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Observations of PLA

I have been to a number of different library organizations’ conferences over the years (6 at last count) but this is my first PLA. I have noticed a few things that are different about this conference:

  • There are a zillion publishers here. There is an entire floor in the exhibit areas for publishers, plus more up on the second floor. Wow. It kind of makes me wish I did print collection development.
  • The librarians here are very customer-service oriented. Every session I’ve been to was user-focused. What can we do for our users? What can we change to do our jobs better? Good for us.
  • No librarians were shopping at Ann Taylor Friday afternoon at 1:30. At the same time, 17 librarians were shopping at Ann Taylor Loft (the more budget conscious version of Ann Taylor). Who would have thought librarians were thrifty? ;)
  • There are more young librarians at PLA than at other organizations’ conferences. Is this because more young librarians work in public libraries? Or public libraries are more willing to send their young employees? I don’t know.
  • PLA attendees are courteous. I have had more doors held open for me, more elevators held for me, and more friendly conversations than at any other conference.

Public libraries and public librarians rock.

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