Carla D. Hayden, the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library since 1993, was confirmed by the Senate to head the Library of Congress. (Baltimore Sun video)
Carla D. Hayden, the longtime CEO of Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library system in Baltimore, is to be sworn in as the 14th librarian of Congress by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Sept. 14, the Library of Congress said Friday.
The 64-year-old Cross Keys woman was nominated by President Barack Obama in February and confirmed by the Senate in July to lead the nation's largest library. She will be the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post.
Hayden came to Baltimore in 1993. She is credited with advancing technology at the 22-branch Enoch Pratt system, boosting the number of computers available to patrons and rapidly expanding the library's electronic book collection when e-reader technology was still in its infancy. She has overseen the first major renovation of Baltimore's 83-year-old central library on Cathedral Street.
The Library of Congress, which serves lawmakers, federal agencies and the public, boasts a collection of more than 162 million items and adds 12,000 each day. It houses the largest rare-book collection in North America, the papers of 23 presidents, and two manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address.
At the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Hayden has managed 500 employees and a $40 million budget. The Library of Congress has more than 3,000 employees and a budget of $618 million.
Hayden came to Baltimore after rising to the No. 2 position at the Chicago Public Library. It was in Chicago that she became acquainted with the Obamas.
Her swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for 12 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. Scheduled to join her are House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Roy Blunt, who chairs the Senate committee that advanced her confirmation, and Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland.
The event is closed to the public, but is to be live-streamed on the Library of Congress YouTube channel.
Hayden is to succeed James H. Billington, a Ronald Reagan appointee who retired last fall after 28 years on the job. Obama signed legislation last year that limits the term of librarians to 10 years, ending the practice of lifetime appointments.
The board of trustees of the Enoch Pratt Free Library last month named Gordon Krabbe acting CEO while it conducts a nationwide search for a permanent replacement for Hayden. Krabbe has served as chief operating officer of the Pratt since 1989.