The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously this afternoon to recommend that the full Senate approve the nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to serve as the nation’s next, first female, first African American and just fourteenth Librarian of Congress in history. As the Committee’s vote was announced, ALA launched a large-scale grassroots and social media campaign to encourage all Senators to support her confirmation, and to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to schedule a Senate vote on her nomination immediately.
In a statement released immediately after the Committee’s vote, ALA president Sari Feldman said: “Once confirmed, she will be the perfect Librarian to pilot the Library of Congress fully into the 21st century, transforming it again into the social and cultural engine of progress and democracy for all Americans that it was meant to be.” Feldman then called upon Dr. Hayden’s supporters “in every corner of the nation” to use “ALA’s Legislative Action Center to contact every Senator — whether by email, tweet or phone — with this simple message: Please confirm Dr. Carla Hayden now!” Given the Rules Committee’s strong endorsement, and the absence of any public opposition to her nomination, that vote easily could come before the Senate takes its extended summer recess in mid-July, and quite possibly before the fast-approaching Independence Day recess beginning July 1st. That means there’s no time to lose to show your support for librarianship and Dr. Hayden.
Fortunately, contacting your two U.S. Senators by emailing, tweeting or phoning them couldn’t be easier. Just access ALA’s Legislative Action Center, choose your preferred method of communicating, and follow the few easy prompts. (You’ll also find more background on Dr. Hayden and the history of the Librarian’s position at the Action Center, and here, if you like.)
Once confirmed, Dr. Hayden — a past-President of ALA — will be the first professional librarian to be named Librarian of Congress in over 60 years. Don’t hide your pride! Please, take action now — and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same — to make that a historic reality very soon.