The White House announced today that President Obama is nominating Carla Hayden to serve as the next Librarian of Congress.
Who is Hayden?
She's the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.
If confirmed, she'd — weirdly — be only the third-ever actual librarian to hold America's top library job.
Hayden is also a big advocate for moving libraries into the 21st century, with expertise in doing just that, according to the White House statement:
"She's been hard at work revitalizing Baltimore’s library system as the CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library, updating its technology and raising money to fund essential improvements. Under her leadership, the Pratt library has become the largest provider of public-access computers in Maryland."
She'd also be breaking some pretty neat boundaries. If Hayden is confirmed by the Senate, she'd also be the first African-American and the first woman to hold the post.
It's flown a little bit under America's radar, but Obama has been low-key diversifying the federal government and the courts for some time now.
A 2015 analysis found that over 50% of Obama's successful appointments to over 80 critical policy jobs were women and people of color. As of October 2014, 42% of Obama's judicial nominees were women, and 36% were non-white.
In September, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told the Washington Post that the president has "made a very deliberate effort to be inclusive in the diversity of his administration at all levels."
The result? The government and the bench look more like America than ever before, which is a great thing.
Top federal and judicial officials make decisions every day that affect real people's lives. The more walks of life that are represented in the most important posts, the greater the likelihood those decisions will reflect the lived experience of all Americans.
Anyway, congratulations, Dr. Hayden.
And yes, I promise, I'll use my inside voice now.