John is a librarian and historian who has dedicated his career to forwarding the role of the Library of Congress in American society and culture. He joined the staff of the Library of Congress in 1966 and in 1977 became the founding director of the Center for the Book. The center was established to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. With its many educational programs that reach readers of all ages, through its support of the National Book Festival and through its dynamic state centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, the center has developed a nationwide network of organizational partners dedicated to promoting the wonders and benefits of reading. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, an MLA from The Johns Hopkins University and earned his Ph.D in American Civilization at The George Washington University.