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The US has its first non-white, non-male Librarian of Congress

After an unexplained month-long delay, Carla Hayden is officially the next United States Librarian of Congress.

Hayden was approved by the US Senate today (July 13), with a vote of 74-to-18. This makes her the fourteenth librarian to serve in the post, and the first woman and first African-American in the position.

Senate confirmation has been delayed for several weeks with no public explanation, reports The Washington Post, despite a unanimous committee recommendation in early June. The Post reports that one potential reason was Hayden’s public opposition to parts of the Patriot Act that gave the federal government access to library borrowing records.

Hayden served on and off in the Chicago public library system for twenty years until 1993, when she moved to the Baltimore system.

When he nominated Hayden, president Barack Obama said the confirmation would be a “long overdue” appointment.

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