Thursday, 25 February 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Monday, 22 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
It makes for fascinating viewing - just take a look at any of the Tomorrow's World clips. In Home Computer Terminal, Derek Cooper investigates Europe's first home computer terminal, installed into the home of industrial consultant Rex Malik. Ok, so it's from another age, but many of the predictions are remarkably accuate, and the shots of Malik's son doing his maths look very familiar.
I've also written about the BBC Archive on Those Who Dared.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Of course as Elspeth Hyams, the editor, points out: "Update is CILIP's exclusive members' magazine," and so only those with a password can actually see it. I can fully understand why CILIP have taken this decision as offering members something unique and of value is surely one way of ensuring they renew their membership.
I think though that making Update available for all to view (as they used to) outweighs this argument. Opening up the magazine's considerable archive of well-informed articles will surely draw people to the organisation. It's the perfect way to advertise their services to information professionals.
But I guess that's the topic du jour. Hardly a day goes by without someone in the media offering their views on the great free v paywall debate. Last August, Rupert Murdoch announced he was going to put News Corp's websites behind a paywall. Other news groups such as the New York Times have made similar noises, while the Financial Times has been charging for at least a year. However, Guardian editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger recently delivered a riposte to Murdoch's plans to introduce paywalls, claiming that it could lead the newspaper industry to "sleepwalk to oblivion." The News Corp Chairman's terse reply can be seen here.
Back to Update, and they may be onto something, at least in terms of 'engagement.' That is, the "clubs, subscription services, regular visitors – that ad men can measure," as Peter Preson put it in last Sunday's Observer.
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Following being quoted in the recent Columbia Journalism Review article about news librarians, Amy Disch can be heard speaking about the value of librarians on All Sides with Ann Fisher, a local radio station show in Ohio. The discussion was based around This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, a new book by Marilyn Johnson.
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Despite the rather sensationalist headline Endangered Species: News librarians are a dying breed, an article on the Columbia Journalism Review site puts a strong case for keeping information professionals in the newsroom. As the writer, Craig Silverman, sees it:
"Now that every reporter and editor has access to Google and a wide range of search technologies and online databases, the thinking is that they don’t need to call upon the Boolean expertise of librarians. You can see how it makes sense - except then the facts start to get in the way. In fact, the modern news librarian seems in many ways more important than ever. Even those old clipping files still come in handy."
Of course this means little to the many news organisations across the globe who have closed their information centres. According to statistics compiled by Michele Quigley, a researcher at the Palm Beach Post, over 250 news librarian jobs have been lost in the US since 2007. No such data exists for the UK but I would guess that at least 30 posts have been lost over the past year or so. The media libraries that survive do so in part because their management still believe in the value of the employing researchers, plus, as Amy Disch, library director of the Columbus Dispatch, explains, they have adapted their skills and knowledge to meet the needs of a modern newsroom.
To return to the title, it's true that the days of armies of people filing cuttings are well and truly over. But, without wishing to get too Darwinian, news librarianship starting evolving with the advent of online information, way back in the mid-1980s. News groups who recognised this are now reaping the benefits of having skilled librarian/researchers on their staff.