Chicagoan named as Pratt's director


The Enoch Pratt Free Library has named Carla D. Hayden of Chicago to become the 11th director in the 106-year history of the Baltimore library system.

Dr. Hayden, 40, has been deputy director of the Chicago Public Library since 1991. She will assume the top job at the Pratt July 1, with a salary reportedly between $85,000 and $88,000.

"We made our choice Tuesday and she called [yesterday] to accept," said James A. Ulmer, president of the Pratt Board of Trustees, which unanimously approved Dr. Hayden for the job.

Dr. Hayden, who began her career as an entry-level librarian with her hometown library in Chicago, could not be reached for comment yesterday. The Pratt has been without a director since December, when Anna Curry retired after the trustees voted to fire her in August 1992. Mrs. Curry had been director of the Pratt since 1981.

Dr. Hayden holds a Ph.D in library science from the University of Chicago. She has a wide range of library experience, most of it in Chicago, where the city library has 80 neighborhood branches and a budget of $70 million.

"She's been able to work in the library community at all different levels," Mr. Ulmer said. "She was a children's librarian in Chicago. She started a library at the Museum of Science and xTC Industry in Chicago. She taught library science at the University of Pittsburgh and has been chief librarian at a system with a $150 million central library and [80] branches. And she's had substantial experience in fund raising."

Dr. Hayden's talent for keeping the books may prove more valuable to her than skills for lending books.

She will arrive in Baltimore to face budget problems that have beset the Pratt for more than a decade. The library is working to reopen the newly renovated Govans branch -- closed since March 1990 -- but doesn't have the money to operate it it full-time without cutting hours at two other neighborhood branches.

To open Govans without halving hours in Charles Village and Pimlico, Mr. Ulmer has asked Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke for $230,000 above Pratt's proposed $17.9 million budget for next year. As of yesterday, he didn't have an answer from City Hall.

"Dr. Hayden is acutely aware of our situation here," Pratt trustee Marsha Jews said. "She has experience in a real tough urban system and I think she's going to come here and make some hard, necessary changes."

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