Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Welcome a new blogger, and prospective news librarian, Angelica Cortez, whose brand new blog is called WannabeNewsLibrarian. She says she'll be using it to describe her journey. Should be interesting.

Monday, June 21, 2004

News library in the news:
The News Center library was profiled on the NewsCenter Web site today. This is the converged news organization which consists of Tampa Bay online, The Tampa Tribune, and a local TV station.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Archived Webcast of Gary Price's SLA Annual Conference Presentation
The archived Webcast (.rm) of Gary Price's presentation Extreme Searching at the Special Libraries Association 2004 Annual Conference is available. He also has an accompanying handout. He gives an update and mentions some trends in search engine technology, as well as giving tips for better searching. He also reminds us that there's more to the Web than Google and search engines aren't the best method for finding many things.

I'm not going to post constant updates as everything's being added to the News Division Web site 'cause that diverts my time from posting presentations and will overload you; I'll just mention a few highlights as I go along. Keep tabs on the conference page. I've got a few presentations patiently waiting for me to code them, but I'm still waiting for materials from a number of presenters. I know some presentations will be delayed because of vacations. Thanks to those of you who have or will send me things and thanks to Carolyn Edds who did some heavy recruiting for the Web site at the conference after I returned to work. It'll be a little slow-going for a little while, but I am going to keep plugging away at the presentations.

Addendum 6/19: Someone pointed out that the URL for the audio file was incorrect. It is now fixed and should work properly. Ah, yes, the importance of checking links. Don't worry: it was correct on the Special Libraries Association News Division Web site.

Blogger down:
Jessica Baumgart, the News Division Webmaster and a normally prolific poster to this blog, has been sick and is home recovering from the SLA conference and all the work she's been doing. She has posted this news to her blog, but if you've been looking for conference handouts or other news, it may be delayed. Get well, J!

Friday, June 11, 2004

More sessions:
Since we are getting some response to session descriptions, here are a couple more I attended:

Legal research
Leanne Battle of LexisNexis talked about legal research for newsrooms. It's a topic that news researchers need help with. Leanne's talk laid it all out well. I hope her presentation goes online. I learned a couple things I didn't know:
Martindale-Hubbell's listings are purchased by the lawyers and law firms listed; that explains why some attorneys don't show up there, and why we always need to check West too, even if the listings have less info.
Mealeys is a legal Web site I hadn't heard of, with reports on recent litigation. You can search by state, type of suit, or just browse latest news.
If you're having trouble figuring out how to search a citation, Cornell's citation page lists all the formats.

CAR in the newsroom:
Teresa Leonard talked about the News and Observer's wonderful CARR fellowship program. Computer Assisted Reporting and Research has been integrated into the N&O's newsroom for years, and each reporter gets a chance at a fellowship to spend a few weeks learning it all from the research center's crack training team. Wonderful example for all of us.
John Maines of the Sun-Sentinel talked about how well their setup works: although John is a reporter, his position in the research center gives him space to work on projects with everyone in the newsroom, without being tied to one desk.
Margot Williams of the Washington Post did a great job of breaking down the difference between computer assisted reporters and computer assisted researchers. She showed how compilations of names/dates in a spreadsheet, like the Iraq war dead and Guantanamo detainees, can end up being fodder for stories. Very interesting perspective.

Public Records access:
Useful discussion by Tom O'Hara of the Plain Dealer and Frank Gibson of the Tennessean about journalists' right to public records access. It was good for researchers to get editors' viewpoints on this, especially editors who have worked on state public records access audits (the one in Ohio included work by our own Jim Hunter). Although the eternal identity theft question came up, both editors reminded us that this usually comes from illegal activity, not the legal right to information access to public records.

So far I don't see links to the presentations from these sessions, but hope they will be posted soon.

We have comments!:
So here's the value of having this Newslib Blog. Now that comments are working, people can dialog about postings. Note that I posted a quick review of the Intranets session, and mentioned that keeping up source databases seems to be a problem. David Dwiggins, a seminar speaker, responds in a comment, giving us some details and stats about the Tennesseans's database. This is so useful.
Also, a note that John Maines' presentation from this session, as well as David's, are now on the News Division site.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

How it was:
The photos aren't the greatest, since my camera's flash doesn't reach very far and I couldn't get close enough. But just for a fast glimpse at the Nashville conference:
(Ron Larson's and Chris Hardesty's photos will be a lot better, but it may be awhile before you see them.)
Note: see larger versions of the photos by clicking on each.

The Awards Dinner: Belle Meade Plantation. Nashvillle. Posted by Hello

The newspaper connection: Monument to "Enquirer". Posted by Hello

The gathering. Posted by Hello

The newlyweds....and Jeanette... Posted by Hello

Going in to the carriage house for dinner.... Posted by Hello

Barbara the great. Posted by Hello

Gary's girls. Posted by Hello

Gary Price. Posted by Hello

Campo and Cronin. Posted by Hello

These photos:
Still fooling around with Bloggerbot to post photos. Seems to have worked. I have some more from the dinner and will post in awhile.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

This is Opryland, the cocoon we've been living in... Posted by Hello

Past and present... Posted by Hello

Plotting... Posted by Hello

Czar and Czarina (dowagers) Posted by Hello

Yum! Posted by Hello

Ready... Posted by Hello

In the suite.... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Webcast of Gary Price's SLA Annual Conference Session Exteme Searching
The Special Libraries Association 2004 Annual Conference session Extreme Searching (Practitioner's Toolkit) with Gary Price will be Webcast on Wednesday, June 9, from 1:15-2:30 pm CST. The Webcast URL is http://stream.ire.org:8080/ramgen/encoder/slanews.rm. (Note: This URL will only work during the conference presentation when the Webcast is in progress.) If the file is archived as planned, it may be available later on the SLA News Division Web site's 2004 annual conference page (direct link with no frames).

Afternoon update:
I'm glad to see the things I posted this morning went through, because I couldn't see them after I posted them.
Today's sessions were full of wonderful information. I don't have time to summarize all of them, and other attendees may post something too.
But we had sessions on CAR, and backgrounding elections and campaign contributions, access to public records, and...I think that's it.
I'll write descriptions later and post them if no one else has. A couple mentions: Derek Willis' presentation is already posted on his The Scoop site, under Projects. Derek is also offering to provide campaign contribution data for free, and is asking for local data we've gathered in return.
John Maine's sample databases are available on his Web site, see the handout on the News Division site (click on Conferences, and 2004), but it's not yet posted.

Dinner update:
Oh, by the way, the Awards Dinner last night was up to the News Div's usual standards. The Belle Meade plantation is a beautiful setting, with giant magnolia trees. Dinner was in the carriage house, lined with memorabilia from the racehorses that were once raised there. Another room had ancient carriages amid the stalls. There was even a newspaper connection: one of the famous horses raised here was Enquirer, owned by the MacLean family of the Cincinnati paper. We all had lots of fun. Photos to come.

Intranets session:
This morning's first session was on Intranets, hosted by Carolyn Edds. Participants were John Maines of the Sun-Sentinel and David Dwiggins of the Tennessean. Their intranets are impressive. "Sunspot" contains lots of searchable databases, and John demonstrated how to create database search forms using Web Matrix/Asp.net. Looks simple and easy to create a page from Access.
Interesting that both intranets are "Spots": the Tennessean's intranet is "NewsSpot". This intranet has entry forms so many people can update news and other sections. There are great projects pages, and a newsroom planning tool for assignments and projects.
Both said keeping up a source database, though, isn't going so well. This is something we've wondered about doing, and gotten resistance from reporters. This seems to have happened at these two papers, too, as reporters there won't update the list, according to John and David.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Archiving Update
Notes for Rob Robinson's and Vicky McCargar's presentations are now available on the News Division Web site. Rande Simpson's presentation (.pdf) has also been posted. They all talked about issues related to archiving and retrieving digital files. It built very nicely on Sunday's CE course The Accidental Archivist.

Dr. Carl Ledbetter
Dr. Carl Ledbetter gave the address at the Opening Session this morning.

"Information is not available to us unless we know how to find it," he observed.

Carl talked about the current state of technology today and future trends. He addressed problems like pop-up ads and spam and indicated that things need to change or else the state of technology will just get worse and worse.

News Research Without Borders
Joan Sweeney Marsh's presentation about doing research in Canada and notes from Dana Gordon and Madeline Cohen's talk about Iraq resources are available on the News Division Web site. Many of the Iraq links Dana and Madeline shared are now part of the Iraq resources page. Their presentation may be available on the Web site in the next few days.

Notes from the Accidental Archivist CE Course
I posted some notes from The Accidental Archivist, one of the continuing education (CE) courses the News Division offered on Sunday. I am hoping to get Carrie Christoffersen's PowerPoint slides, which is why my notes about her presentation are brief. I need to verify some things in my notes from Bob Jansen's session with him before I post them.

In some ways, it's much easier being Webmaster with a laptop and easy Internet access at the conference. It's a challenge to find time to post materials to the Web site and blog, though.

Congratulations to our Colleagues in Australia and New Zealand!
Our colleagues in Australia and New Zealand now have their own Special Libraries Association chapter, a project on which some of them have been working for quite a while.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Hello from Nashville:
As I write, newslibbers are enjoying the hospitality of the suite. I didn't go to the CE courses today, but hear fabulous things about the presentations, and that both courses were full.
I took some pictures this afternoon and evening and would love to post them here, but have discovered that Hello, the Bloggerbot provider, doesn't work through firewalls. It won't work at The Herald, and doesn't seem to work here on the Opryland Hotel's network. Oh well. Stay tuned, I'll post photos when I get back to dialup in a couple days. Liz Donovan.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The News Division Suite
An unconfirmed rumor is that the News Division Suite at the Special Libraries Association 2004 Annual Conference will be located near, but not at, D6088 in the Gaylord Opryland. (That's D as in Delta.) Jennifer Small Evert is still waiting for confirmation from the hotel about the location of the suite.

Update: The News Division Suite is in room D6090.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Money in Politics:
Derek Willis is doing the seminar at the conference next week and finds he needs to expand his presentation due to illness of another presenter.
Derek wants to know what attendees might like to see included in this presentation. What do news librarians and researchers need to know about campaign contributions, candidate finances, and the like?
Please email Derek at: derek (at) thescoop.org.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Researcher/news library news:
These are both passed on to Newslib-L from UNC's Barbara Semonche:
UNC-Chapel Hill professor of Information and Library Science, Deborah Barreau's article on her research about news librarians' managment models appeared in the April 2004 issue of "Information Outlook."
Barreau focused on two types of news organizations (those with
centralized research centers and those with researchers assigned to news reporting/editorial teams). She gathered data from four newspapers every day for three months, September 1 to November 30 2002. The stories were analyzed to identify content and focus, to identify the author/authors and their roles, and to identify anyother individuals who contributions are acknowledged in a tagline at the end of the stories.
Barreau states "The purpose of this analysis was to see if
researchers are credited for their contributions more often in organizations where they are assigned to editorial teams." She offers
some interesting results from data collected from the newspaper articles and surveys of reporters and researchers, but summarizes ". . . . "What we can conclude from the study is that no model is a panacea. Organizations differ, and the best solutions will be those that fit the particular situation."
Nevertheless, the article is worth examining carefully. If you are not a member of SLA (Special Libraries Association) contact a colleague who is. For those attending the SLA conference in Nashville, Prof. Barreau is on the program.

More good news. This time it's about Jill Konieczko (with the U.S. News & World Report library) earning the H.W. Wilson Company Award for her series of outstanding articles published in the January & February 2003 issues of Information Outlook.
Jill collaborated on these two articles, "Information Centers that Innovate" and "Customized Products and Tools," with Cynthia Powell, an independent public relations consultant. SLA members can read these articles posted on SLA's web site http://www.sla.org.
The Baltimore Sun's library and information services department, under Sandy Levy's leadership, is singled out for substantive praise.
I hope that we can see Jill and Cynthia at the SLA conference and toast their significant contributions to the scholarship about excellence and innovation in news research.
It seems to me that a growing number of our News Divison members are doing important publishing (books, articles, research studies) in recent years. At the risk of omitting a few names I'll single out such contributors as:
Nora Paul
Kathleen Hansen
Anne Mintz
Gary Price
Margot Williams
Linda Amster

Surely there are more. I'd like to hear about them. Please eel
free to post additional names to this list. These authors of scholarly and trade articles deserve recognition.