Change Is Critical Summary

2003 Special Libraries Association Annual Conference
News Division Session

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

After Debra Bade, moderator, introduced the panelists: Geoff LoCicero of Newsplex, Roberta Piccoli, a consultant, and Roger Strauss of Outsell, Inc., she announced the results of an informal Newslib survey about positions held by members of the discussion list.

Roger Strauss then talked about the survey data from Outsell's annual survey of librarians and a survey of users. Ninety percent of the time, users try to find information on their own before involving a librarian. Only 10% of the time do they know from the beginning of their search that they need assistance. Roger thinks that it is important for library managers to run a library like a business and for them to be entrepreneurs. The corporate library survey found that librarians still describe their positions in very traditional terms, but spend less time doing traditional things and offer fewer traditional services. The latter trend could be related to staff and budget cuts, but Roger did not explore that further.

Geoff LoCicero, news resourcer, described what Newsplex does and how his job fits into that organization. He sees himself as the CIO of the newsroom. He is a journalist, librarian, technology leader, and facilitator. His presentation is available online.

Roberta Piccoli used a quote from Heraclitus to describe her career and her philosophy on change: "Nothing endures but change." She emphasized that we can all be agents of change and that change can be a very positive force. She introduced new services while she directed the library at J. Walter Thompson constantly. She tried to keep on the cutting-edge of librarianship and improve the library's services for its clients. Another advertising agency in New York City wooed her away from J. Walter Thompson so she could help with Internet technology, an area she was not able to work on at J. Walter Thompson. After succeeding in a few months at what this company had been working on for years, she was laid off. She had been freelancing, so she reactivated many of her contacts and decided to become a consultant. She recommends focusing on job skills, not job titles. She emphasized the importance of networking and using contacts to cope with change. She also suggested keeping track of people when they leave your company. She reminded us that we need to think about where we want to go with our careers.

News Division Program, SLA 2003 Annual Conference
SLA News Division Home

Last Updated: 09/05/03
Jessica Baumgart