Carla Hayden to Receive the 2018 Newberry Library Award

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The Newberry is pleased to announce that the 2018 Newberry Library Award will go to Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, for her outstanding contributions to the humanities and to the field of librarianship.

Deeply committed to the spirit of public service that defines her profession, Hayden has consistently strived to expand users’ access to information. In addition, she has been a leader in helping libraries evolve intelligently in the digital age, promoting digital literacy, community engagement, and new ways of interacting with readers and other users in person and online.

"Throughout her career, Carla Hayden has championed the timeless ideals of library service, while encouraging libraries to adapt to the changing needs of their communities and users,"said Newberry President David Spadafora. "As Librarian of Congress, she is now pursuing a mission that we at the Newberry closely identify with: preserving and continuing to assemble a rich cultural heritage, and making it both accessible and usable in myriad ways to a wide variety of audiences.”

"It is an honor to receive the Newberry Award from the library that has given me and many others rich opportunities academically and personally," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "Several years ago, I returned home and accompanied two teen-age girls to the library and I witnessed the power the Newberry has on young minds. They were engaged and immersed themselves in the collection. The library's ability to inspire and foster learning is a testament to the legacy of Walter Newberry."

In September 2016, Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress, becoming the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. Prior to her current appointment, Hayden served from 1993 as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. Prior to that, she was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library, where she had earlier launched her career, in 1973, as a library associate and children’s librarian. She has longstanding interest and expertise in children’s literature and in children’s use of libraries.

Hayden’s association with Chicago runs deep, and includes her undergraduate degree from Roosevelt University, her doctoral degree from the University of Chicago, and her five years at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Hayden has also served on the Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the federal agency that provides grants, awards, and guidance to the nation's museums and libraries.

Since its centennial year in 1987, the Newberry has presented the Newberry Library Award to distinguished individuals and organizations. Recent recipients include Martin Marty, scholar of religion; Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer; David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Hayden will be presented with the 2018 Newberry Library Award during a ceremony and dinner on April 23. The 2018 Award Dinner is co-chaired by C.K. and Robert Wedgeworth and Sheli and Burt Rosenberg.

Learn about attending the 2018 Newberry Library Award Dinner.