News Library News Online
Vol. 23, No. 4/Summer 2001

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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2001

Submitted by Alice Pepper, Secretary.

Meeting called to order at 3:10 p.m. by president Debra Bade.

Debra asked for a motion that the minutes from the June 2000 business meeting be accepted as published in News Library News. Peter Johnson made the motion; Richard Geiger seconded.



Jody Habayeb said this year’s sponsors include LexisNexis, Factiva, NewsBank, Dialog, Proquest (Bell & Howell/UMI), CCI MediaStore, Cold North Wind, Freedom Forum and Gale Group. She thanked them all and the San Antonio Express-News for hosting Saturday’s tour. UPI has asked to keep them in mind for sponsorship next year.

Additions/changes to this year’s program: The roundtable BYO breakfast meeting has be reinstated for 7:30 a.m. tomorrow; there will be a NewsBank users group meeting tomorrow at 5:00; the Division board meeting is at 5:30 on Wednesday.


Debra made the report for Bill Van Niekerken, whom she thanked for stepping into the treasurer’s spot when the previous treasurer was unable to fulfill the responsibilities. Bill had to work with incomplete records but was able to pull together a basic report. He used a July 2000-June 2001 fiscal year so the costs of only one conference are shown, which is a more accurate reflection of our income versus expenses. Debra also noted that an additional $10,000-$12,000 in sponsorship money for the San Antonio conference is still outstanding from the treasurer's report.

News Division Treasurer’s Report:

July 1, 2000 to June 1, 2001


Dues Allotment
$ 7,930.00
Interest Income
Total income
Bank Charges
$ 39.00
Bulletin – Adv
Bulletin – Non-Adv
Meeting Exp
Misc. Exp
Total expenses

Incoming treasurer Catherine Kitchell and others will be collecting $25 hospitality suite fees.

The Atlanta regional conference made a profit of $913.

Richard Geiger moved to accept the treasurer’s report. Linda Henderson seconded.


Ginny Everett, committee chair, reviewed the details of tonight’s awards banquet which will be held at the Southwest School of Art & Craft.

  • Vormelker-Thomas Student Award (student stipend) goes to Christine Davies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
  • Ralph J. Shoemaker Award of Merit: Debra Bade, CNN.
  • Agnes Henebry Roll of Honor Award: Charles Campo, Bangor Daily News and Teresa Leonard, Raleigh News & Observer.
  • Joseph F. Kwapil Memorial Award: Kathy Foley, San Antonio Express-News.

Ginny thanked the awards committee: Richard Geiger, Bob Jansen, Julie Kirsh and Barbara Semonche.

Ginny expressed her gratitude to Debra for taking over the student stipend committee after the chair, C.B. Hayden, passed away. Debra thanked the members of those committee members: Jessica Baumgart, Carolyn McClendon and Rachel Sapienza.


Carolyn Edds, director of education, shared some evaluations of Sunday’s CE class: "News Research: Critical Evaluation of Specific Industry Resources." Carolyn heard many compliments including "one of the best at SLA." The seven speakers covered six topics. Thirty-one people signed up, five extra came to the class, six didn’t show up.

Highlights and contact information regarding the presentations will be up on the News Division web site:


Mona Hatfield, committee chair, thanked NewsBank for their continuing support in publishing the Division membership directory.

Covering costs of the print bulletin continues to be a challenge. The board is looking at options and alternatives, keeping in mind the needs of members and sponsors regarding electronic formats.

Mona gave highlights of webmaster Chandra Pierce’s report. The top visited pages on the News Division web site were NLN News, Intranets and Job postings. Chandra needs help to keep the site updated and viable. There is a section on the site of pages that are up for "adoption." Membership participation is vital.

Top Ten Most Visited Pages for 2000:

Page Monthly Average Total
/slanews 123,895 1,610,645
/slanews/internet 93,635 1,217,257
/slanews/intranets 5,629 73,180
/slanews/jobs 4,979 64,730
/slanews/nln 3,725 48,426
/slanews/conferences 3,104 40,364
/slanews/surveys 987 12,843
/slanews/terms 816 10,620
/slanews/archiving 770 10,011
/slanews/reference 405 5,270

New pages:

  • Adoption Center
  • Changing Microfilm Companies
  • Research Request Forms

Pages updated regularly:

  • New Members (Sammy Alzofon)
  • Sources and Experts (Kitty Bennett)
  • News Library News (Leigh Poitinger)
  • Jobs/Internships (Carolyn Edds)

Other pages updated:

  • Awards
  • Officers
  • Conferences (SLA, DC, Atlanta)
  • Newspaper Archives
  • Essential Reference Books for a US News Library.

Pages in need of being updated:

  • Newbies (check links, add any new resources or web sites)
  • Archiving Vendors (this page was done in 1995)
  • Articles about News Librarianship (Jessica Baumgart has donated a bibliography which is being used to update this page)
  • State by State Top Internet Resources for Journalists (if anyone from an "empty" state could send a web site or two, it would be greatly appreciated)
  • Internet Resources for News Librarians and Researchers (check links, add any new resources)


ARCHIVES: M.J. Crowley

Report from the Archives & History Committee 2000-2001, Submitted by M.J. Crowley, June 11, 2001.

Item 1: Moving the archives

A total of 25 cartons have been shipped from The Star-Ledger to The Park Library, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Thus all the News Division Archives files have now been received by Barbara Semonche at the library. Barbara indicates it will take a couple months and some student labor to have the files into usable storage.

She also indicates that she would like to scan some of the visually interesting information to be made available on the web site.

Attached is a list of what was shipped, and an updated index listing. These files also exist in digital format. [Secretary’s note: List of archive file headings not included for publication in NLN.]

I propose that a new archivist be named and in that regard I would like to nominate Teresa Leonard from the Raleigh News & Observer. Barbara is happy to house the archive and provide physical oversight. She is even willing to provide some photocopy and faxing of material to Division Members. But I think we should not impinge on her generosity any more than we have already.

She and I both believe it is important to have a designated/appointed member as official News Division Archivist. It makes sense to have it be someone who lives geographically close to the Chapel Hill. There are some limited SLA responsibilities which accompany the position.

Item 2: News Library News – Searchable archives

With the purchase of Media Stream by NewsBank, the News Library News searchable archives will now be hosted by NewsBank.

At this time the Data has not been loaded. it should be available by next week. Jeff Wilson from NewsBank will then send us the new URL. Arrangements for updates will then be made.

Respectfully submitted, M.J. Crowley

At the meeting, M.J. requested volunteers to scan old NLN issues, since these only go back to 1990.

AUTOMATION: Justin Scroggs

No report

BROADCAST: Melinda Carlson

The Media Asset Management program is tomorrow.

BYLAWS: Ron Larson

Debra reported for Ron that no changes were needed for the bylaws.

DIVERSITY: Laura Soto-Barra

Laura said she has tried to alert the membership to diversity issues and the committee should be continued.

EMPLOYMENT: Rosemary Nelms

SLA News Division Employment Committee Report, Submitted by Rosemary Nelms, Employment Committee Chair, June 4, 2001.

Between June 9, 2000 and June 4, 2001, 63 jobs were posted on the NewsLib listserv and/or on the NewsLib Web site. This compares to 76 jobs which were posted between June 14, 1999 and June 8, 2000. The number of postings per month has dropped noticeably in 2001, perhaps reflecting worsening economic conditions in the newspaper industry.

Of the jobs posted during the current period, 38 were in the newspaper industry, 13 represented broadcasting positions, 5 were from magazines, 2 were from wire services, and there were 5 "other" positions that did not fit into the first four categories.

Of the job totals, the majority were postings for reference librarians or researchers, full-time (21) and part-time (4). Other categories included Library Director (2); News Research Editor (3); Database Specialist, Web Feed Editor, Digital Technologies Specialist, Archive & Research Manager, Information Store Manager, Business Information Manager, Database Editor, Cataloger (2), Photo Librarian, Library Assistant (5), and Interns (4)

19 of the positions posted required an MLS; in 4, an MLS was preferred.

Of the listed skills needed or knowledge required, the ability to search databases like Lexis/Nexis, Dialog, and Dow Jones was mentioned most often. Last year, the skill most often requested was ability to search the Internet. Also appearing more often this year, were references to expertise in database development, along with knowledge of spreadsheet and database programs, as well as skills in building Web pages and intranets. Another desired characteristic mentioned more times this year than last was the ability to function well under pressure. In the current economic climate, this probably represents an important quality for us all.


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) gives owners of copyrighted digital information the right to control access to that information by banning users from circumventing codes used by the owners to block access to their material. DMCA also required the Librarian of Congress to investigate this ban and make suggestions for any exceptions to it. On October 20, 2000, the Librarian, in conjunction with the Copyright Office, issued regulations providing for two very narrow exceptions.

The first involves certain filtering software that blocks access to Web sites. Some of this software includes lists of the blocked sites, but the owners of the software will not release these so-called "blacklists. " The October rule allows hackers to break barriers to access these encoded lists.

The second exception allows circumventing barriers established by blocking software to protect copyrighted materials if they were erected by malfunctioning, damaged, or obsolete access control mechanisms.

The limited decision by the Librarian disappointed many, including the major library associations who would like to see broader use of exceptions to the circumvention ban. These associations have worked to maintain the principle of fair use in the digital age. Some members of Congress are also interested in looking into expanding fair use rights under the Act.

Spamming Legislation. Rep. Heather Wilson introduced legislation (H.R. 718) that would make electronic spamming illegal. The legislation would provide criminal penalties for intentionally transmitting unsolicited commercial e-mail messages knowing that certain information (such as a domain name associated with the message) is false.

Tasini v. New York Times. The Supreme Court heard arguments in this case on March 28, 2001. The case, brought by the National Writers Union against the New York Times, Newsday, Time, Lexis/Nexis, and University Microfilms, charged copyright violation for electronically reusing freelance work. A lower court decision in favor of the publishers was overturned by the Court of Appeals.

E-Government Legislation. Senator Joseph Lieberman introduced the E-Government Act of 2001 (S. 803) to promote electronic government services. It would establish a Chief Information Officer within the Office of Management and Budget to strengthen citizen access to electronic government information. The bill would improve the FirstGov Web site, establish an online national library, require federal courts to file decisions online, require federal agencies to put up regulatory notices, and provide training for information technology professionals. It authorized $200 million in funding. A similar, although smaller scale ($20 million), proposal was made by the Bush Administration.

National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Congress's FY 2002 budget eliminates funding for NCLIS. Final action on the issue will come later this year.

Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act (UCITA). UCITA is state-level legislation which aims to strengthen software and digital information licenses such as "shrink-wrap" licenses on new software packing, and "click-on" agreements seen when downloading new software online. Software industry supporters argue that as states pass these UCITA laws, licensing will become more uniform and more easily enforceable, and will attract more e-commerce. Opponents (including SLA) contend that UCITA laws bind consumers to contracts before they've had a chance to read them. In addition, the laws allow vendors to collect confidential information about licensees, to "look into" computers to be sure that the contracts are being upheld, and to disable software if it they are not.

A number of states have considered these laws; some have enacted them. Recently, however, the Texas legislature killed its UCITA legislation. SLA' s Government Affairs Committee sees this as the beginning of an encouraging trend in other states considering bills.

SLA's Government Affairs and Intellectual Property Committee has been reviewing its public policy statements (used to guide our policy initiatives) and at the San Antonio conference will be reviewing new draft policy statements.


News Division International Relations Report for 2000/2001.

It’s been quite an active year for the News Division with lots of involvement in international conferences and activities – let’s hope this is indicative of a trend that will go from strength to strength. There was a good turn out for annual conference last year in Philadelphia, and Nora Paul did her workshops at the Netmedia conference in London in July. Things really got underway in October with the Global 2000 conference in Brighton. Since then rarely a month seems to go by without news of some international activity popping up on Newslib list. Finally to round the year off Annabel Colley has become the first News Division member to be awarded the European Special Librarian of the Year (ELSY) accolade. Make sure you attend her talk at the San Antonio conference. To give a flavour of what’s been happening over the year take a look at the list of some the activities that have occurred. All have raised the profile of the profession and publicised the Division’s work.

October 2000

  • AUKML Conference, Leicester, England - Conveniently timed to fit in before Global 2000, this conference organised by the Association of UK Media Librarians (AUKML), entitled ‘Work smarter, not harder’, drew delegates from all over the world, including many News Division members from UK, US, Denmark and Hong Kong.
  • Global 2000 Worldwide Conference on Special Librarianship, Brighton, England - News Division, in conjunction with the Freedom Forum and the Association of UK Media Librarians (AUKML), sponsored a well-attended session: ‘The impact of news in a changing global climate’. The session was chaired by Annabel Colley, AUKML Chair, and the speakers were Christopher Hamilton, Librarian, Freedom Forum Library, St. Petersburg, Russia; Mihaela Danga, Manager, Freedom Forum News Library, Bucharest, Romania; Kate Arnold, Research Editor, BBC.
  • Freedom Forum Fellowship in Asia - Cathy Tierney went on the first Freedom Forum Fellowship training programme in Asia. During her two-week stint Cathy delivered an Internet training course & library technology lectures for journalists & researchers in Hong Kong, Macau and China.

December 2000

  • Online International conference, London - Debra Bade, Director, Online Training and Development, CNN provided a case study of training at CNN as part of the session on ‘Information literacy in the information age’. Several News Division members attended the conference and exhibition as delegates.

January-June 2001

  • Barbara Semonche, Library Director, Park Library, UNC has been in Budapest, Hungary for Spring 2001 where she has been working with journalists and librarians in The Freedom Forum's news library at the Center for Independent Journalism. She has also given seminars and workshops on media librarianship for groups in the Netherlands and Denmark.

March 2001

  • Internet Librarian International conference, London - Margot Williams, The Washington Post, gave a talk on ‘Managing knowledge assets in a daily newspaper’ as part of the ‘Intranet professional’s institute: knowledge management’ session.

May 2001

  • Sweden - Ginny Everett, Director Information Services, Atlanta-Journal Constitution, gave a talk on how new media has changed and is still changing our roles within our news organisations at a conference of Scandinavian news researchers and archivists.
  • European Special Librarian of the Year (ESLY) Award - Annabel Colley has been awarded the ESLY for 2001. She is the first News Librarian to win this prestigious award, which seeks to recognise outstanding achievement in special librarianship in Europe by developing innovative concepts and services which contribute to the better promotion and appreciation of the work of special librarians amongst information professionals, clients and wider world.

MEMBERSHIP: Sammy Alzofon

Sammy Alzofon reported that the News Division is still losing members. We had over 900 members in 1999; a tad over 800 in 2000; now there are 774 members.

The Membership committee sends out new member packets with a introductory letter and a copy of the Division directory. This year, Sammy also sent out an email asking new members for a short biography for News Library News. There was a good response to that request.

Sammy obtained extra address labels to send leftover directories to students and journalism organizations. She thanked NewsBank for publishing our directory.

Members were reminded that we can keep our own records updated on SLA’s site. Keeping headquarters updated helps keep our membership directory accurate.

Sammy asked to step down from the head of membership because of her responsibilities as incoming chair of the Florida chapter.

NEWS LIBRARY NEWS: Leigh Poitinger

Leigh Poitinger said the bulletin needs a "people" columnist and is always looking to members for story ideas.

The bulletin usually has 12 pages, but has not had any advertisements this year; an ad manager is also needed.

Our printer, NewsBank, is "a joy to work with."


Annual Report of the 2001-2002 Elections, SLA News Division, Marilyn Bromley, Teller/Elections Chair, BNA Library, June 6, 2001.

Ballots for three Executive Board positions (chair-elect, treasurer and director-education/professional development chair) were mailed out in early March 2001 to all current News Division members. Ballots were to be postmarked no later than April 10, 2001 in order to be counted.

All 225 ballots returned by that date were valid - 29% of News Division members. This percentage was 30% in 2000 and 34% in 1999.

The winners are: Michael Jesse, Chair-Elect; Catherine Kitchell, Treasurer; Jennifer Small Evert, Director-Education/Professional Development Chair.

Expenses for the election were donated by BNA and the BNA Library staff.


No report. Debra reminded the members that the auction of donated items will be held in the Division suite Tuesday night.


No report.


John said the strategic plan is already in place and recommended Jody appoint a new chair to carry on the process.



Laura Soto-Barra spoke of the benefits of the news research / news library management courses held at Poynter Institute. There have been no classes since Nora Paul left Poynter, so Laura contacted Paul Pohlman, Associate Dean there. Paul is willing to coordinate courses with the News Division. In the past, our members participated in research, leadership and management seminars. Laura volunteered to work with Paul in continuing these classes.

Barbara Semonche read the following message from Lany McDonald, thanking the Division members for expressions of support following AOL/Time Warner cuts in their research center.

"I'm so sorry that I won't be with all my News Division colleagues in San Antonio next week. Please give my best to everyone. Other than Justin, whom I insisted attend and represent us, the Research Center staff members who had planned to go to conference all decided to forego it this year. They simply have too much to deal with here.

In tribute to them and to News Division members the world over, I would appreciate it if one of you would share this paragraph from a letter I just received from Dan Okrent (former editor of Life, author of The Ultimate Baseball Book and Nine Innings and contributor to Ken Burns's PBS Baseball special). He first expressed his utter dismay at the closing of the Research Center and then wrote this paragraph. He gave me permission to share it with all of you.

"For if you had asked me to define my workaday dream, I would have said something like this: let me be associated with a group of professionals who know a million things that I don't know, and how to discover millions more; let them (like almost no one else in this industry) do their work with an uncannily steady good nature; let them be people who seek not credit, but simply excellence; who constantly prop up the lazy, or the uncomprehending, or the unimaginative (that is to say, journalists like me)."

Many thanks for all the kind, supportive messages we've received,


Debra gave a brief overview of the News Division regional seminar held in Atlanta, organized by herself and Ginny. David Bender was the keynote speaker.

The Division is a founding contributor to the David Bender Endowment Fund for International Development. We gave $500 towards this new fund which honors SLA’s retiring executive director. SLA will use the fund to support international conferences, offer fellowships and expand the organization’s global reach.

Debra suggested creating a fellowship honoring C.B. Hayden. Since he mentored students and new Division members, the C.B. Hayden Fellowship might sponsor a news librarian from another country to come to the annual conference. Debra asked for discussion. Members expressed support in formally recognizing C.B.’ s contributions. More assistance for small libraries was recommended. Financial backing for "first-timers" coming to conference was also suggested. Debra has already received $125 in start-up contributions from two sources and proposed looking into vendor partners and revenue-generating accounts. Debra asked for a motion to create a committee to develop the fellowship, starting with $1000 from the Division. Donna Scheeder so moved, Richard Geiger seconded.

Thanks and a certificate of recognition were given to outgoing director of education Carolyn Edds. Outgoing treasurer Bill Van Niekerken, who was not present, was also acknowledged with thanks and a certificate.

The new Division officers were introduced: Michael Jesse, Chair-Elect; Catherine Kitchell, Treasurer; Jennifer Small Evert, Director-Education/Professional Development Chair.

Debra passed the gavel to Jody Habayeb, who started her term as president of the News Division by asking for a motion to adjourn the meeting. It was so moved and seconded.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.