On Wednesday, Carla Hayden made history when she was sworn in as the United States’14th librarian of Congress. Unlike her 13 predecessors, all of whom have been white men, she’s the first African American and woman to hold such a prestigious position.
Hayden is also the third Librarian of Congress to actually have training as a librarian. She was nominated last year by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to head the Library of Congress.
The librarian of Congress oversees the world’s largest library system. The 216-year-old library has professional staff that assist Congress in the research it needs in order to pass bills. It also oversees the US copyright system, names the poet laureate, and preserves historical documents and books. Carla Hayden will serve a 10-year term, a change from her predecessors, for whom the position was considered a lifetime appointment.