News Library News Online
Vol. 18, No.2/Winter 1996

Agnes Mcfarlane Is Retiring
Aside Bar
Channels: Major Broadcast Organizations Are On The 'Net
Job Opening At The Denver Post
Nominations Committee Presents Candidates For Division Board
In Case You Missed It...
Notes From The Chair
Nuts and Bolts: Weeding Photos, Public Service Revisited and L.L. Bean
Treasurer's Report

By Steve Proulx
Manager, Editorial Systems/PrePress
Pacific Press Newspapers

First George Burns dies, then I get a call from Agnes McFarlane from Montreal saying she is retiring.

In the early 1980s Montreal Gazette Publisher Clark Davey had a vision of electronic libraries as profit centres. The vision turned into Infomart, and Agnes McFarlane ran the news library that launched it.

I was in Ottawa at the time, and very envious because my library was second in the race to get infomart on the map. (OK, it seemed important at the time.....). The fact is, I always wanted to work in Montreal, but I knew if Agnes was there I'd never get the chance.

Shirley Mooney. Carol Lindsay. Agnes McFarlane.

In Canadian news libraries in the '70s and '80s that was a dominant group. They contributed enormously to the news library profession, and taught me a lot about news librarianship.

And one by one they have now retired.

It's the end of an era, folks.

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By Linda Henderson

The big news from little Rhody is that, despite the threat of layoffs and all sorts of other dire news, we are FINALLY getting serious about archiving photos. By the time you read this, our committee will have submitted a proposal to the honchos with an eye toward a purchase by the end of the year. Many of you will have heard from me as I try to pick your brains about what's right and wrong with current systems. In my quest so far, I have found that News Division people are always willing to drop everything to help a colleague with a problem. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me or to any of us. You guys are great. Thanks.

In this issue, you'll be introduced to the candidates for Chair-elect, Secretary and Director of Publications of the News Division. Debra Bade and her committee have come up with a strong slate and I hope you'll take a minute to read the biographies and make your choices.

In other division business, there is an optimistic treasurer's report and a very preliminary schedule of News Divison events coming up in Boston in June to whet your appetite.

A reminder: The deadline for the Spring issue is March 15 (which is probably about now), so if you need to get anything into our action-packed pre-conference issue, call me today.

Finally, a red-faced apology for a little mistake that slipped into the Fall issue. I gave you the wrong address for the Newslib listserv. Please note the corrected information on page 9.

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By Kee Malesky
National Public Radio

Stranded at home in the Great Blizzard of 1996, I decided to spend a few hours cruising the ol' www, looking for worthwhile broadcast news web pages. By 'worthwhile' I mean those that have some value for news librarians. I didn't just look for what seems "cool and neat" (we must always use the correct technical terminology), but for features that can help us verify a fact or find good background research. We're often asked to locate a transcript of a recent news program, or identify the person, book, or web site that was profiled. Other things to consider in using these home pages: how often are they updated; how deep are the archives; are they searchable?

Some of the standard caveats of internet use apply here. Things I'm looking at in mid-January may have changed, developed, or disappeared in a few months. Speed is crucial to the efficient use of these resources, and delays may be a problem you must deal with in your local system. Anyone who has tried searching on the internet knows the engines are not very sophisticated. Many broadcast sites require RealAudio or QuickTime or other audio or video software in order to hear and see the things they offer. Some of these sites allow you to download the software if you don't already have it.

I used Netscape to access these web pages; you need it (or another graphical interface) to enjoy the glitzy color graphics, but most information is available as text-only if that will satisfy your news staff. Direct addresses are listed here, but you can also access these sites from such well know news resources as NewsLink and Barbara Shapiro's Page at the Palm Beach Post.


The Vanderbilt University Television News Archives provides tapes and abstracts of the major commercial television network news programs. The abstracts are brief summaries of news stories, listing reporter and interviewee/guest. The archive of abstracts is searchable; tapes can be borrowed. Vanderbilt also provides "special collections" of programs on specific topics (Gulf War, Soviet Coup).



The ABC television home page in mid-January was only supplying information on selected entertainment programs, and had a link to ABC RadioNet for those who wanted to sign up as Beta testers.

However, ABC RadioNet does actually provide some interesting material from news programs from both the radio and television networks. You can click on 4 major US cities to get local news summaries, listen to their radio newscast each hour, and get national sports, weather, and ski reports (a seasonal feature, I presume). Clicking on "World News Tonight" icon brings you to the complete audio of last night's program (no archive available now). The "Inside Washington" icon leads to the presidential radio addresses and GOP response, and the current FBI Most Wanted List (with photos!) Another section, called Soundbox, had reports by Hugh Downs on computer systems, and entertainment news.


This home page lets you select News Programs, and then provides historical background on each show, host and reporter biographies and photos, and even complete staff credits. There's a search button which allows you to look at NBC News Focus reports, but doesn't appear to search a news archive. The reports ("Crisis in the Balkans", for example) do provide some excellent background information. Because NBC will be broadcasting the Olympics this year, they already have lots of good info available on the games (athlete profiles, the torch relay, etc.) and we can assume they'll be a great source for the kind of obscure details that reporters will want. NBC is also involved with the Microsoft Network in creating NBC SuperNet, which will "report and produce news packages exclusively for NBC News Online" with original content and state-of-the-art graphics. The NBC home page also links to their other network, CNBC.


Cable News Network's home page was NewsLink's "Best Site of 1995," as voted by many members of the News Division. It provides news briefs, headlines, and full stories, often with links to background or related material. Their graphic menu lets you select type of news (world, business, food & health, etc.) and look at recent stories. There is a searchable archive that can pull up images and sound as well as text. A search on "Bosnia" found the maximum 50 hits, but titles were not displayed in any identifiable order. Clicking the Transcript button takes you to "many weeks worth of archived stories," where you can select from a list of show titles and read complete transcripts, though the number of programs and date range varies.


This site was being upgraded in January, so it may be quite different by the time you read this. The main screen gives the usual information on selected programs, access to sports, and a selection of FAQ's (how to order transcripts and tapes, for example). The most interesting feature for librarians is CBS UTTM: CBS News Up To The Minute Online. It requires Real Audio and Real Time Streaming Video to hear and view the tape clips available. Also included is the brief text of the latest news stories (though no time stamp is indicated), reviews of internet and CD-ROM developments, and links to CBS member stations sites. "CBS News Path" is an interesting description of the technological process involved in news gathering. At the time of this review, the special reports provided included "Five Years After Desert Storm" and "A Look Back with CBS Consultant and Mid-East Expert Fouad Ajami."


The CBC's home page allows you to choose radio and television services in English and French. English Radio has some interesting features. Clicking on News & Sports takes you to two daily audio newscasts, "World Report" and "Canada at 5," plus brief text headlines that are updated hourly. It links to the CBC radio archive which is searchable, and provides ordering information for transcripts. On an experimental basis, they were also posting the full transcript of the previous evening's program, "The National."


The NPR page presents "The Story of the Day" and a daily audio newscast, plus some "news in depth" features. In mid-January they included the 1995 Year in Review piece, as well as some background on Bosnia, and the Election 1996 Project. Many individual news and cultural programs have their own web pages, with current program listings, host biography and photo (the usual stuff). Full transcripts are not online, but the news programs post their rundowns (brief descriptions of each piece in each news program). You can check them to verify a name or date, and then find the full transcript in Nexis. Another useful feature of the rundowns (for All Things COnsidered and Weekend Edition/Sunday) is the music link: the directors include information on those little pieces of music (buttons and deadrolls) that separate news stories. There is also information provided about ordering tapes and transcripts.

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Assistant Librarian, Denver Post

Responsibilities to include helping to install and maintain electronic photo oarchive system. Coordinating of daily work flow on photo and text archive systems on Monday - Friday basis. Customer service to news staff, other employees and public.

Qualifications necessary include: A bachelors' degree and five year experience working in a newspaper library or newspaper systems management position. Experience maintaing any in-house electronic photo archive system such as Merlin, AP, AXS, etc. Also experience using and maintaining any in-house text database archive. Experience using Lexis, Nexis, DataTimes, Dialog, Dow Jones News or WWW, etc.

Systems management preferred. Management experience helpful. Excellent spelling and good attendance are musts.

Salary $35,600. Benefits. Date of availability - March 1, 1996.

Send resume, queries ASAP to:

Vickie Makings
The Denver Post
1560 Broadway
Denver, CO 80202
or fax to:
Vickie Makings

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For Chair-elect:

Tom Lutgen has been the Library Director at the Los Angeles Times since April of 1993. He joined the Times in January, 1980 as Head of Reference and Research.

Tom attended the University of California, Riverside and earned his MLS at the University of Southern California. Before joining the Times, he served as reference librarian in several publilc libraries in Southern California, including City of Commerce, Santa Ana Public and Riverside City and County Library.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Library is a large and hectic place with a principal clientele of about 1,100 reporters and editors. This clientele includes staff in bureaus around the country and in key capitals throughout the world. Tom says that the Times library's challenges are the same as those for all news libraries: Technologies are evolving rapidly and a multiplicity of formats are making the task of archiving data increasingly complex. There are new demands and opportunities for re-using all editorial content in a variety of new outlets, both print and electronic. Librarians need to find time for training for both the library staff and for the journalists with whom we work is increasing. And, finally, there is the challenge to do more with less.

The Times library has a staff of about 45 employees. The staff produces the full-text archive for internal and external use, archives about 100 photos digitally per day and responds to more than 100,000 request for information and photos each year. The Times library staff is also active in the newspaper's computer-assisted journalism projects.

For Secretary:

Kathleen Flynn has recently joined the News Research Services of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as Deputy Director after six years at U.S. News and World Report.

In her position as Coordinator of Electronic Information Services at U.S. News, Kathleen assisted and trained library and editorial staff in the use of electronic information, including CD-ROM, online databases and the Internet.

Kathleen has been involved in the Special Libraries Association since joining as a student member in 1988. She was the recipient of the SLA scholarship in 1989. Kathleen has been a member of the News division since 1990 and was a panelist at the Montreal conference.

Kathleen is also past-president of the Iota Chapter of Beta Phi Mu and active member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors. She has done training and served on several panels at IRE conferences.

This past October, Kathleen developed and conducted an Internet training program for journalists and librarians at the Freedom Forum News Libraries in the Czech and Slovak Republics as the first Freedom Forum/Special Libraries Association Fellow.


Jeanette Brown is Assistant Director of the Library at USA Today. She began her career in 1968 at the Washington Post, while still in college. At the time, she was working toward a degree in education and says that she had no idea that she would spend her professional life as a news librarian.

Since college, Jeanette has worked at the Marietta (Ohio) Times; the Lansing (Michigan) State Journal; the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and the Modesto Bee. She has worked in many situations: In a one-person operation, where she filed clips and put together the TV magazine every week; in a larger library overseeing the database; and at a small newspaper bringing it into the electronic age. Along the way, she has worked with or gotten to know many members of the division. Jeanette says that she is honored to have been nominated for office.

In 1992, Jeanette was selected for the Maynard Institute's Management Training Center at Northwestern University. In addition to SLA, she is a member of IRE and a past member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). She is an avid reader and film buff and enjoys doing needlework in her spare time.

For Director of Publications

Pete Basofin is the Chief Librarian at the Sacramento Bee. Prior to moving to California, he served as a reference librarian, Tampa Bureau librarian and database supervisor at the St. Petersburg Times Library.

He also worked in newspaper libraries at the Columbia Missourian and Columbia Daily Times in Missouri. Pete holds BA and MS degrees in English and Library Science, respectively, from the University of Illinois.

Pete has given several presentations at SLA conferences and has been active in regional news librarian groups in Florida and California. He designed and currently maintains the News Division Worldwide Web site. He says that he has a keen interest in the use of the Internet by librarians for research, networking and outreach.


Gay Nemeti, library resources/service manager at the Miami Herald, has been with the newspaper since 1979. She began at the paper on the copy staff, but was recruited by then-director Nora Paul at the time when newspaper libraries were beginning to automate and started using online research.

After the department recreated itself in the early 1990's, absorbing newsroom systems and launching a fee-based public research service, Gay became library resources manager. Her area is chiefly responsible for the daily production of the text and image databases, maintenance of photo and clip archives and development of the book and reference material collections. Gay is also part of the newsroom training plan, training reporters and editors on resources and searching the in-house databases. Gay was a panelist in Montreal in 1995, speaking on print resources.

Gay has been an SLA News Division member since 1983 and is also a member of IRE and the Florida News Librarians Association. She has served on the staff of News Library News since 1993, handling advertising/new accounts for the newsletter.

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The January/February, 1996 issue of Columbia Journalism Review had a good overview of political sources in cyberspace that could be of use in the 1996 election season. That same issue had a round-up of some potentially valuable Web sites for journalists.

Look at the News Division web site for a good article, "The Joys of Being a News Librarian", by Joanne Meil of USA Today. It originally appeared in AJR.

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In the Fall issue of NLN, there were directions to subscribe to the Newslib listserv. There was a mistake in the directions because the address has changed slightly. Listserv has been replaced by listproc. Here is the corrected version:

Address an email to:
Type this request in the text area: SUBSCRIBE NewsLib yourfirst lastname
And send the message.

Just be certain that there are no other words on the email message such as one's signature.

Shortly you will receive a computer-generated welcome message. Read it and save it for future reference. It describes the policies and procedures of NewsLib.

Thanks to Barbara Semonche for pointing out the error.

To the top.

By Charlie Campo

It was the winter of our discontent (not to mention the column of our cliche).

This year, hardly a week has gone by that has not contained some depressing report of another news library's struggle for survival. Newsrooms have become leaner and meaner and news librarians need to reassess their future. Newsprint consumers have been hit the hardest, as paper costs continue to skyrocket.

Downsizing, once a scary story told before the conference campfire, is now huffing and puffing away at our news libraries. If the wolf is at the door, it will be up to us to devise a way to lure him down the chimney into our boiling pot.

Since the "D" word is here to stay, it is important to realize that librarians are among the important and essential corporate players that will lead their companies into a retooled workplace.

Being a news librarian is hard work. People who know how to persevere and who have a track recod of creating innovative solutions to diverse problems will determine how well institutions manage downsizing. Industrious news librarians should be at the head of the pack, providing benchmarks for creative change.

That is a daunting challlenge and pretty heady stuff for folks who are already being asked to do more with less, to empower the end-user, to coordinate revenue-generating projects and to plan for the 21st century.

It concerns me that News Division members are struggling with this demon one situation at a time, often long after there is any chance for meaningful communication with management.

I believe it is time for our members to formally address the phenomenon of downsizing with the same vigor that they have brought to discussions of technological innovation. To that end, I will recommend thatt he Executive Board, persuant to Article VI, Section 1 of the Division bylaws, establish an Ad Hoc Committee on Core Values for News Libraries.

This group will be charged with developing a plan for gathering, analyzing and reporting anecdotal information relating to news library downsizing. An emphasis will be placed on relating specific ideas of members who have had mission-threatening experiences in their workplaces.

If we are to prosper professionally, we should collectively appreciate the creative and progressive ways in which many have approached the challenge of preserving the integrity of their libraries. The board will discuss further action during the June 1996 meeting.

On other business:

I certainly was not surprised when Debra Bade, our current chair of the nominations committee, reported that she had successfully completed her assignment. She is one of the leaders of our division, who takes on important tasks with flair, and does an excellent job without fanfare. She, and her fellow committee members - Lu-Ann Farrar, Elizabeth Haworth, Barbara Hijek and Michael Perlman - have presented the board with a slate of outstanding candidates.

Ginny Hauswald, elections committee chair, now has an appealing collection of members to grace this year's ballot.

Tom Lutgen has agreed to join a long line of candidates for Chair-elect who have watched the returns come in long after they have been up to their ears in planning for the successive year's conference. Tom is already scheduling sessions to be held in Seattle in June 1997 and will welcome suggestions and offers of assistance.

Gay Nemeti and Pete Basofin will be vying for the Director of Publications post and Kathleen Flynn and Jeanette Brown will face off for the office of Secretary.

Agreeing to run for division office is a major professional commitment for individuals and their employers. We are extremely fortunate to attract such well-qualified candidates year after year in the News Division. Each meeting of the SLA Division Cabinet devotes time to discussion of problems other divisions have in recruiting officers. It is not unusual to encounter individuals who have served as officers in their division multiple times because others would not come forward to shoulder the load.

The continual influx of new leadership helps our division maintain a flexible dynamic that more accurately reflects the diversity of news librarians. On behalf of the division, I want to heartily congratulate all who have agree to run. You are all winners. Thank you!

Teresa Leonard is well on her way with the planning of a rebel invasion of that bastion of yankeedom, Boston. This June is going to be a blockbuster experience, complete with historical enrichment. Plan to join us on the Freedom Trail.

I must call Teresa and chat about the annual drawdown of propeller hats and whoopie cushions for the division suite.

But that is a story for another day....

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By Marcia MacVane

The winter doldrums have set in. People in New England are rushing around trying to find snow blowers, snow shovels, snow plows, or someone to employ any of the above.

If you work in a news library, you're always shoveling something. For my column this issue, I thought I'd shovel some ideas and thoughts your way...

January in Portland, Maine usually finds the library staff reorganizing for the coming year and trying to finish off last year's projects. Because January is generally quiet for news (other than the occasional blizzard), we can get a good jump on the year.

Five years ago, we began color-coding our picture files, anticipating that by now we would again be running low on picture-filing-space and would not yet have purchased an electronic picture archiving system. Right - on both counts!

Our pictures are filed in vertical rolling shelves; some shelves are packed so tightly that we practically need crowbars to remove files. With the color-coding, we can simply eyeball the shelves, looking for those files with no color-coding (which means they contain pictures over five years old) or with the red color-coding specific to 1991 (which means they were first published in that year).

Weeding then becomes a simple chore: remove appropriate files and double-check the contents. If the pictures should remain on file, color-code for 1996. Otherwise, DUMP IT.

More on public service:

I received a letter from Kathe Kier, responding to my last article on a fee-based library. She writes: "I'm the librarian - the only one - at The Times Leader, a mid-sized paper in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Believe it or not, in addition to helping reporters, archiving stories in our electronic database, and maintaining photo files, I maintain public hours! I've cut them back in the year that I've been here, but I still open the library to the public Wednesday through Friday from 10 to 12. People come up to use our microfilm and clip files for a printing fee of $.50 per page. While I can assist with the microfilm reader, etc., I stress that I can't do research for the public. I also receive a fair number of faxes and letters from all over the country requesting information, usually to aid in genealogical research.

"I would love to eliminate these services. I do like helping the public, (most of the time), but I just don't have the time to help both the public and the newsroom. Your article made me wonder if perhaps charging greater fees for both printing and the actual service provided would generate some revenue and weed out the smaller requests I get."

I'm sure Kathe would enjoy hearing from librarians, both from large papers as well as small, for any ideas / encouragement / samples. How about a whirlwind tour up the coast?

Since many of you will be coming to the Northeast for the SLA conference, the "Mainiac" branch of the News Division (well, Charlie Campo and I, to be exact) tossed around an idea for a post-convention expedition.

Still in its formative stages, we were thinking of a mad dash up the coast Wednesday afternoon/evening - stopping in Kennebunkport for a quick view of the rocky coast of Maine and the summer residence of George Bush - followed by a down-and-dirty lobster/clambake. Laden with cholesterol, we would proceed up the 'pike and shop in the middle of the night at one of the most famous stores in the world - L.L. Bean - returning to Boston in the wee hours of the morning.

Freeport (L.L. Bean) is about 2.5-3 hours away from Boston, so we are talking about being gone for the better part of the afternoon, evening and night. If enough people are interested in doing this, I will be happy to plan it. HOWEVER, I hate to spend a lot of time planning not knowing if anyone REALLY would have enough energy left after convention to do something like this. How about giving me a call (207-791-6318) if you're interested? Keep in mind that there is an IRE conference beginning in Providence on Thursday, so if you plan on attending, you may not be interested in getting even more exhausted!

Next time...

Downsizing, rightsizing, layoffs, buyouts........It doesn't matter what you call it. How have you handled it? Any innovative ideas you can share with the rest of the membership? Call or write to me and I'll mention them in my next column...

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By Catherine Kitchell
Bureau of National Affairs

The Seattle Times News Library has reorganized. Barbara Davis is in charge of the new Database Resale and Permissions Department and three indexers. She is awaiting a new title which she hopes will be shorter than her last one! Lydia Chase is the photo librarian; she has moved, with the photo files to the News Photo Department.

M. J. Crowley, formerly Library Manager, Philadelphia Newspapers, is said good-bye to her Knight-Ridder friends and started in January at the Newark Star-Ledger. She will be the Information Editor for their new "virtual library" working for editor Jim Willse. News librarians take note: Willse's mission is to improve the quality of the Star Ledger and make it comparable to other big city newspapers like the Miami Herald and the Dallas Morning News. Newly hired reporters, spoiled with good news research at their old papers, quickly noticed the lack of a library. She will be hiring a staff and notes that she is taking the News Division Archives with her.

In other moves Laura Perkins has joined Mona Hatfield's staff at the Contra Costa Times. She will be a reference librarian handling requests for both internal staff and the public as well as doing database enhancement. Before her new job, she was an intern at the San Francisco Chronicle. She received her MLS at the University of Kentucky in December 1994 and was and abstracter/indexer with UMI for six years. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has hired Sandy Date as the new Assistant Head Librarian. She was with Russell Reynolds, an executive recruitment firm, and has also worked for Pillsbury and Teltech.

Since June, Janice C. Fennell has been the new Director of the Library Information Center at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Janice has a Doctorate in Library Science and was Director of Libraries for Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia.

James R. Meier has joined The Sporting News Archives in the newly created position of Librarian. He will be moving to St. Louis from Durham, NC, where he worked for the Durham County Library. He also has previously had positions at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Job opening in the Windy City

John Jansson at the Chicago Tribune is looking for a news photo librarian. The ideal candidate will have a good knowledge of PCs and major online experience with at least 2 years of management or staff experience. The job is day shift but may involve some weekend work. Please contact John at (312) 222-3466.

New directory available

Andy Ippolito (LDA Publishers) has published a new edition of the "International Directory of News Libraries". He has once again promised to donate 10% of the price of every copy sold to the News Division. On a more personal note

Michelle Quigley, of the Palm Beach Post, and her husband Steve welcomed August Jon Plamann on December 26. Mary Kate Leming reports that she is going to get the "kid researching as soon as possible".

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BEGINNING BALANCE (July '95): $14,235


Conference income: $5,054
News Library News advertising revenue: 2,320
Bank interest paid to date: 128



Conference expenses: $6,025
NLN publ/print/mail expenses: 6,035
New checks/fee: 62


ENDING BALANCE (January, 1996): $9,615

Jody Habayeb

News Library News
SLA News Division Home

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