It’s a banner year for the Public Library Association (PLA), which marked its 70th anniversary and kicked off its biennial conference on March 11, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The week-long conference, one of the largest conferences dedicated to public library professionals, featured more than 150 programs; special author events, including a closing session with New York Times best seller David Sedaris; and nearly 400 exhibits.
The Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) exhibit booth was a popular destination for public library professionals, with almost 200 conference attendees stopping by to pick up hundreds of free brochures, bookmarks, and information resources. In-demand items included multilingual resources from the Knowledge Center, which library professionals can use to support local community outreach programs, and OMHRC’s information line at 800-444-6472, where callers can receive customized information searches on such topics as health insurance and the Affordable Care Act. The exhibit also featured an electronic display, which showcased more in-depth information about the office, its online library catalog, and its many resources and services. The booth was staffed by Faye Williams, Knowledge Center Manager, and Rebecca Hohmann, Digital Access Librarian, who were on hand to welcome visitors from across the country.
According to national data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, public libraries served nearly 300 million people throughout the United States in FY2011. And with nearly 8,000 attendees, the PLA 2014 Conference proved to be a great way for OMHRC to connect with more public library professionals than ever before.
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Rebecca Hohmann, MA, MLS, is the Digital Access Librarian at the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, the nation’s largest repository of information on racial and ethnic minority health issues. Her responsibilities include working on the library's digitization program and assisting with reference questions.