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Vol. 24, No. 2/Winter 2002

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Elections: Nominations for the 2002 News Division Board elections



Linda HendersonLinda Henderson
Library Director, Providence Journal

I have been at the Providence Journal since 1986 and the Library Director since 1991. I started in news libraries at the Courier News in Bridgewater, New Jersey in 1978 in a one-person library with absolutely no resources. After six years there and a short hiatus into corporate life (AT&T) I landed at the Journal under the direction of the late Joe Mehr. He had a few fast rules, including active involvement in SLA, which I had joined in 1978. I soon became president of the Rhode Island chapter and, as my responsibilities increased at the Journal, I became active in the News Division as well.

Since then, I have served the Division in about every role possible, including bylaws chair, nominations chair, editor of News Library News, secretary and, this year, membership chair. During my years at the Journal, I, like many of my colleagues, have overseen a total renovation of the library space; the installation of a new integrated archive; the launch of a Web-based intranet; and the paring down (by attrition) of a once large staff to a very efficient small one. And then there's that little problem of the continuing reevaluation of the mission of the news library in the 21st century. This past November, I participated in the summit on that topic at the University of Minnesota.

In real life, I live in the country in a Victorian farmhouse on a pond with a pampered cat and too many books. I garden, ski, sail and am working up the courage to again take up ice skating on the pond this winter. I also spend an inordinate amount of time and money in the antique meccas that are a too-short distance from my house. I am a native of Oneida, New York, where my family still lives. I have a BA in English from St. Lawrence University and an MLIS from Rutgers University.

I am honored to be asked to be chair-elect and hope to serve the Division as well as it has served me.


Elisabeth DonovanElisabeth Donovan
Research Editor, Miami Herald

I got into newspapers after graduation from college (B.A. from Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York, in political science with one year at London School of Economics) when I was hired to put together contest entries at the Washington Post. When that job finished, I was recommended to the Postís library director Mark Hannan, was hired and started at the beginning of March 1968. That week, Martin Luther King was killed and the city erupted in rioting. What an introduction to the news business!

I was assistant librarian at the Post. I quickly learned research was my skill; I helped with research for Pentagon Papers and Watergate stories, including research for Woodward and Bernstein's All the President's Men. I moved to the national desk and helped with election coverage, coverage of Nixonís last days and much more.

In 1975 I left the Post to travel to Central America. When I came back I started and ran a natural food store in the North Carolina mountains for 4 years.

In 1980 I came to Miami and started work (for Nora Paul) at the Miami Herald library in 1981. I was in the library for 10 years, then moved to the newsroom as Research Editor.

Iím responsible for research and public records training, online resources contracts and budgeting, and am part of our CAR team. I regularly get research credit on stories, along with bylines on chronologies and other infoboxes, along with credits on several books by Herald staffers and others.

I started a newsroom intranet in 1995 and have been maintaining Ė and improving - it ever since. In coming months Iíll be getting more involved with the Heraldís web site. I also maintain a personal web site for news researchers at called Behind the News.

I was part of team awarded 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for coverage of Miami election fraud and am featured in the 2000 book Super Searchers in the News. Iíve spoken at several SLA conferences on various research topics, and also at Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Florida News Librarians' Association (FNLA), a Latin American Investigative Journalistsí convention in Santiago, Chile sponsored by Interamerican Press Association, and at NetMedia2001 in London.

Iíve been active in SLA, attending meetings alternate years, since about 1990. Iíve also been active for many years in the FNLA, including two terms as president. Iím also an IRE member and have attended several conventions.



Laura Soto-BarraLaura Soto-Barra
AME/Library, The Post-Standard

I earned my MLS in the University of Toronto in 1990 and my BLS in the University of Chile in 1973. For more than 20 years I have worked in all types of libraries in three countries. My interest in newspaper libraries started in Toronto when I was working for Micromedia. I indexed the Halifax Chronicle Herald for a few years and the Toronto Star for a few months, for the Canadian Index. In 1997, I moved to the Florida Times-Union as Library Systems Administrator. I have been the Assistant Managing Editor/Library for The Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York since January 2000.

My interests are not only in how journalists seek and use information, but also in how news librarians can help the newspaper industry. We have unique skills and expertise unmatched in newsrooms. I also believe we should be more aggressive in lobbying universities so they include our field as part of the curriculum.

I have been a member of the SLA since 1995 and a member of the News Division since 1997. I believe in participation in our association. We are not isolated professionals and our field needs a strong base to put forward our interests. The SLA and our Division needs commitment which Iím prepared to offer to all of you. I enjoy the News Division camaraderie and spontaneity of its members. Since my first year in the USA, I have felt supported and welcomed by all of you, during the conferences and in my everyday work through newslib. There are times when we get a lot from the Division and there is a time to give back.

My experience as Secretary was in the University of Toronto as the secretary of the Faculty of Information Studies Alumni Association, FISAA, for several years after graduation.

Thank you for your support.


Leigh PoitingerLeigh Poitinger
News Research Director, San Jose Mercury News

I am currently the News Research Director at the San Jose Mercury News, where I oversee research, archiving and the library intranet as well as the daily management of the library. I joined the Mercury News in 1999 as News Research Webmaster. In that role I expanded and maintained the library's intranet and worked on numerous research projects. Prior to joining the Mercury News I was a librarian at the Baltimore Sun where I was part of the team that developed the company's intranet.

I've been a member of SLA since 1995. In 1997 I received the News Division's Vormelker-Thomas Student Stipend Award to attend the SLA annual conference in Seattle. In Baltimore I was newsletter designer and then recording secretary for the SLA Maryland Chapter. I was bylaws chair of the News Division from 1997-2000 and have been the editor of News Library News since June 2000.

I enjoy editing NLN because it's brought me into contact with so many Division members. Our strength as a Division - and as a profession - lies in our willingness to share ideas and experiences. I find the News Division to be an invaluable resource and am eager to contribute however I can.

Nominations Chair: Jacquelyn Cenacveria, Los Angeles Times. Nominations Committee: Judy Canter, San Francisco Chronicle; Linda Deitch, Columbus Dispatch; Barbara Hijek, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel; Sharon Reeves, San Diego Union-Tribune.