WASHINGTON (July 13, 2016) – The U.S. Senate today confirmed Carla Hayden to head the Library of Congress by a vote of 74-18. Hayden was nominated for the position five months ago by President Barack Obama, but some conservatives had been blocking the vote.

The following statement can be attributed to R Street Senior Fellow Zach Graves:

“In light of its past challenges, it is a relief to see that an institution as important as the Library of Congress will be run by an experienced administrator with a deep understanding of information management and a track record of managing information technology and modernization efforts. While some conservatives were obstructing her confirmation to score a few cheap political points, this effort had no clear goal or end-game. And they were ultimately just shooting themselves in the foot.”

Hayden’s qualifications for the position include a doctorate in library science from the University of Chicago; teaching at the University of Pittsburgh; serving as CEO of the City of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, one of the oldest public library systems in the nation; serving as president of the American Library Association; and being named National Librarian of the Year.

Graves had previously criticized conservatives for blocking Hayden’s nomination. He argued: “in their rush to make choosing the next librarian a partisan issue, these critics have failed to give proper consideration to the library’s unique challenges — or the skills needed to modernize and make accessible the tremendous wealth of knowledge in its collection.”

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