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An Evening with the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden: The 2023 USC George Washington Leadership Lecture

Voyages…dans l’Amerique septentrionale dans les annees 1780, 1781, & 1782 by Chastellux. Volumes I and II (Paris: Prault, 1786). Purchased with funds provided by Karen Buchwald Wright, 2013

The annual George Washington Leadership Lecture explores the Father of our Country's lifelong accomplishments, providing a better understanding of him as a person, as well as his remarkable leadership, professional achievements, and lasting legacy.

This year's 10th anniversary event will feature a conversation with the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. 

A reception with complimentary beer, wine, and hors-d'œuvres will follow the lecture.


In PersonVirtual

This lecture series was established through a generous gift by Maribeth Borthwick '73, who also serves as the Vice Regent for California of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

This event is presented by the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the George Washington Presidential Library.

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The Importance of Libraries in our American Democracy

George Washington’s formal schooling ended by the time he was 15, but his pursuit of knowledge continued throughout his life. By the end of his life he had amassed a personal library of more than 1,200 books.

Born in the Age of Reason, he was part of a new generation of readers that had access to more information than ever before. He read to become a better soldier, farmer, and president; he corresponded with authors and friends in America and Europe; and he exchanged ideas that fed the ongoing agricultural, social, and political revolutions of his day.

Join Dr. Hayden for a conversation about the importance of libraries in our American Democracy.

About the Speaker

Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13.

Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed to that post by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Hayden was library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the young adult services coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a library associate and children’s librarian from 1973 to 1979.

Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.

This annual event is held in partnership with the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

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