Senate panel backs Obama choice to lead Library of Congress

AP News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2016 3:46 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Rules Committee has endorsed the longtime head of Baltimore's library system to be the next Librarian of Congress.

President Barack Obama nominated Carla Hayden to be the 14th Librarian of Congress in the institution's 214-year history. If confirmed by the full Senate, Hayden would be the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position, milestones that Obama called "long overdue."

Obama signed a law last year establishing a 10-year term for the Librarian of Congress with an option for reappointment. The position was previously considered a lifetime appointment.

The previous Librarian of Congress, James Billington, was criticized for not keeping up with advances in technology. Billington was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served for 28 years before stepping down last year.