love this quote—they had a high tolerance for pain and monotonous work, and that it was time to let women into the profession of librarianship because there was a lot of work to be done,” Hayden said, according to the GED Section.

Hayden was nominated for the position in February by President Barack Obama but was not confirmed for the role until July after being stalled in the Senate. The final vote for confirmation was 74-18, the GED Section reports.

“Michelle and I have known Dr. Carla Hayden for a long time, since her days working at the Chicago Public Library,” Obama said when she was nominated. “And I am proud to nominate her to lead our nation’s oldest federal institution as our 14th librarian of Congress.”

Read more at the GED Section.

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