Seat Saving At Library Conferences! WTF?

So I’m at the Library Assessment Conference in Baltimore, my first time attending this one. Assessment is on my portfolio at work, so with it being so close by, I was glad to have the opportunity to attend.

Twice already today I came into the meeting room, not late or anything. I like an aisle seat if possible – which is not uncommon. Lots of seats were taken, but more than once I came across an open seat – or so I thought. Turns out someone got there before me, threw their stuff on the chair, and claimed their stake to it. I would politely ask someone nearby, “Do you know if anyone is sitting there?” and the answer was usually “I think so.”

I know that lots of seat saving goes on at graduations and movies. But library conferences? I haven’t encountered much of that before. I don’t know about you, but in general seat saving is not cool. You’ve probably had the experience where you see a row of open seats and then you head there only to find someone else got there before you, threw their jacket or book on the seat, and then just took off. Hey, if you want the seat, take it and stay there. I’d like to go off and get a cup of coffee or talk to my friends too, but if I want a good seat I try to get there early and then I wait – in my seat.

If you happen to be a chronic or even occasional seat saver, give it some thought the next time you stake your claim. At least check out some of the rules of engagement to make sure you are following the proper etiquette. Next time I might just move your stuff over to that chair right in the middle of the row. What about you? Have you encountered seat saving at library conferences? What do you think? Do we need a seat saving ban?