What Does the Librarian of Congress Read Anyway?

Kristen Twardowski

Carla_Hayden Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, via the Library of Congress

I’m tempted to say that librarians read everything, but of course that isn’t true. Like everyone else, librarians have their own book preferences, and there simply isn’t time to read everything. Discovering the differences in how people read makes The New York Times’s recent interview with Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress, especially interesting.

In its „By the Book“ feature, The Times regularly talks to famous people, literary and otherwise, about books and reading. Just a few of their recent interviewees have included Al Franken, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Roxane Gay, Zadie Smith, and Marina Abramovic among others.

But the Hayden interview is special.

In particular, I love Hayden’s discussion of what her relationship to reading was like as a child. She told The Times,

„I was a voracious reader. I was the daughter of musicians and…

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