No sooner had I finished reading Patrice’s alarming post on the LA public school system’s recruiting students to be “messengers” for ObamaCare than I see this:

The nation’s librarians will be recruited to help people get signed up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Up to 17,000 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who need to get coverage under the law…

The undertaking will be announced Sunday in Chicago at the annual conference of the American Library Association, according to federal officials who released the information early to The Associated Press….

Libraries will be particularly important in conservative states that are not making much effort to promote the health law’s opportunities.

Ed Morissey comments:

Don’t think of it as conscription, think of it as … repurposing. The more ubiquitous the Internet and e-readers get, the less use people have for libraries and thus the further away from their core function libraries will drift.

There is something unsavory about recruiting students and librarians to sell a government health care program that most Americans fear.

On a brighter note, the librarians will be useless.

I mean, have you been to a public library lately?

Because I’ve done a lot of book research, I’ve paid numerous calls to Washington, D.C.’s positively Hogarthian Martin Luther King Library.  At one point, it was a home away for residents of the nearby homeless shelter. This would have been justification for the library if any of the patrons had been reading books. Instead they were sleeping.

Most awake library patrons today seem to be there for the internet access.

But it’s my experience that libraries today are underutilized—which should give librarians plenty to time to extol the virtues of ObamaCare should anybody wander in. But it is still wrong for the government to sell an unpopular program in this way. I guess we should be glad of the otherwise sad fact that nobody goes to libraries these days.