UPDATE: The New Yorker has published a profile of Carla Hayden.
See: “Carla Hayden Takes Charge Of The World’s Largest Library”
The new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, was interviewed today on the PBS NewsHour by Jeffery Brown.
The video and a text transcript of the are available.
The video is also embedded below.
Here are a two exchanges from the interview.
JEFFREY BROWN: You have also been known as a privacy advocate, right? As the president of the American Library Association in 2003, you argued against some aspects of the Patriot Act.
Are you worried still about government surveillance of information, even what’s available at libraries, government watching what people read?
CARLA HAYDEN: Librarians were called during that time feisty fighters for freedom, and we were very proud of that label.
We were just concerned that, at that time, when people were rightfully concerned about national security, that there was a balance with a person’s right to know. Just because you’re interested in what jihad is doesn’t mean you intend to join.
JEFFREY BROWN: You look at the country today, and much discussion about the divisions, politically, culturally, economically. What can you do about it in your new position?
CARLA HAYDEN: Make information free for all.
Health information is just about the number one thing that people go into public libraries and connect to public libraries for. They’re also looking for information about things that can make their lives better. It’s a great equalizer.
So, there’s an opportunity for the Library of Congress to supplement what is happening and not happening in many public and school libraries.