Sherman Alexie: Librarians Are My Superheroes
Author Sherman Alexie was the keynote speaker for the PLA President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.
Sherman Alexie, author of 22 books, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, entertained a sizable crowd at the PLA President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.
Alexie began his talk by saying that librarians “are my superheroes.” Because he grew up on a small Indian reservation in Washington state, Alexie said he checked out everything from his library—nearly 90% of all the books, he estimates—because it introduced him to the outside world.
Growing up in the oral tradition, he said he has noticed that stories tend to gradually become lost. But librarians are the ones who are the “distributors of the collective imagination” and can always find the perfect book to recommend.
Alexie also joked that he noticed during the conference that “as the day and as more red wine is consumed, they [librarians] get a little crazy.” He said, “By the time night falls, oooh boy. Me going to a librarian conference is like other guys going to the Playboy Mansion.”
As he concluded his talk with a quote from poet Simon Ortiz (“If it’s fiction, it better be true”), the fire alarm went off at the Anaheim Convention Center and an announcement alerted people to evacuate the building.
Approximately 10 minutes later, everyone was allowed back in the building, where Alexie proceeded to sign books.