Obama's Library of Congress pick clears committee vote

Obama's Library of Congress pick clears committee vote
© White House

President Obama’s pick to lead the Library of Congress cleared a key committee on Thursday.

The Associated Press reported that Carla Hayden’s nomination was approved by the Senate Rules Committee, clearing the way for a vote by the full Senate.

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Hayden, who if confirmed will become the first female or African-American Librarian of Congress, hasn’t seen her nomination stalled by the same forces that have hurt Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

“I think this nomination is on a separate track,” Rules Committee Chairman Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down Johnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence MORE (R-Mo.) said in April, adding, “Surely no one asks seriously how this is different than the lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”

Hayden is the current head of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and a former president of the American Library Association. While at the association, she was a staunch opponent of mass surveillance.

The last Librarian of Congress, James Billington, was criticized as being unable to adapt the library to modern technology. That’s something Hayden is likely to have to tackle if she is confirmed.

"Dr. Hayden has devoted her career to modernizing libraries so that everyone can participate in today's digital culture," Obama said in a statement when she was nominated in February.

Once treated as an open-ended appointment, a law passed last year now limits the librarian’s initial term to 10 years.