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Notes from the PLA Conference

Emily Weaver describes her trip to Minneapolis for the Public Library Association Conference.

I feel very fortunate that the library board granted me some funding to support my attendance at the 2008 Public Library Association National Conference in Minneapolis this March. It was my first time at this conference, and I came away feeling energized and excited about my profession and my amazing colleagues around the country. While I attended almost a dozen sessions on various topics, I think the session I found most meaningful was called “Raising Mediawise Kids: Resources to Help Train the Trainers.” Our speaker, the President of the National Institute on Media and the Family, told us that America’s children now spend more than 35 hours per week in front of a screen.  They view an estimated 200,000 acts of violence on television by the time they graduate high school. I found these statistics astonishing and embarrassing.  He claims this is creating and nurturing a culture of disrespect.  We in the library world don’t have all the answers about how to fix these problems, but we want desperately to help. One of the most natural ways we do this is by promoting literacy and reading to parents and their children. Please remember that your library is here to work for you. Let us know how we can help you and your children select appropriate reading materials.

--Emily Weaver, Library Director

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