This is not Nate Pederson. This is James Billington, former Librarian of Congress.
I'd put the photo of Pederson from AoM up here, but there's that copyright thing.I like his response to one of the questions:
What is the best part of your job?
"The fact that every single day I go home from work having made someone’s life just a little bit better. That can be as simple as finding a good book to read or as complex as helping someone finally land a job after hovering at the edge of homelessness."
As an academic librarian, I don't get to help people recover from unemployment and homelessness, but I do get to help students get un-stuck when their research process grinds to a halt, or when they can't find a resource they remember hearing about, but they don't know what it was called. That's a good feeling. It was among the reasons why I decided to get involved with the Roaming Librarian initiative - bringing our skills to bear right where the students are.
I'm responsible for placing orders to replace books that have been lost from our collection (and boy does that happen a lot); and while the process is tedious, it is a satisfying feeling to know that books which our patrons want are getting back on the shelf to be used. Directly or indirectly, every day I make research possible - the research that turns our students into educated degree-holders ready to go out into the world and make a difference.
I agree with his thoughts about the library continuing to be a vital part of a community (public or academic) and successfully navigating the ever-changing world of information technology. Heavens, in my working life we've gone from databases on CD-ROM (remember those?) to multi- or unlimited user access databases online with decades of journal backfiles; and all of these can be accessed with a 1 pound tablet computer, as opposed to the desktop dinosaurs that were the best thing going when I was in library school. Despite the popularity of e-books, and their seemingly ever-increasing accessibility, print books aren't fading away. But whatever form the book takes; an old library director used to call that the 'can', while the information was the 'tomatoes'; librarians will be able to connect people with the knowledge they seek.