Dr. Carla Hayden: Inside the Library of Congress

When the Library of Congress (LoC) was authorized in 1800, its first collection consisted of 740 books and three maps. Today, located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. Housing about 173 million items and employing more than 3,000 employees, the LoC is led by Dr. Carla Hayden, the first woman and first Black librarian of Congress. She assumed her position on September 14, 2016. and is only the 14th person to hold this position in 221 years.

Serving as the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and housing the U.S. Copyright Office, the LoC gets direct appropriations from Congress to fund its work. But it also receives gifts and private donations that support a broad range of activities by the library, including hundreds of projects that have been supported by the James Madison Council's philanthropic members.

Find out about this important national institution, how it works, why it receives hundreds of thousands of in-person visitors and more than 150 million online visitors a year, and the role it plays in a knowledge-based society. Join us for an inside look at the nation's library.


Hayden photo by Shawn Miller.

Image - Carla Hayden

Carla Hayden

Ph.D., Librarian of Congress; Twitter @LibnOfCongress

Image - Sakurako Fisher

In Conversation with Sakurako Fisher

Co-founder, O2 Initiatives; Member, Library of Congress James Madison Council