Dr. Carla D. Hayden may become the first woman, and the first African-American, to head up the Library of Congress.
Hayden has “overseen the modernization and expansion” of Baltimore libraries since 1993, when she became chief executive of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. In 1995, she became the first African-American to be awarded Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year, for her extensive teen outreach program at the Pratt Free Library. One of her most notable programs was a community center where students could get help with homework and college and career counseling. She also pioneered “free interactive programs” to make STEM more accessible to Baltimore teens. She’s been working in libraries since 1973, and was previously chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library.
Hayden also garnered national attention for her advocacy against anti-privacy laws as the president of the American Library Association, from 2003 to 2004.
If you’re still not convinced of Hayden’s librarian badassery, just watch this video she posted on President Obama’s Facebook page, where she explains the importance of inclusivity and community in libraries.