Carla Hayden was officially sworn in yesterday as the 14th Librarian of Congress, the first woman, and the first African American to ever hold the post.
The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, with Hayden using the same bible used to swear in Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, which was held by her mother, Colleen Hayden. House Speaker Paul Ryan was also on hand.
In remarks, Hayden acknowledged the historic nature of her appointment.
“As a descendant of people who were denied the right to read, to now have the opportunity to serve and lead the institution that is our national symbol of knowledge, is a historic moment,” Hayden said, She went on to call the Library “one of the greatest gifts and legacies the Congress has given to the American people,” and, noting that her ceremony was being streamed live, said she was “overwhelmed with the possibilities” offered by technology.
"The Library of Congress, a historic reference source for Congress, an established place for scholars, can also be a place where we grow scholars,” Hayden said, “where we inspire young authors, where we connect with those individuals outside the limits of Washington and help them make history themselves."
Hayden succeeds Acting Librarian David S. Mao, who has served as interim librarian since the Sept. 30, 2015 retirement of former Librarian James H. Billington. She is the first Librarian of Congress to be term-limited, serving a 10 year term, although she can be reappointed.
She was confirmed by Congress in July, after Senate leaders ignored anonymous holds placed by a handful of conservative GOP senators and allowed a confirmation vote.