October 27, 2021

NY Times: “Many Choices for Obama in Replacing Billington at Library of Congress”

Michael Shear at The NY Times shares a roundup of some of the people, “already being mentioned by other librarians, researchers and scholars,” to replace Dr. James Billington as Librarian of Congress.

Of course, the final decision about who to nominate is in the hands of President Obama. Then, the U.S. Senate needs to confirm (or not) the nominee.

The librarians and/or people with library leadership experience mentioned in the article are listed below. Each name is linked to a bio.

  • Paul Courant, Former University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, University of Michigan
  • David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States & Former Director of NYPL
  • Carla Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore & Former President of ALA
  • Anthony W. Marx, President of the New York Public Library
  • Amy Ryan,  President of the Boston Public Library (Recently Resigned)
  • Sarah Thomas, Vice President for the Harvard Library

The article also includes the names of several other people that do not have a library degree or leadership experience.

ALA President Courtney Young is quoted in the article.

Of course, this article mentions the names of only a few of the many that should be considered.

Finally, in our post about Dr. Billington’s retirement on June 1oth we included some introductory “fast facts” about the Librarian of Congress position including:

  • Only 2 of the 13 people who have held the Librarian of Congress position had library leadership experience and/or a library science degree
  • There has never been a female Librarian of Congress
  • A library leadership “coincidence” involving former Librarian of Congress,  Herbert Putnam and Amy Ryan

We also share a bit about what’s next in the process.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.