Carla Hayden

Library of Congress aims for ambitious transformation
Three projects will cost $60 million in public and private dollars

The Library of Congress has an ambitious plan to overhaul the visitor experience. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Library of Congress is preparing a massive overhaul of the Capitol Hill flagship Thomas Jefferson Building funded through a private-public partnership that aims to “transform the visitor experience” of the library and highlight “treasures” from the massive collection.

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden unveiled renderings of the proposed changes to lawmakers in March, along with a progress report on funding efforts. The project includes an “enhanced orientation experience” to welcome visitors to the library and a youth center.

Library of Congress Tees Up Strategic Changes
Inspector general says institution has not followed through on previous plans

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said the institution would do a better job planning and executing as a knowledge base. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Library of Congress is looking into the future and is on track to release a five-year strategic plan in October. The agency, which has struggled with management and planning in the past, updated lawmakers on their progress on Wednesday.

The library will embark on a mission to focus on its users and providing improved services for the 1.8 million people who visit the library in person and more than 300 million digital users each year.

Black History and America’s Capitol

This February, Black History Month marks its 41st year as a monthlong tradition. Explore the history of this reflective and celebratory time with lawmakers and other Capitol Hill figures who discuss the intersection of black history and the U.S. Capitol building and its surrounding city.

First African-American, Female Librarian of Congress Sworn In
Carla Hayden is also the first librarian with a limited term.

Carla Hayden, newly sworn-in librarian of Congress, hugs House Speaker Paul D. Ryan as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. signs the oath he administered after a ceremony in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Carla Hayden officially made history at midday on Wednesday, becoming the first woman and first African-American librarian of Congress.

Hayden was sworn in as the 14th head of the 216-year-old institution at a time when the library is transitioning into the digital age. In recent years, its technology and modernization efforts have come under criticism from Congress and the Government Accountability Office. 

Committee Approves Librarian of Congress Nominee
Carla Hayden would be the first woman and African-American to lead Library

Carla D. Hayden, President Barack Obama's nominee to the Library of Congress, at a Senate hearing in April. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Carla D. Hayden is one step closer to becoming the first African-American and woman to head the Library of Congress.  

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee approved Hayden's nomination by voice vote Thursday. Chairman Roy Blunt of Missouri said he expects her nomination to move to the floor this month.