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    Library of Congress
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In February, President Obama nominated Hayden to lead the ­Library of Congress. If confirmed, she will be the first woman and the first African American to do so—and fresh leadership for a 216-year-old institution in sore need of a technological upgrade. Hayden knows plenty about sustaining a library as a relevant and inclusive institution. In Baltimore, where she has run the Enoch Pratt Free Library system for 23 years, she has modernized early and often. When violence erupted near one branch last April, Hayden kept it open—a safe, trusted space for community members.