Obama Wants 'Radical' Who Fought for PORN in Public Libraries to Run Library of Congress

There is now a Republican-led effort for the Senate to confirm President Obama’s nomination of Carla Hayden to be the librarian of Congress. Her confirmation hearing proceeded without any serious review of her record, her views, or her qualifications.

The American people should be asking why any senator would be anxious to confirm a nominee who is not only unqualified, but whom The Nation magazine celebrated as a “radical librarian” who champions unrestricted access to pornography in public libraries.

Other members of Congress should be asking why there is such a hurry to put a non-scholarly political activist in charge of their research arm -- the Congressional Research Service, which is within the Library of Congress. The post of librarian of Congress has long been filled not by librarians, but by first-rank scholars and historians of national reputation.

The librarian of Congress is, in effect, the nation’s scholar-in-chief. Retired incumbent James H. Billington, who left the position in 2015, authored five books, dozens of scholarly articles, and was the former director of the Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He also taught history at Harvard and Princeton.

His predecessor Daniel Boorstin was a prolific scholar of the American experience -- his book The Americans won the Pulitzer Prize.

As previously outlined by PJ Media, Dr. Hayden is neither a scholar nor a historian. She has edited, not written, only one book: a bibliography of culturally diverse materials.

She has headed the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore since 1993, and she may well have excelled at that job. There may be jobs within the Library of Congress for which she is qualified -- just not this job.

The post of librarian of Congress is of vital importance to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life. However, she seems to have been nominated, according to National Review, because of the Obama administration’s “yoke of identity politics.” Obama didn’t emphasize her qualifications as a scholar or historian when he nominated her because of “her meager scholarly credentials,” according to the Weekly Standard. Instead, Obama emphasized her gender and race:

[Carla Hayden] would be the first woman and the first African American to hold the position – both of which are long overdue.

The White House even released a four-minute promotional video touting Hayden, in which she embarrassingly doesn’t seem to understand the difference between the functions of the type of public library she heads and the Library of Congress. As the Weekly Standard pointed out, what she says has nothing “whatsoever to do with being librarian of Congress.”

Members of Congress should also be concerned over her involvement in a 2003 Supreme Court case: U.S. v. American Library Association.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which required public libraries that receive federal funding to use Internet filters that will prevent minors from being able to access obscene materials, including child pornography. The Act specifically allows a library to “disable” the filter “to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes” or “during use by an adult.”

Carla Hayden was the president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. According to an interview she gave to “The History Makers,” she “spearheaded the ALA’s efforts to overturn” this legislation.