"In the past, presidential nominations tended to focus on patronage and vague qualifications, and the role did not require that the librarian have served as a professional librarian at any time. Former Librarians of Congress carried out what was, in effect, a lifetime term. As a result, the the institution has only had 13 leaders in its 216-year-long history. That recently changed when Congress passed a bill limiting the term of the Librarian of Congress to 10 years. Hayden had to undergo a confirmation hearing and political gridlock before being confirmed to the position by a 74-18 vote, McGlone reports. Just what does her post entail? In short, she’ll be responsible for overseeing the nation’s largest cultural institution, but her job will have other perks (and challenges). Not only does the Librarian of Congress name the nation’s Poet Laureate, but she oversees the Copyright Office, makes critical exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, oversees the National Recording Registry and National Film Registry and serves as the public face of books in the United States. It’s a tall order—but one that America’s newest Librarian of Congress seems enthused to take on. Hayden tells Fritze that she looks forward to opening “the treasure chest that is the Library of Congress even further and [making] it a place that can be found and used by everyone.”"
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Meet Your New Librarian of Congress; Smithsonian.com, 7/14/16
Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian.com; Meet Your New Librarian of Congress: Carla Hayden will make history as the first African-American in the role—and the first woman: