10 observations from the Public Library Association convention

March 14, 2014
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Librarians from around the country converged on the Indiana Convention Center this week for the Public Library Association's national convention.

Here's a few things I observed after an all-too-brief visit to the exhibit hall.

1. Sometimes, the most interesting entertainers/speakers in town are for not-open-to-the-public events such as this. The lineup for the PLA con includes David Sedaris, Jane Pauley, Richard Ford and Anne Patchett (turns out the best-selling author is also a bookstore owner).

2. While literature is important, romance novels, manga books, SAT prep guides, etc., require just as much librarian attention.

3. Apparently, shelving is a big deal, too.

4. Public libraries across the country serve more than 297 million people annually, or more than 96% of the U.S. population. OK, so some of them are just coming in for free DVD rentals, but still.

5. Circulations of items is on the rise. But those items aren't just books.

6. Librarians are very good at avoiding eye contact with the people staffing the L. Ron Hubbard booth.

7. Librarians love love love John Green.

8. "The Chuck Norris Fact Book" exists.

9. Laptopsanytime.com has a system that allows you to check out computers from kiosks the same way you borrow DVDs from Redbox. And whole companies exist that focus on creating library cards.

10. I don't read enough.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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