Carla Hayden, in a January 2015 file image, was confirmed by the Senate on July 13, 2016, to head the Library of Congress.
Dave Munch/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images

Baltimore's Carla Hayden will officially head the Library of Congress after being confirmed with a U.S. Senate vote of 74-18 Wednesday, USA Today reports.

Hayden, the chief executive officer of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library system, makes history as both the first black American and the first woman to take up the mantle of librarian of Congress.


As USA Today notes, Hayden is credited with keeping Baltimore's library system up to par, and drew praise last year when she kept the city's libraries open despite sweeping unrest caused by the police-custody death of Freddie Gray.

According to the news site, Hayden will be the 14th librarian of Congress—responsible for the care and sharing of 162 million items within the Library of Congress' collection—and will be the first librarian to hold the title in six decades.


"I look forward to working with the dedicated staff of the Library of Congress," Hayden said in a statement Wednesday. "I will be honored to build on the legacy and accomplishments of my predecessors in this position, to be part of a continuing movement to open the treasure chest that is the Library of Congress even further, and to make it a place that can be found and used by anyone."


Hayden has been credited with keeping the 130-year-old Pratt system up-to-speed technologically since joining the system in 1993, USA Today notes. According to the Baltimore Sun, she increased the number of computers available to people in the library and expanded the library's e-book collection, among other works.

Hayden, who served as president of the American Library Association 2003-2004, has had such an impact that when President Barack Obama nominated her for the position in February, the ALA stood firmly behind her confirmation, even creating a social media campaign using the hashtag #Hayden4LOC, USA Today reports.


"There is no doubt that Dr. Hayden will have a positive impact by leading efforts to establish a more modern approach to serving members of Congress, researchers and the public at large," ALA President Julie Todaro said in a statement. "Hayden holds a profound understanding of the integral role libraries play in formal education, community-based learning and the promotion of individual opportunity and community progress."

Read more at USA Today and the Baltimore Sun.