Wednesday, June 25, 2003

More from the conference:
William Hahn and Annabel Colley have posted dispatches from the conference on the FreePint Website; included are some photos...

The Florida chapter of SLA has posted some photos from the Sunday night dinner they had at The View at the Marriott: at least a couple news librarians were there....

Sunday, June 15, 2003

How'd this go?
So our first conference blog was at least partially successful. I'd imagined being able to blog throughout sessions, posting notes. This wasn't quite as easy as I'd hoped. Wireless connections were available only in some places, and because the conference was in three different hotels, it wasn't convenient to carry the laptop everywhere I went. So I never actually managed to write to the blog from a panel, except for a brief one from the blogging panel.
But, nevermind. A step up from last year, when I asked if anyone would be blogging the conference and no one responded except to ask "what's a blog?". By next year we may have lots of bloggers. Let's hope....

-- Liz Donovan, Miami.

Some more conference photos:

Researchers at IRE, meeting after CAR day: Alice Crites, Margot Williams, Toby Lyles, Melinda Carlson, Carolyn Hardnett (Gary Price out of picture, left).

Sunset from Inamorata, Gay Nemeti.

A few more photos from DC and NY (mostly scenic) are posted on my home page.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Missing photos?
If you can't see the photos below, I'm storing them on my personal Webspace at Earthlink, and it's been pretty flaky lately. Right now they are totally unavailable, including all the graphics on my other blog. Try reloading, but if you get bad links, just try again later. They come and go.
I have more photos that I'll try loading tomorrow, but maybe it would be better to move them to the Newslib site at some point.....
-- Liz Donovan, in Miami.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

More from New York:
A couple photos from the Monday awards dinner:

Linda Paschal, Lany McDonald, Donna Scheeder

M.J. Crowley, Judy Grimsley, Mike Meiners

Manhattan, from the Inamorata's top deck.

(photos by Liz Donovan)

More conference news:
Today (Thursday), News Division members are attending tours of ABC News and the New York Times. Sorry to be missing those, they should be fun. If anyone who went would like to post about the tours, just write it up to me or Jessica in an email and we can post.
From the annual news division meeting: Division membership is now 734, down 40 from last year. 214 members attended the conference. A good number, considering the cost of the NY trip. 127 went on the boat trip/dinner. More later.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I had to cut the post below short because I suddenly realized it was time to board the plane. I finished just now, from Miami. Tomorrow I will have some time to go over some of the things I skipped while at the convention and not able to get a connection. Including, maybe posting a couple photos!
--Liz Donovan

On the road:
Just successfully made a wireless connection in the LaGuardia terminal (AA). This is the first time I've done this outside of the Herald newsroom! A new milestone!
Traffic outside the Marriott was incredible this afternoon and the three of us who finally shared a cab to the airport feared we'd miss our flights for awhile, after waiting for shuttles/cab for at least an hour. But all turned out well.
I hope you all got to catch the Webcast of Gary and Marydee's talk this afternoon, because people in the building got left out. It was obviously a much too small room, and a late venue change, so I hope the Webcast got set up OK.
I did sit outside in the hall for awhile and Gary was talking about some fascinating things. Some news division members saw other Gary Price talks and found them incredibly interesting. Lu-Ann Farrar from Lexington told me she was thrilled to learn about, among other things.
We had a great discussion of repurposing archives this afternoon, too. Ginny Everett, Leigh Montgomery, Sharon Clairmont, and Claire Wollen described how they have all become devoted to making money and marketing, particulary with photo sales. Fascinating. At our paper, we did all this once and then stopped most of it. I expect we'll be going back to it. Everyone seems to be.
The international panel was fascinating too. Laura Soto-Barra described the functions of a news library in Ecuador that's doing some amazing stuff. I know (having once visited some news organizations in Chile) that Latin newspapers have incredible plants and technology, many having gotten help and advice from the IAPA: Laura's experience confirms that.
Will Roestenburg described his Dutch newspaper group and their functions. Another speaker from the Netherlands discussed the corporate intranet and research functions of KPMG.
--Liz Donovan

We're still the Special Libraries Association, Inc.

At today's Annual Business Meeting, members first voted for which name they would prefer for the association. Then, they voted for whether to change the bylaws to adopt the new name, thus voting whether to actually change the name of the association.

The results of the votes:

In favor of just the abbreviation SLA were 87. 867 voted against that choice.
656 voted in favor of Information Professionals International. 343 opposed it.

890 total votes were cast for whether to change the bylaws to reflect the new name. A 2/3 majority was needed to change the bylaws, which means that at least 594 votes were needed to adopt the selected name Information Professionals International. Only 521 voted in favor of the change. 369 voted against it, so the bylaws will not be changed. The organization's name is still the Special Libraries Association.

(Why Information Professionals International was the overwhelmingly preferred choice during the first vote and then lost by a slim margin during the second vote is left to speculation. Because the meeting ran long, many people left after casting their vote during the first part. That may have effected the results of the second part. Perhaps people also didn't understand that they really needed to stay to vote for the change officially in order for it to take effect.)

Madeleine Albright's speech was absolutely amazing. She responded to some tough questions during the question and answer session and spoke against the USA Patriot Act.

I forgot to say earlier that the Newsday tour on Saturday was terrific, though the bus trip lasted about an hour longer than estimated.

The computer lab I'm using now is closing in about 7 minutes, so I'm going to sign off now. It won't be open again during the conference, so I may not be able to post here about the conference again until after I return home on Thursday or Friday. It's been another great conference. Linda Henderson deserves big kudos for her amazing planning effort.

I hope at least one person besides Liz and Pete have read the blog during the conference and have benefitted from learning about what's happening here.

Please don't forget about the Webcast session at 4 pm EST this afternoon.

--Jessica Baumgart

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

A reminder:
The Wednesday, June 11, session with Gary Price and Marydee Ojala "Blogs, Mags, etc.: How to keep up to date on the 'Net" will be Webcast live beginning at 4 pm EST from The session should last until approximately 5:30 pm EST. (A very special thanks to Carolyn Edds and our friends at IRE for providing the technology for the Webcast!)

--From Jessica, the News Division Webmaster

How's this going?
I've had trouble getting Net access so far but have discovered a connection in the suite. Thanks to Jessica for her posts, she had to stand in line at the Cybercafe to do it.
I got to the training session this afternoon and was very impressed by the great suggestions given by Debbie Wolfe of the St. Petersburg Times and Julia Franco of the LA Times. They also had great handouts. Some of these may be on the news division Website, so take a look later in the week. I heard great comments in the hall outside from people saying it was one of the best they'd attended.

I posted to the blog from the blogging session Monday morning, but didn't take much time to post a long posting. Basically I wanted to demonstrate how simple posting to the blog can be.

I wrote the below posting Monday but couldn't post it: here it is now:

I haven’t had luck getting Net access so far this conference so sorry posting has not been there. I’m hoping others may come up with something too. At least if we can’t get news from conference posted during conference we should be able to have something up within a few days.
So far news division members have done the Newsday tour; they’ve attending the CE course on public records; attended two panels, on Internet (blogging and invisible web), and archiving. There was a luncheon rountable with representatives from LexisNexis, Dialog, Newsbank and Factiva, where there were lively discussions of revenue issues, timely updating v. less enhanced data, royalties, access through public and university libraries and third party vendors, and more. The annual meeting installed Justin Scroggs as treasurer and included announcements that Jennifer Small Evert is the new chair elect and Jim Hunter the education committee director. Neither of the last two attended. Of course, Michael Jesse handed over the gavel to planning czarina Linda Henderson.
And that’s the Monday news.
-- Liz Donovan, Miami Herald, from SLA conference in New York.

Hello again from the Special Libraries Association 2003 Annual Conferece!

I was able to get to a computer in the Cyber Connection, so I have a quick chance to write about the News Division sessions I attended today.

Debra Bade of the Chicago Tribune led a terrific panel about change. Debra began by talking about the results of an e-mail survey she sent out via Newslib a few weeks ago. Roger Strauss of Outsell talked about results of two annual surveys his company administers. That survey shows that while librarians still describe their positions in traditional terms, they spend less time doing traditional duties. Geoff LoCicero of IFRA Newsplex at the University of South Carolina talked about his nontraditional news librarian job and the changes his career has taken. Roberta Piccoli, who is now a consultant, talked about the changes she instituted throughout her career, most of which was at the advertising firm J. Walter Thompson in Chicago. She advised us to take advantage of change because it can really be a good thing for us, our information centers, and our careers.

The Palm Beach Post's Sammy Alzofon moderated a discussion about commercial sources for public records this afternoon. Sandy Levy of The Baltimore Sun and Liz Donovan of The Miami Herald shared excellent tips on sources for public records, focusing on criminal records and personal information, like access to driver's licenses. They all cautioned that public records from commercial sources are not always accurate, that some sources charge for records that might be available elsewhere for free, and that it is critical to pay attention to laws governing access to and use of public records. Sometimes, public records might be easily available, but cannot be used legally for journalistic endeavors. They also cautioned to make sure that journalists who have access to commercial public records databases know how to use the databases and the information in them properly. Sammy said they plan to make the useful handouts from this session available on the News Division Web site, perhaps after the conference.

I did not attend today's last afternoon session about training the trainers, but Carolyn Edds of IRE said it was good when I saw her in the hallway moments ago. I'm going to head up to the News Division Suite now for the silent auction. I heard there are going to be some great things for sale there, like a moose Charlie Campo of the Bangor Daily News brought from Maine.

--Jessica Baumgart

Hello from the Special Libraries Association 2003 Annual Conference!

So far, things are going really well. I've attended a lot of useful sessions and several presenters have already given me their presentations for the SLA News Division Web site. I'll get those up when I can find a computer with software to upload them to the server. (Soon, I hope.)

The Archiving Web Content continuing education course Sunday morning was very useful. Four panelists talked about efforts in their news organizations to archive Web content. They talked about archiving what goes on the Web that isn't included in the print edition as well as archiving Web sites. Janine Yagielski of CNN talked about their efforts to archive screen shots of some of their site's pages. Olivia Kobelt of the Christian Science Monitor discussed the importance of being able to find what's on the Web.

The Sunday afternoon CE course, Tracking Down Public Records, gave a good overview of what public records are, how to find criminal and civil records, the differences between access in different states, and some changes in retrieval and access since 9/11.

Monday morning's bright-and-early Internet Update session was excellent. Liz Donovan talked about blogging in news organizations. A link to her presentation is available from her Infomaniac blog. Charlie Campo discussed finding things on the invisible Web and how we, as news researchers, can help our newsrooms use the Internet.

The News Division Awards Banquet and cruise last night was excellent. Jody Habayeb, past chair and chair of the awards committee, picked an awesome venue. Judy Canter and Ginny Everett won the Agnes Henebry Roll of Honor Award. John Jansson was awarded the Kwapil, the News Division's highest honor. Jennifer Klimas, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, received the Vormelker-Thomas Student Award. There was also a very nice ceremony honoring CB Hayden, an ABC News librarian who passed away in 2001, that included giving a certificate of recognition and a portrait to his brother. This year, the News Division awarded the first scholarship for professional development in his honor. The $500 grant was awarded to Carol Taylor at the Daily Camera.

The cruise itself was amazing. We had some terrific views of Manhattan, the bridges, and the Statue of Liberty as we sailed along the Hudson River. Being serenaded by Richard Geiger was nice, too.

Linda Henderson, now chair of the division, has done an amazing job planning and running the News Division's portion of the conference.

Thanks, Carolyn Edds, for letting me borrow your computer to do this post!

--Jessica Baumgart, SLA News Division Webmaster

Monday, June 09, 2003

Like Liz, I hope this blog is not seen as a competitor to the venerable NewsLib mailing list. A blog is a different kind of communication form: part diary, part annotated bibilography, part soapbox. An email list serves the needs of professionals who post questions and requests that require an immediate, informed response from other professionals. Blog entires don't demand such a response. This blog is a good conduit for daily conference reports, and I think it's a good place for links to news and opinion about the news industry (as well as news research). So with that segue...

Some Net observers are saying webloggers played a role in forcing Raines and Boyd to resign their posts at the New York Times. I don't know if that's really true. But the idea of blogs and other Internet feedback helping to shape news events is the thesis of a future book by San Jose Mercury News tech columnist Dan Gillmor. In the Internet Age, says Gillmor, anyone can be his own news reporter/editor and this home-grown news production actually has an impact on the way traditional media outlets cover the news. His book is tentatively called "Making the News: What Happens to Journalism and Society When Every Reader Can Be a Writer (Editor, Producer, Etc.)." What's interesting is Gillmor has invited his readers to help him research the book by sending him ideas and comments about the topic. There's a detailed book outline which is worth reading, if you're interested in how the Net shapes journalism.

Pete Basofin, Sacramento

This is a post from the Internet session.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Back in DC:
Pete makes the point I'm thinking we want to make with this blog. I've been asked why we would do this when we already have a great communications tool in the Newslib listserv. I question that myself but I think the reason is to post the sort of things that Pete has posted: interesting and useful comments about news we can use or links we might all be interested in. Also: this forum is a bit more public: since I've made this a 'private' blog so far it isn't showing up on Blogger's lists but once Google finds it or people start linking to it any one will be able to find it. So this is more of a forum for news researchers to put information out there that we'd like everyone who's interested to know about.

And, news from IRE: The Washington committee put together a terrific program. At least one researcher, Margot Williams, was one of the organizers. Examples of what researchers have been able to share in last day or two: A session this morning on using the National Archives, including a tour. I didn't go on the tour, but maybe someone can contribute some words about that. Also, last night, a very entertaining panel on covering the war and terrorism (and discussion of the NYT's problems) from Bob Woodward, Seymour Hersh, Judy Woodruff, and CBS's David Martin. This panel alone was worth the price of conference registration. Today at the lunch the speaker was Ben Bradlee, who spellbound the audience with great stories, including the story of his first investigative reporting job, where he climbed out on a ledge on the 11th floor of the Willard Hotel to take notes while police talked a potential jumper down.
There have been some great panels, including a couple with Bartlett and Steele, on finding and using documents in investigative reporting. Hearing great reporters talk about documents -- whether old clips or regulatory agency reports -- reminds us what our work is all about.
-- Liz Donovan, in DC.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Mucho kudos to Liz for creating this web blog for the news research/library community. Blogs are a fascinating development on the Internet. One wonders who reads all the hundreds, if not thousands of blogs out there. Librarians have their own gallaxy of blogs. Among the many, there’s—a collection of short, often interesting news items on the profession submitted by many people.

My favorite blog is Romenesko (formerly Media News). It’s the Poynter Institute’s daily news compilation on print and broadcast journalism. Jim Romenesko offers not only links to articles, but also to unpublished letters and internal company memos. He’s not shy about covering the bickering and scandals that have shaken the industry (especially now). I often trawl Romenesko for items to post on the Sacramento Bee’s newsroom intranet. (We have a spot there for the latest newspaper news.) A lot of the news execs at the Bee read the Poynter blog religiously. You can often hear them chatting about it in the morning budget meeting. Definitely worth a look.

--Pete Basofin, Sacramento Bee

An oversight:
From IRE: I failed to mention Alice Crites, of the Washington Post, who also did a panel yesterday at IRE, on investigating white collar crime.

Some interesting panels here: last night a Showcase Panel on privacy and homeland security was replaced by a panel discussing the disturbing news from the New York Times. On the panel: Geneva Overholzer, Daniel Schorr, Ford Fessenden, Mike Getler, Tom Kunkel, Hedrick Smith, and Mark Rochester. Quite a group.
News researchers met for lunch today and had some good discussions, including some new faces from outside the news research/SLA group.
Best quote from a panel so far: Pedro Armendares, of Periodistas de Investigacion, talking about online searching (he was acutally talking about digging for public records in he said, You must treat (a database) like a source: talk to it, spend time with it, away from deadline. Seduce it. You will get more from it.

I've just noticed that this new version of blogger doesn't automatically put the signature of the writer, so I'll have to remember to sign these.
--Liz Donovan, Miami Herald, from DC.

Some important Special Libraries Association Annual Conference links to News Division happenings:

The direct link to the 2003 SLA Annual Conference page on the News Division Web site is: It lists News Division activities and some other info about the conference. When materials from the conference begin appearing on the Web site, this page will link to those materials. (If you'd rather see the page in frames, go to and follow the Conferences link, then select the link to the 2003 SLA Annual Conference materials.)


The Wednesday, June 11, session with Gary Price and Marydee Ojala "Blogs, Mags, etc.: How to keep up to date on the 'Net" will be Webcast live beginning at 4 pm EST from The session should last until approximately 5:30 pm EST. (A very special thanks to Carolyn Edds and our friends at IRE for providing the technology for the Webcast!)

--From Jessica, the News Division Webmaster

Good morning from IRE:
Internet access hasn't been easy so far but the demo room is not busy right now, so here goes:
Yesterday, the CAR day, was great for researchers. Five panels had news researchers speaking! Starting in the morning with Toby Lyles (Raleigh) and Alice Hart Wertheim (Atlana)speaking on finding people using public records, databases, etc. Then I spoke on organizing Web links, along with Derek Willis of The Scoop, who talked about XML/RSS. Next Margot Williams (Wash. Post) and Gary Price (Resource Shelf) talked about the invisible Web and supersearching. Later, Anne Mintz (Forbes) talked about determining authenticity of Websites.
The researcher panels were well attended and handouts disappeared before they were done. Handouts from all panels should be available on the IRE Website within a few days. Mine is on my site (look in left hand column under 'presentations').
Researchers also gathered for a brief meeting and will have a brownbag lunch today. When I can get better net access I'll post some photos.....
-- Liz Donovan, from Washington, DC.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Welcome to Newslib!
This blog will contain postings from some the SLA conference in New York, starting this weekend. News Division members, who also use the NewsLib listserv, will be posting their comments, news, and observations. There will probably be some postings from the IRE conference in DC, too, where news researchers will be attending the CAR day on June 5 and subsequent conference days.
This blog is open to Newslib members to post to. You can send an email with your comments to me at my hotmail address, or if you'd like to post directly to the blog, message me and I will "invite" you to login as a poster.