Transcript for New Librarian of Congress Talks Significance of Maintaining One of the Largest Libraries in the World
Good morning I'm ABC's Alley broke in I'm here with doctor Carla he didn't. The new librarian of congress doctor even thank you so much for joining us it's an exciting time it is an exciting time and you're resume is so extensive and I want to get into all that but I want to first talk about. That fact that your appointment as the first. African American and the first woman Library of Congress huge milestone for the country for you personally he's home first of all about what that means to you. As a line. Berrian being the first woman Library of Congress is really significant because in our profession to humanize purpose 85%. Workforce is female. Very few of the top positions. Reflect that and so as alive or female like burn it's like wow here we are. And as an African Americans it's so it really touches me that. Hands from. Descended people who were denied their right to read in hearing. As an African American mean you know. The largest library in this country so that part really. Hit me especially at the swearing in my mom holding the Lincoln Bible. Journalists almost so. A really powerful moment I can't even imagine. I remember watching your swearing in and seeing you after. Justice Roberts had delivered had dug the oath with you and they sign you look around and taking all and can you describe what that moment was like for you. What I was looking at. We're hung up literally hundreds fall Library of Congress staff members. That we're on the mezzanine and the riches cheering and you could imagine starting a new position and here that people that you're going to be working with cheering dancing. Let's. A library. Asks that another moment. Actress artist's record. Yes absolutely. You're only the fourteenth. Library of Congress in history. Back in just the fact that there's only been thirteen other people in this role since 18118. To look and they're being different people at different times com Wal-Mart burn muscled warrior one was politician. When was an author and so in a couple of librarians thrown in there as well in Japan this continuity. Each library and doing something different. My ten year we'll probably have quite a bit technology. So started bleeding. As Library of Congress right after the swearing and and so I'm really pleased be. Our lives and what's your Twitter handle just and we can tell our viewers are related and it. Library and like we're OK so follow librarian of congress. At Library of Congress right and what's happening in and yes I'm discovery so much about 160. To me minds and it's each day. Going to different apartment and I. Think that's look what. Well let's hear your discovering and along with. Everybody else every and so things could agree. Absolutely I wanted to take a step back and talk about you're. The steps you took take to get here you started your career in the Chicago public library system. And I know you've got to know a certain. First family they weren't the first family and but I know that they the Obama family came through at that time you got to know them can you tell me about what that was like. I personally he was. Actually working wore the city administration. And harder for portfolio and agencies that she was responsible for. Was Chicago public library that time I had returned from Pittsburgh teaching reichert signs. And I returned to. Be the second in command Chicago in that time her aunt and by extension her fiance that. Loud that they weren't as they were engaged in days and even. Koppel she knew. So much who. Could could you tell at that point this guy could really be president one day. And she did not so. While we'll get us. And then from Chicago. You ended up in Baltimore where you became head the public library system there. And I know that you made the decision to keep the libraries opened during the Freddy great test can you tell me about. That whole experience and what it meant that communities have the library's. We're involved in the legendary. Instantly get reminders cool things to have the honor to head up that line persistently something. Four library hands during that time at the end rats. We knew that library was life line for so many people it was the branch that we had open. Was writing that episode. You could see it news. There was the cars smoldering all that they CBS ray CBS's right across the street from CBS. And victory after. The unrest. People were lined up outside. You know computers look for jobs just sanction. And lessen men. A lot to use the community me and two to underscore the relationship between the library and the community at that time. During your address. During her swearing in you mentioned some of the young people who use the library is a safe haven during that time. Tell me about that especially the impact that. Keeping library opened had on the young people in the community. And I have to smile because they were fair to because what's out there was no place ago. And I got to be your children's library and here. Because they were confused about what was going on and we're doing things to help them. We getting on computers or not just. Homework if there wondering what happened. But also to find out things and to play games at that time and then it became active community center. Food distribution. Diapers all of the things that people me community library can play. Tomorrow so life like for the it was a it was a lifeline before the unrest and during. After it missed. Tell me about when you found out that President Obama was going to be nominating this session that us. I had been consulting. About these library congress and the possibilities. And pass which is considered. Me. That with a turning point. And then to go through the process and be asked to so that's what really. I think I'm telling you which you sort. That's the fourteen. And tell me about your plans for the library now like music tweeting discoveries and also. Making sure that. Part of that 162. Men. Collection. Is digitize. And timely fashion so we're going to be assessing what things are ready. Things for what things people insisted. We have. Things like. The matter at Hamilton. Alexander Hamilton wrote to his wife right warmly as he called it interview. On the schedule. Just digitized collection from rules of parks the civil rights. So that will be a major growth work. And heavy and read it the actual process for doing us use the giant machine that's apparently to these agents. People might not realize that due to turn things not just taking your phone maintaining a forum where there scanners you have to have special equipment. Pages of its rare. And fragile. And it's like a space. Ship. Or something when you go in and the cameras and things it's very involved process. However. The payoff is wonderful. Abraham Lincoln's life. In reality. Life masks. 14. Month for success. He sat. Yes. You talk to hear me again your your acceptance speech about what it means for children all over the country to be able to access things. Like Rosa Parks is letters see him as she rode it. What do you think that means four or does the future of education. This country when you think about it how they concede that sitting and aren't. A small library in a rural area that has really no access to. Me resource as a child sits at home doing homework. Or accountants in a big city and it can't get to our public life. That's gonna make what they have to work where as the you know doing homework. So much easier for them to go to school the next thing and saying I've done my report and I was saying pulled out all these things. Absolutely. He's talked a little bit about some of the partnerships that you were. Thinking about creating between the private sector and the library. You tell us about what kind of plans EC for the library in the coming years. We're it. Patriotic. Philanthropy. Partners can include other institutions. For instance the new. National museum of African American. Culture and history. Is opening are so many partnerships right here in the Washington DC complex as well as companies. Individuals. That are interested in making history come alive and that's who want people who think about. Learning about history but making their own history make history. You're also a big advocate as I understand it four some limitations to how much. Privacy in individual hats for example when they're searching. Information online. I think he said that just because you're searching the word. G hide or something like that doesn't mean you want to do something back. So can you tell me a bit about. Is there attention you see yet. Between the debate we're having now with government surveillance. And privacy rights and what role do you see The Library of Congress having that debate. The library a congress has. Our figures for April being liberal mob. Four libraries are across the nation and where ever people are seeking information you mentioned that just because someone. He's interested topic doesn't mean that they intend to do anything and so that balance between interest. And intent has to be maintained. This library has so many items that people are going to be interest for all types of reasons. And so making sure that there be able to. Look for information without worrying that some rumble try to infer something from this is very important. On a final note we were just talking about all the really cool. Archives at the library has that people might not know the line of congress has baseball cards comic books can tell our viewers about largest collection. Comic books in the world. Including. The first edition of Wonder Woman who's a movie there's gonna come out on. Baseball cards a collection of baseball memorabilia from Jackie Robinson. All types of things that people get anything that you can imagine any topic. You could say I wonder what the library contest about that and I think people would just be from me. Pending whether things that you know. This means that you want to underscores that The Library of Congress is call The Library of Congress but it's really available to every you know with the. Every when it serves congress it is the research arm. All of these legislators and I think people if you. Feel very who have about the fact that there are legislators were ever there from here. Nonpartisan. Information to make their decisions and then he should feel really that they have a Marxist like me in. And as well that's. At their disposal as well so they can eat me wrong they can call there's so many ways they can contact. Last question Pickens bottle of it. You what is the librarian of congress reading. Well. I'm reading stories detective that's older book and reading. The latest the reason this. I just picked it. He and a I'm sorry your so it's you're company I have sent like mysteries but now. And cozy. Well we got the scoop for it for everybody else's coat at us. Doctor in thank you so much for joining us today Ina ABC's Alley wrote and check in with abcnews.com. For more knees throughout the day advocate.
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