Carla Hayden has an audacious plan to make Library of Congress available to you online
Hayden, the 14th person to steward the Library, wants to "throw open the treasure chest" by digitizing its vast collection and making it accessible online. The five-year plan's understated name -- Enriching the Library Experience -- doesn't capture its scope. Hayden wants people to engage with everything from the letters of Abraham Lincoln to early-edition Batman comics.
Established in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest cultural institution in the country. It houses the largest collection of photographs, maps, comic books and Bibles in the world. The shelving alone runs 826 miles, and that stores just some of its 170 million items, including 68 million manuscripts, 6.5 million pieces of music and more than 3.4 million recordings.
Hayden is both the first woman and the first African American to oversee the institution. She's also one of just three Librarians of Congress to have a professional background in the field of library sciences. (Other people to hold the post have been scholars, historians, lawyers and authors.)