Librarian of Congress to speak at Towson University

By Arthur Smith on March 5, 2020

Carla Hayden will highlight the relevance of information accessibility in the 21st century and share experiences from historic career.


Carla Hayden made history in 2016 when she was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress. Unlike her 13 predecessors, she is African American and a woman. She is also only the third librarian to hold the position.

Hayden will be the featured speaker at the annual Presidential Scholar Signature Forum on March 24, 4–6 p.m., at the Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts. This event is offered at no cost and is open to members of the TU community and the general public. Advanced registration is requested.

“It is my absolute honor to be part of Towson University’s Signature Forum and discuss the relevance of information accessibility in the 21st century,” says Hayden.

She has devoted her career to modernizing libraries and making information and resources more available.

As the Librarian of Congress, Hayden oversees the world’s largest library system. One of the main roles of the library is to assist Congress with research needs to pass legislation. It is also home of the U.S. Copyright Office and preserves historical documents and books. Hayden also names the poet laureate.

“In this fast-paced digital age, readers are constantly digesting information from various platforms. Librarians are known to be the very first search engines so I am dedicated to making resources and materials accessible and educating the public on using the most accurate information,” says Hayden.

Previously, Hayden served as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she was celebrated for her leadership and impact on the community. That’s one of the reasons forum host Nancy Grasmick, TU’s Presidential Scholar, felt Hayden’s expertise and experience was the right fit.

“Dr. Hayden is an incredible leader and has a national reputation that’s to be admired,” said Grasmick. “When she arrived in Baltimore, she rescued the Enoch Pratt library from a state of serious decline, focusing on exciting, new reading programs for children and adolescents and, for the first time, making computer access available to marginalized communities to search for employment opportunities. She truly is a Baltimore treasure.”

Following her presentation, Hayden will be joined on stage for a brief conversation on women in leadership with General Linda Singh, TU’s inaugural leader-in-residence; Deborah Nolan, dean of university libraries; and Joanna Morganelli, administrative assistance to the Women's Leadership Collective. An audience Q&A will follow.

Presidential Scholar Signature Forum with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden

March 24, 2020, 4-6 p.m.

Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall, Center for the Arts

Advanced registration is requested.


This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland, BTU, Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore, Diverse and Inclusive Campus, Culture of Philanthropy, Strategic Plan Alignment and TIGER Way.