New Librarian of Congress and Cuban-Americans

Carla Hayden, shown in 2015, was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday to head the Library of Congress. Hayden is the longtime leader of Baltimore's library system

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Dr. Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress.

Dr. Carla Hayden, president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2003-2004, refused to support an amendment to the section of the final report on the proceedings of the ALA’s mid-winter meeting to help free ten librarians that Fidel Castro had imprisoned for making available such documents as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and George Orwell’s 1984.

It is noticeable that Dr. Hayden was a vocal opponent to the Patriot Act during her tenure as ALA president, leading a battle for the protections of library users’ privacy. She objected to the special permissions contained in Section 215 of that law, which granted the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI the power to access library user records. Dr. Hayden often disagreed publicly with then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft over the language of the law.

It is ironic that Dr. Hayden would not side with the ten Cuban librarians who were locked up by Fidel for circulating access to information to the Cuban people.


2 thoughts on “New Librarian of Congress and Cuban-Americans”

  1. Does the Congressional Black Caucus have any problem at all with this appointment? No? Didn’t think so. Move along. Oh, and there’s nothing ironic here, just the brazen hypocrisy which has always been “normal” and officially approved when it comes to Cuba.

  2. There is irony and lack of logic in Dr. Hayden’s past demeanor towards the restoration of freedom & democracy to Cuba. There is also hypocrisy in that Dr. Hayden’s past actions reveal a willingness to look the other way at regimes that deny their citizens the most fundamental human rights. Past discrimination against the LGBT community and racial minorities in Communist Cuba are relegated to positions of less importance because what becomes critical is supporting regimes that stand up to the United States. These people are not much different than Iranian mullahs who call the United States “the big Satan.” The Library of Congress is one of the federal agencies where Hispanics are most underrepresented. The Library’s previous Librarian of Congress was fully aware of this anomaly. He tried to fight it with just words rather than with actions and accountability. I don’t think that this environment will improve much with Dr. Hayden at the helm.

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