News Library News Online
Vol. 20, No.4/Summer 1998

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Business is News in Indy: Well Stocked With Insider Information

By Nisa Asokan

The session took place at eight o’clock on a cold Sunday morning but Mary Danehy and Diane Henriques packed the room with an assortment of special librarians. Even those versed in business reference walked away with new-found insider business tips. Expert business researcher, Mary Danehy, Coordinator of Business Information Services for Time Inc. Research Center, laid a heavy foundation of business information resources. Diane Henriques, financial investigative reporter for the New York Times, added the finishing touches with a highly anecdotal account of alternative business information gathering techniques. Why has business become big news? Both speakers addressed this question.

Because so much business information is available on the web, many newspapers are reinventing their business sections. Stock tables are not as valuable to readers as they used to be. Business editors are focusing more on trend and analytical pieces. Consequently, Mary Danehy believes news librarians will be called on to do more in-depth business research. Business is becoming big news for news research.

To become excellent researchers, librarians must recognize good tools. Danehy arms us with an array of suggestions for the best print, CD-ROM, and online database sources. If she "could only have one book," Danehy would choose the Encyclopedia of Business Information. I noticed this text was well thumbed through at the Gale booth.

Danehy also covered a wide range of primary sources from the basics (10Ks, 10Qs) to the more esoteric entities, such as the ominous sounding "Conference Board". I’m still not exactly sure what that is, but if you have a relationship with one, it is a good place to get financial ratios.

As a seasoned professional, Danehy offers some valuable insider tips. For example, you can call Disclosure and pick their brains for help. You are charged only if you order a document. Also, look for CD-ROMs and online products that allow you to export data into a spreadsheet where reporters can manipulate the data and create charts and graphs. Of course, Danehy mentions Bloomberg as a "one-stop shopping" place for business information. Be wary of their new platform, Open Bloomberg - Danehy suspects their export feature is nothing more than a cut-and-paste option. Finally, for those not familiar with business jargon, Danehy suggests "never let on you don’t know what the client is asking you." You are librarians. You can figure it out.

On the flip side, Diane Henriques is not a librarian. Henriques illustrated her discussion with stories from her personal experiences of being a financial investigative reporter at the New York Times. Her talk was engaging and laden with heavy doses of skepticism.

Why is business big news? According to Henriques, business is an ingredient in almost every area of news coverage. In sports, stadiums are built with municipal bonds. Look to the offering statement for information concerning the planning, engineering, attendance, cost, and land development. In the arts, philanthropists and collectors are many times business executives. In medicine, large for-profit corporations often times own medical centers. You can run, but you can’t hide, from business news.

Henriques details the "five easy pieces" of corporate research. All five are SEC documents: the registration statement, the 10K and 10Q, the proxy, the lucky 13, the 8-K. Above all, she stresses the importance of knowing what information can be found in which SEC document.

Henriques warned that researching public companies is easier than researching private companies. To fill the gaps for private company information, she suggested librarians check regulatory agencies at the state and federal levels, like Medicare, OSHA, and the EPA. When stumped on smaller private companies, check litigation records, especially bankruptcy courts. Almost every successful entrepreneur has filed for bankruptcy at least once.

Business is becoming big news for news librarians. To prepare for research questions, familiarize yourself with key business reference sources. Librarians should not only draw on traditional sources, like books and online services, but also familiarize themselves with primary sources. Those who speak and understand the language of business will become better researchers.

Nisa Asokan is a librarian at the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. Contact Nisa at

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By Carol Campbell


Directly responsible for the success of our conference in Indianapolis (and according to feedback, it was a success), are the folks who planned and executed those plans for the programs, the volunteers.

Thanks to Sandy Fitzgerald's team, including Cathy Knapp and Beth Baker, for making us feel at homeat the Indianapolis Star & News. I don't know a single news librarian who doesn't look forward to visiting another news library.

The "Business is News" CE course was great! Sperry Krueger chose her speakers carefully and crammed about six hours worth of information into four hours. The new format of a shorter course (and lower fee) seemed to be very popular.

The Newcomers Night in the suite was well-attended. John Cronin did a good job getting mentors for our newcomers and making them feel welcome. Chair-elect Ginny Everett took time out one morning to meet with the newcomers.

John Jansson pulled together an informational, if informal, session on photo archives and keywords. Judging from the people squeezed into the suite, it is a topic of much interest.

Kirsten Smith's panel of library specialists from outside the U.S.A. proved to be an extremely popular session. I couldn't get in the room! Countries represented included Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Chile.

The Awards Banquet was a smash, thanks to Teresa Leonard. We all applaud her choice of the lush Columbia Club. Visiting with award winners Linda and John Mark Paschal, and Lany McDonald - and their families - was certainly a highlight.

Jackie Chamberlain and her presenters definitely blasted us awake Tuesday morning with a spirited discussion on handling quality control in electronic databases. Peter Johnson monitored the roundtable discussion that followed. Questions on anything and everything pertaining to news librarianship were asked and answers and/or suggestions offered.

Chris Hardesty and Jennifer Small gave us all tips on training reporters and editors. Their session included nifty handouts. I know I'm going to try some of these methods. I especially like the idea of 'fellowships.'

Kudos to John Sinclair who entertained and enlightened with his presentation on Intranet ornamentation. He was able to simplify things with explanations even a novice like me could understand.

Thanks to Linda Henderson and her presenters for the 'How We Did That' session. It proved extraordinarily interesting and eye-opening. This lunch and learn format seemed to work very well.

Our friends from solo/small libraries weren't the only ones gathering ideas during Diane Logsdon's session. The session was full of good tips on getting good stuff for very little or nothing.

The final session was Charlie Campo's panel of seven vendors providing answers to 'What's Next?' Our thanks to these people for staying a full day past the exhibitions' closing to participate: Joe DiMarino, KR MediaStream; Mike Harris, UMI/DataTimes; David Rocha, AP; Pete Leabo, T/One-Merlin; Tim Andrews, Dow Jones; Sharon O'Donoghue, Lexis-Nexis; Chuck Palsho, NewsBank.

Jody Habayeb was the ultimate guide during the Indianapolis Museum of Art tour. We had a great time, despite the off-again, on-again (and sometimes hard) rain. The museum and exhibitions were wonderful, lunch was great, and all was well-planned and well-executed.

Finally, elsewhere in this NLN is a thank you to our wonderful sponsors who provided great food and drink and without whom the breakfasts, lunches, receptions and open houses would have been impossible.

Carol Campbell is the Information Center Manager at The Daily Oklahoman. Contact her at

CHAIR, Carol Campbell, The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 405/475-3676, e-mail:
CHAIR-ELECT, Ginny Everett, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 404/526-5213, e-mail:
SECRETARY, Linda Henderson, Providence Journal, Providence, RI, 401/277-7887, e-mail:
TREASURER, Bill Van Niekerken, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 415/777-7230, e-mail:
DIRECTOR-EDUCATION, Sperry Krueger, News & Observer, Raleigh, NC, e-mail:
DIRECTOR-PUBLICATIONS, Carolyn Edds, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, SC, 864/582-4511, Ext. 7246, e-mail:
DIRECTOR-AWARDS, Tom Lutgen, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, 213/237-4758, e-mail:

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ARCHIVES & HISTORY, M.J. Crowley, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ
AUTOMATION-TECHNOLOGY, Linda Chapman, Patriot-Ledger, Quincy, MA
BYLAWS, Leigh Poitinger, The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore MD
BROADCAST, John Bartholomaeus, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sydney, Australia
ELECTIONS, Ellie Briscoe, National Geographic, Washington, DC
EMPLOYMENT, Margaret Neu, Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, TX
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, Phyllis Lyons, Freedom Forum, Arlington, VA
MEMBERSHIP, Sammy Alzofon, Palm Beach Post, West Palm Beach, FL
NEWS DIVISION 75TH ANN., Lany McDonald, Time Warner, Inc., N.Y., NY
NOMINATIONS, Lois Doncevic, Morning Call, Allentown, PA
PUBLICITY-PUBLIC RELATIONS, Chris Hardesty, News & Observer, Raleigh, NC
SMALL LIBRARIES, Marcia MacVane, Portland Newspapers, Portland, ME
STRATEGIC PLANNING, John Cronin, Boston Herald, Boston, MA
WEBMEISTRESS, Carolyn Edds, Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, SC

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A Wet Tour of a Lovely Place - the Indianapolis Museum of Art

By Linda Henderson

On Thursday, after a circuitous route out of town, two busloads of conference-weary daytrippers headed to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for a restorative tour, arranged by Jody Habayeb. The sky, which was threatening as we boarded the buses, opened up on us as we hit the outskirts of town. By the time we reached the museum, we were surrounded by a good old Mid-Western deluge, complete with thunder and lightening. But we made a mad dash for the building, where we were greeted by Lexis-Nexis NewsView folks with bags of goodies (and welcome envelopes).

We were then split into two groups, one to stay for a tour of the museum proper, the other to re-board the bus to the Lilly Pavilion for a tour of the former Lilly mansion, which now houses the museum's decorative arts collection. The mansion is lovely and filled with nice pieces of furniture and pottery. Our docent pointed out special pieces, such as the collection of tiny snuff boxes, and told us the history of the building and its collection. The museum complex is on the former Eli Lilly (of drug manufacture fame) estate and much of the collection was donated by the Lilly family.

Although the weather continued to be frightful, we could admire the beautiful grounds through the large windows and wished for a better day to stroll. Our bus deposited us back at the main museum and we were introduced to another docent, who took us on a whirlwind tour of some of the collections. Our first stop was the impressive pointillist collection, a centerpiece of which is a stunning Seurat. We then went backward in time, through a collection of both American and European masters.

Upstairs on the third floor, we were in a much more contemporary venue. There, we encountered an eclectic collection, including a room with nothing in it but a hole in the wall. I missed the explanation for that one, but when viewed from different perspectives, it really did become art.

After both groups had done both tours, we were ferried (by then a ferry looked like it might become a necessity) to the Garden on the Green Restaurant on the property, which had once been the playhouse for the estate. We were served a delicious quiche and then were free to walk back to the main museum (the rain had gone as quickly as it had arrived) to take a closer look at the many rooms that we had missed on the guided tour.

We found pre-Columbian, African and Asian collections, that included exquisite porcelains and textiles along with ceremonial masks and costumes. And then we found the soft chairs in the museum library, where the library director, Ursula Kolmstetter, talked about her work and her collection. She graciously allowed us to browse the periodical and reference collections, which was interesting for us generalists who don't often get to see so focused a facility.

The relaxing day ended in sun and a short trip back to town where, by suppertime, a tornado warning had been posted. For those of us who love both art and weather, it was a fun way to wrap up conference.

Linda Henderson is Library Director at the Providence Journal. Contact her at

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Study Probes Ethical Problems Confronting News Librarians

by Jerry Bornstein

Since so many News Division members missed my presentation on Ethical Dilemmas and News Librarians in Indianapolis (it was sponsored by the Conference Committee, not the News Division), a number of people have requested a brief rundown on the presentation. Funded by a grant from the City University of New York Research Foundation, the project was designed to determine prevailing attitudes and identify the types of ethical problems experienced in news libraries. Based on a review of the literature which identified key areas of ethical concern impacting on special librarians in general and news librarians in particular, two random samples of news division members were surveyed. The study identified:

* a high degree of concern about ethical issues amongst news librarians;
* a number of widely encountered ethical issues on the job;
* a low of frequency with which these dilemmas, indicating that there is no ethical crisis situation facing the profession.

Though news librarians do not confront an ethics crisis, many thorny issues were raised by the survey. For example, in handling information requests from a rival news organization, how should news librarians balance the competitive business needs of the parent organization and librarianship's commitment to the free flow of information? How should news librarians respond to a journalist's distortion or misuse of research information they have provided? How can news librarians decline inappropriate requests, or instructions, from company executives to misuse library funds (i.e., purchase of books for personal use of executives, electronic research for management children's homework assignments, etc.) without alienating those who control the library's budgetary future? How should a librarian handle a patron complaint about the quality of a colleague's work - refer the patron directly to the colleague, refer the problem to management, or defend the colleague? When observing an erroneous response to a patron's query, how should a librarian react? Should the librarian intervene immediately and risk undermining a colleague in front of a patron, or does the obligation to provide quality research - a central element in all professional ethics codes - take precedence?

High levels of ethical concern were illustrated by:

* the 77.7% who favored the adoption of a code of ethics by the SLA;
* the 77.7% who favored regular SLA workshops on ethical issues;
* the 62.2% who believed that the profession would be enhanced by a code of ethics;
* and the 46.5% who viewed ethical dilemmas as a serious problem for news librarians.

The experiential segment of the survey found widespread experience with ethical dilemmas, but very few librarians encountered frequent occurrences. For example, 71% reported receiving patron complaints about a colleague's work, but 31.1% said this was a "rare" occurrence. Other key experiential results included:

* 71.1% encountered situations in which a news library's policy on cooperation with other news libraries contradicted the profession's commitment to free flow of information; * 71% had observed quality problems with a colleague's work;
* 66.5% reported being asked to work on homework assignments for children of company executives;
* 62.2% reported library funds being used to purchase books for personal use of company management;
* 53.5% had observed misuse or distortion of research information by journalists;
* 51.1% reported multiple photocopying by their libraries (6.6% reported this violation of copyright law occurred "very often");
* 47% had been asked to make research telephone calls without identifying themselves as representatives of a news organization;
* 46.6% encountered a conflict between loyalty to colleagues and responsibility to patrons;
* 42.1% experienced conflicts involving personal beliefs or opinions in handling a research query;
*38% had been asked to obtain information under false pretenses.

A disturbing discovery was the existence of what could be termed "cognitive dissonance" among a sizable minority. When asked to identify how often they encountered ethical dilemmas at work, 19% responded "never." However, three quarters of these had previously responded positively to questions about specific problematic behaviors. The apparent inability of 15% of the participants to recognize certain behaviors as unethical, as generally identified in the literature, highlights the importance of an ongoing professional discussion of ethical issues.

The complete PowerPoint presentation is available on the web for the rest of the summer at the following URL: The full study has been submitted for journal publication; publication information will be posted on NewsLib.

Jerry Bornstein is a former news librarian and archivist at NBC News. For the past four-and-a-half years he has worked as a Reference Librarian at Baruch College, and served as the library's liaison to the school's journalism program. He has designed and taught a course in electronic research for journalists. He also teaches as an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute's School of Information and Library Sciences. He can be reached at [Medaline Philbert, served as graduate research assistant on the research project.]

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The Pros and Cons of News Library Internsips

By Laura Mann

Question: What do President Clinton and most news librarians have in common?

Answer: We have all, at one time or another, worked closely with a student intern. Many of us have even served as interns ourselves, having gained our first professional library experience in this capacity.

There are over 40,000 internships available to students in all fields each year in the United States. Internships have increasingly become more competitive, and in many ways, more necessary, as employers look to hire those with "real life" rather than theoretical classroom experience or knowledge. In an article in Business Communications Quarterly (December 1997), authors Cathy Ryan and Roberta Krapels state, "Internships initiate learning opportunities that improve job selection, and provide low-cost, nearly to prospective employees, while...interns contribute real, productive work.

They help companies and individuals see if they fit one another before either side makes longer-term commitments."

An informal survey posted to the News Library listserv shows that not all news library internship programs are created equal. Some programs are paid, some unpaid. Some last an entire summer, full-time; some only a few hours per week. Some interns work on day-to-day news library work, others are "hired" for special projects. Internships of all types work best when the student, the institution, and the library school view the experience as a serious and vital part of the intern's professional growth.

What should news libraries look for in interns? Alan Thibeault of the Boston Herald relates, "A good intern (one who learns quickly, who craves responsibility, is efficient and trustworthy, and gets along well with others) is a joy. We've had our share of these. We've also had the ones who are afraid to answer the telephone, (and) can't follow the simplest directions." Interns recruited through library or journalism schools often have an enthusiasm for news research. It also helps if they can demonstrate basic computer skills. To ensure a good match between company and intern, Anne Woodsworth, Dean of C.W. Post's Palmer School of Library and Information Science, suggests that graduate students target only organizations and environments within their field of interest. At Palmer, students prepare professional resumes, and, during internship interviews, a Learning Contract is negotiated between company and student, so that "everyone's interests are accommodated." The contract outlines responsibilities, projects, and expectations for the internship, as agreed to by the student and the library management. The contract, Woodsworth feels, is "the most important document associated with the internship," as it defines a "common understanding" and provides ground rules for the duration of the internship.

To intern or not to intern? Interns take up precious staff time and energy to train. Paid internships drain funding that could otherwise be spent on library equipment or resources. Cary Kenney of the St. Petersburg Times points out that, "If the (intern) had some skill we could draw upon, everyone benefited. If they didn't, then it was a drag." Despite these drawbacks, those who responded to the listserv query felt that interns had a positive impact on their libraries. Michelle Quigley of the Palm Beach Post explains, "The two researchers we hired after their internships....came in as fully trained employees already known by reporters and editors, and ready to hit the ground running."

What sort of projects can news librarians involve interns in? Michelle Quigley says, "We've always trained interns as intensively as we've trained any other professional staff in the library." John Cronin explains that Boston Herald interns do the "gut work and experience the flavor of," each department they work in. When Mary Quirk interned at The State in Columbia, SC, she experienced, "the many different tasks that make up the day-to-day work of a news librarian," even sitting in on editorial meetings. Some interns venture into cyberspace. Lisa Raff interned at the Providence Journal-Bulletin, working on a website called Vietnam Voices dedicated to Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts soldiers who died in that war. The site is located at Raff sees her experience as, "invaluable and very sad.... I was able to learn about the area and its community in a very personal way." David Bryan's views on his time at the Tallahassee Democrat can be found at Alan Thibeault sums it up best when he states, "In a nutshell...we see value in taking on interns in that...we are helping the profession, gaining a modicum of additional staffing, and keeping ourselves familiar with the quality of students in library school."

Laura Mann is a librarian at NewsDay. Her email address is

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The Art of Intranet Ornamentation

By Jeff Graveline

If your company has not yet created an Intranet, it is only a matter of time. And, as luck would have it, the responsibility for managing that Intranet usually falls back to the organization's information professionals. Don't fret - there are many fun ways to spruce up your Intranet page and get you noticed by serving a useful purpose. If you had the pleasure of attending John Sinclair's session on Intranet ornamentation in Indianapolis, you know exactly what I mean. For those unlucky few who could not attend I will recap. Sinclair's session was a whirlwind tour of several interesting aspects of current web technologies.

Developing ornamentation on Intranets is much easier than on Internet pages because Intranets are viewed in a more controlled environment. Unlike the Internet, where there are a variety of browsers and dozens of computer types, your company probably has only one Internet browser and a few platforms. This means that you only have to test your Intranet pages on a handful of machines. In addition, because most Intranets are "bandwidth rich," you do not have to be too concerned about the size of the graphics on your pages. As a result, you will not have to bother with file reduction.

We started our discussion of ornamentation with what Sinclair referred to as "the unsung heroes of dynamic content and interactivity on the web." These are Server Side Includes, or SSIs. SSIs are also known as server add-ons. There are several types of SSIs, some of which are called "cloakers." As you would expect, cloakers have the ability to hide or display specific aspects of an HTML page based on certain criteria. For example, you could have your Intranet page greet users with a message of either "Good morning," "Good afternoon," or "Good Evening" depending on the time of login. Furthermore, if you are on a Wide Area Network, you can have the cloaker recognize the time zone and respond appropriately.

Topping the list of cool cloakers are randomizers. Randomizers are a great way to keep your pages from getting stale. These cloakers take and display a single, random element from a group of pages. For example, imagine a page which contains political links. You could put a single quote on the page, but that would be boring. With a randomizer, you can have multiple quotes that display in a random order. You can also use randomizers to spice up the graphical elements of your pages.

There are also SSIs that allow you to create HTML "forms" on your site. The data from the form can be turned into database records, e-mail, and even response web pages. One of the most common form-based SSIs that is encountered is the "guest books" web page. There are fun ways to incorporate this into your Intranet. How about having a form that allows users to enter their favorite recipe or create their own personal web page? You have just empowered your users - they are no longer passive users but active contributors to the Intranet.

According to Sinclair, using SSIs will keep your pages "fresh, dynamic, interactive, and current for long periods of time, without ever touching them." SSIs are a great tool for webmasters that have limited time to maintain the site and they are simple to use. And that is what you want, right?

Animation is another great addition to Intranet pages. The basic method for animation is simple: show several still pictures, or frames, in rapid succession to give the appearance of motion. There are many different animation technologies today, including JavaScript, QuickTime, and Shockwave. We will look at the oldest: the animated GIF. This is the most standard and popular of animation technologies today. Animated GIFs are great because they do not require any plug-ins and will run on almost any browser. The fact that they are small in file size and easy to create has added to their popularity. Most software packages which create animated GIFs are less than $100 and some are even free.

Have you ever seen flashing neon-like signs on web pages? These are great examples of animated GIFs. Animated GIFs work by alternating between two images, giving the illusion that they are flashing like a neon sign. You can find lots of pre-made animated GIFs in clip-art collections on the web or on commercial CD-ROMs. The downside to this is that few have any relevance to a library. This is where you become creative. And if you are not creative, borrow someone else's creativity and package it for your library. According to Sinclair, "the ability to steal a good idea is much more important than the talent to create one."

There are many software packages that will help you create animated GIFs. The low-end packages, like Totally Hip Software's Web Painter, are more than sufficient for creating simple animated GIFs. If you want to get a little fancier, you might consider a mid-range authoring package that allows you to work in three-dimensional space. With most mid-range packages, you can add depth and shading to your text and bring life to those dull bullets and buttons. If you really want to get fancy, try "morphing" words. Morphing works well with text, especially when the words are the same length. For example, you could morph the word digital into library and then library into archive. This is an eye-catching effect and it is simple to do if you have the right software. Unfortunately, to create many of the coolest tricks you need to invest in a mid to high-end software package.

Until recently, the only way to view video from the web was to download the entire file and play it when it was complete. Thanks to video streaming that has changed. Streaming allows you to download about 30 seconds of video into your browser's buffer and begin playing. The software will simultaneously play and download more data for you. These simultaneous actions put a lot of demand on your machine so the software tends to be geared towards newer computers.

There are at least 10 competing streaming video systems on the market. As with any software, there are high and low ends of the market. Sinclair suggests considering two packages: Emblaze and VivoActive Producer. If you are streaming video on a budget, Sinclair believes that VivoActive is "the best thing since sliced bread." It costs under $50 and takes about an hour to learn. Additionally, it works on all the major platforms, does not require any proprietary hardware and can work with almost any web server.

If you have a web server, you can begin streaming video for a relatively low cost, about $100 for black and white video and $200 dollars for color. Most video streaming systems consist of several pieces of software. On the server side, you need to have software that will convert your video files into a streaming format. On the client side, you will need software that allows your browser to play the streaming video. Streaming will personalize your intranet and it seems to be a natural medium for short corporate communications or for certain types of training.

Finally, we come to JAVA. Java programs, called applets, are very small and designed to perform a certain task. If you do not want to get into coding Java applets yourself, you can find many that are in the public domain. The most common use for Java on web pages is the ticker. You can use the ticker to make announcements or relay information to users. Java also allows you to incorporate sounds into your pages. Remember sound can be invasive. Sinclair suggests that you use it with caution. Try giving the user control over the sound by requiring the user to pass over or click on a button to hear it. You could record short messages from the library and put them on the pages.

Wow, who ever knew that intranet ornamentation could be so fun? OK, you may have missed some of the fun by not getting to see John's presentation in Indianapolis but you can see it on the web. You can find the full text of his presentation along with his handouts and demonstration at Good luck with creating that incredible intranet.

John Sinclair has been at The Edmonton Sun for 18 years. He can be reached at Jeff Graveline is at The Tuscaloosa News and can be reached at

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The Aside Bar

Jennifer Small

It's a blisteringly hot night in San Antonio. We've had 100 degree days for the past week. I am kicking back by the air conditioning unit in my apartment. Me, a cold glass of iced tea, a little Joni Mitchell on the CD-player, and 14 years of NLNs at my side. The reading has made for quite an enlightening evening.

As I looked through each issue, the changes that have occurred in the last decade become more apparent. NLN closely monitors the growth and evolution of the News Division. In 1984, columnists wrote about weeding clip files and their concerns with microfilm. Talk of technology, however, was not altogether absent. One columnist wrote that, "Microcomputers are beginning to make a productive and sophisticated impact in the newspaper library world." Indeed, "microcomputers" certainly have made an impact. Fourteen years later, in this post-conference issue, we discuss the Internet, Intranets, online resources, and library automation projects like old hands.

Yes, diverse topics of discussion have graced the pages of this division bulletin. Our concerns in some areas, understandably, have changed with the times. After looking through fifty issues of NLN, however, I recognize that certain things have not changed. NLN continues to be the voice of a diverse division. The words of newspaper, broadcast, and magazine librarians can be read on the pages of this publication. NLN continues to reflect the love that we possess for this profession; the love we share for the news and our role in its production.

As I assume the role of editor of NLN, I find myself looking towards both the past and the future. In the next year, I plan to focus NLN content on where we've been and where we're going. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the News Division, our past must be recognized. Kathy Foley has graciously agreed to coordinate a column that will celebrate this division's history. Thank you, Kathy.

The division is diverse and I believe that NLN should continue to be a voice for all news librarians. Thank you Marcia MacVane for agreeing to be the voice of the small news library. If anyone is interested in writing from the perspective of the broadcast or magazine librarian, please get in touch. To illustrate the division's diversity, I would also like to profile different news libraries in each issue. I am sure we are all intrigued with how others do their jobs. Let me know if you want to be the first to show off your library!

I think we could all benefit from a technology section that works like the informative "People" column. How often do we draw on the expertise of our colleagues when we're implementing new systems or trying to figure out networks or servers? Our lives would be just a little bit easier if we knew which libraries were installing which systems or if we knew about new products from the vendors before the products hit the shelves. Thank you Linda Mann for agreeing to coordinate this column.

I am open to any content suggestions. If you have ideas or if you would like to volunteer, please don't hesitate to call, write, or email.

In closing, I would like to extend a giant thanks to Catherine Kitchell. Thanks Catherine for having confidence in my ability to fill your shoes. Thanks for leading the way on this post-conference issue. Thanks for all of your promises of help and assistance. I'm sure I'll be taking you up on them.

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June 8, 1998

Indianapolis Convention center

The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by News Division Chair Tom Lutgen.

The minutes of the 1997 business meeting were approved.

Tom paid tribute to two division members who had died in the past year - Aurora Davis and Joyce McMillin. He then introduced Diane Logsdon, who reminisced about her friendship with Aurora and Aurora's contributions to the division and the profession. John Cronin eulogized Joyce, citing her spirit in overcoming a difficult life to finally find happiness and a career to which she contributed a lot in a short time.

Bill Van Niekerken gave the treasurer's report, saying that the healthy bottom line on the printed handout did not reflect conference expenses. He said, however, that we are in good financial shape. He also announced that he would be collecting suite fees.

Sperry Krueger, Director of Education, said that the first-ever CE course that the division has sponsored at the mid-winter conference was a success. The subject was building an intranet, led by Howard McQueen, and there were 34 attendees. The course just about broke even financially.

Sperry also said that the CE course on business resources given on June 7 was the first half-day course for the division. There were 82 registered for the course, making it a success, as well.

She also announced plans for the 1999 conference in Minneapolis. She is working with Kathleen Hansen of the University of Minnesota journalism school to come up with workshops on computer-assisted reporting. She hopes to make this a two-day event and is working with SLA to see if it is possible logistically. If this idea doesn't work, Sperry is still looking for alternative ideas for the CE course.

Tom Lutgen read Director of Publications Pete Basofin's report because he was not able to attend conference. Pete thanked Sammy Alzofon for her work on the membership directory; Carolyn Edds for her commitment to the website; Barbara Semonche for her stewardship of the NewsLib list and Catherine Kitchell for editing News Library News. He also thanked Newsbank for underwriting the membership directory and asked if we should rethink a printed directory now that SLA has a searchable membership list on the web.

Pete said that thanks to Barbara Semonche and the University of North Carolina, the NewsLib list is a success, with over 900 subscribers. He also cited the first year of parallel publishing of News Library News in both print and web editions. He asked for feedback on electronic publication of NLN. Pete said that the website is being redesigned, with a new logo. Barbara Semonche added that there are now 22 countries represented on NewsLib.

Carolyn Edds announced that the new logo is up on the website. Catherine Kitchell announced that Jennifer Small is the new NLN editor and asked that division members send their "people" items to Jeff Graveline.

Teresa Leonard, awards chair, gave an abbreviated report - "you know what's happening and you know where to go".

M.J. Crowley, archivist, said that Barbara Semonche will receive the print archival material as soon as the move into new library quarters is complete - probably summer of 1999. She said that she thinks the Star-Ledger will pick up the shipping costs. M.J. also said that she working with MediaStream to convert the electronic archives from the old Vutext database. After that is done, the recent data (since 1996), which is now in a web format, needs to be converted. When the archives are up on SAVE Central, MediaStream will most likely create a membership user id and password for free searching and use of the database.

Barbara Semonche announced that all 20 years of awards banquet programs are upon the UNC site.

Linda Chapman was not at the meeting to give a report of the technology committee. John Jansson reported for the keyword subcommittee. He said that after a meeting that morning to discuss the keyword list, the final list will be much as was presented and will include additions from the Columbus Dispatch, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Chicago Tribune and the Orlando Sentinel. He also said there was discussion about adding racial designations, identification of decades, and "loonies" or fringe groups. Action and emotion words will be added to the final list, as well.

Carol Campbell had nothing to report from the bylaws committee.

John Bartholomaeus, the new broadcast committee chair, said that he is updating the membership list and just wants to know what the members from the broadcasting fields want him to do. He made contact with two representatives of the broadcast membership and asked to meet with them after the meeting.

Tom Lutgen spoke for Beth Baker, who was not at the meeting, about the elections. He apologized for the lateness of the balloting and said that the election did not meet the bylaws requirements. He said that 784 ballots were sent, 288 were returned, 43 were invalid and 10 arrived after the deadline. He announced the winners: Ginny Everett, chair-elect; Linda Henderson, secretary and Carolyn Edds, publications director.

Margaret Neu, employment chair, asked if her position was really needed anymore, given other options for linking employers and job-hunters. She said that she has only received 5 resumes and 3 employer inquiries since she took over the job. She said that when contacted by job-hunters, she makes sure that they know of the other resources available.

Sammy Alzofon, membership chair, said that she did not do the membership directory alone, that she and Linda Paschal worked together on the project and Newsbank staff did the design and production of the directory. She also reported a drop in membership from 883 at the end of July 1997 to 853 at the end of April, 1998.

Ginny Everett gave a brief report on plans for out 75th anniversary party in Lany McDonald's absence. She said that a big blow-out is planned, with a full day of events leading up to the dinner-dance with a band.

Publicity/public relations chair Chris Hardesty said that the anniversary gives us a great opportunity to promote ourselves. He has plans to do a t-shirt and make sure that we have a high profile at the 1999 conference. He also announced that the auctions and sales have brought in $5,500 so far (not including the auction and sale scheduled for later in the conference week).

Marcia MacVane gave the small libraries report and thanked Diane Logsdon for planning the small libraries session at conference. Marcia says she plans to do more outreach to small libraries and to continue to write a column in News Library News on issues for small libraries.

John Cronin promised to reactivate the strategic planning committee this year and to have a report in time for conference next year.

Carolyn Edds had nothing further to report about the website.

Tom Lutgen introduced Richard Hulser, who was proctoring the meeting for the SLA board.

Under old business, John Cronin announced a newcomers meeting for 10:30 Tuesday morning. M.J. Crowley asked if we were taking attendance to make sure that we had a quorum and a list was circulated.

Under new business, Tom Lutgen asked if there was any objection to accepting the election results, even though the election was held too late to satisfy bylaws requirements. There was no objection, so he ordered the election results accepted.

New officers Ginny Everett, Linda Henderson and Carolyn Edds were introduced.

Kathy Foley announced that in honor of Bob Isaacs' upcoming retirement, his colleagues at the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel had asked that a cake be presented at the business meeting for us to share. Bob was surprised and said he was retiring after 37 years in the business.

Tom Lutgen passed the gavel to incoming chair Carol Campbell, who adjourned the meeting at 3:45.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Henderson,

To the top.

Confessions of a Newcomer

By Joy Birdsong

I confess, I’ve been lurking on the NewsLib listserv for the past two years. I read the messages daily, jot down suggestions but I’ve always felt like I couldn’t post a message because it would be like a stranger intruding in a private conversation. The SLA Annual Conference in Indiana provided this stranger with an introduction to some of the many news librarians who have populated my e-mailbox.

I was fortunate, as a newcomer, to have a boss (Linda Ronan) who has attended many SLA conferences and provided me with all the necessary preliminary information I needed to start my first conference experience on a good note. Translation: She made sure I made my hotel and airline reservations when I received my preliminary program and most importantly she suggested that I look over the program and become familiar with the News Division schedule so that when I arrived at the conference I would know which sessions I wanted to attend.

The New Division sessions were almost consistently about topics which affect my daily work day: sources on the Internet, intranets, training end-users and database quality.

I was most eager to attend the training session because recently I, like many librarians today, have found myself in the role of trainer. Jennifer Small from the San Antonio Express News provided attendees with an A-Z hand-out covering everything you wanted to know about training but didn’t know who to ask. She starting with assessing training needs and resources, to developing the trainer and the class and finished with suggestions for an actual session. I left the presentation with a real understanding of my role as a trainer and with some concrete steps to improve my training methods.

At the Freedom Forum luncheon, Nigerian journalist Olatunji Dare, shared his country’s dire newspaper publishing situation with the attendees. He spoke about the oppressive Nigerian government which controls the content of all sanctioned newspapers and the lengths journalist go through to publish non-government approved newspapers. On a bright note Dare gave credit to the Internet for providing Nigerians with outside information and a way to communicate with the outside world.

I went into the session on solo and small libraries not really sure how much of it would apply to me. I was pleasantly surprised. Jeff Graveline's suggestions about centralizing your collection, creating databases to organize materials, creative collection development and being proactive with reporters, could apply to all types of libraries.

The "How We Did It" session was a frank discussion of the trials and tribulations of choosing a text and image archive system. Kathleen Flynn, of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, suggested that we should always push the vendor to be ahead in terms of technology. She handed out a list of "do’s and don’ts" that could aid in the selection and purchase of various types of systems. During this session Kathy Foley, of the San Antonio-Express News, made the forward-thinking suggestion that librarians need to start a discussion about archiving web sites.

By the end of the conference I didn’t feel like such a stranger but like an actual member of the News Division. And who knows? One day I might actually post something on the listserv!

Joy Birdsong is a librarian at Sports Illustrated.

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Please Welcome New Members

Contact Sammy Alzofon at the Palm Beach Post for membership information. Her email is

Barry Arthur
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Little Rock AR

Unisa A. Asokan
Atlanta Journal & Constitution
Atlanta GA

Elizabeth S. Avera
Dublin OH

Rebekeh Azen
Santa Fe NM

Eugene E. Balk
Clifton NJ

Melissa C. Berner
Baton Rouge LA

Jerrie Bethel
The Freedom Forum
Arlington VA

Mary Bishop
Honolulu HI

Nicole Blakey
Acquisitions Monthly
Tunbridge Wells, Kent UK

Alison Brandt
Berkeley CA

Jo M. Briener
John Hancock Mutual Life Ins
Boston MA

Frederick L. Brown
Seattle WA

R. Jason Burnett
Southern Progress Corp. Library
Birmingham AL

Carol A. Chisholm
Gary IN

Pamela E. Clark
London N12 8BN UK

Jason P. Colantonio
Vancouver BC

Margaret A. Cunningham
Silver Spring MD

Janis Dahlman
Pocono Record
Stroudsburg PA

Michael A. Dyckman
Forest Hills NY

Tamsin M. Eva
New York NY

Rodney B. Featherston
Tampa Tribune
Tampa FL

Susan Feuer
Forest Hills NY

Lynn C. Fraser
The Toronto Star

Maria Gagliardi
Upper Nyack NY

Caleb Gessesse
Washington DC

Allison Grochowski
Wenner Media
New York NY

Lawrence S. Guthrie
Washington DC

Lucy B. Holman
Chapel Hill NC

Laurie A. Hood
Tallahassee FL

Valerie L. Hood
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles CA

Genevieve R. Innes
Arlington VA

Steve Jarrett
The Toronto Star

Marie E. Janz
Stevens Pt. WI

Helene S. Kassler
Waltham MA

Shira T. Kavon
Middle Village NY

Nora Keating
Arlington VA

Susan Kirkpatrick
Austin TX

Vivian N. Kobayashi
San Francisco CA

Jill C. Knoieczko
Laurel MD

Michael J. Knoop
Austin TX

Kimberly L. Last
Aberdeen Group
Addison IL

Leandro O. Lecaros
Reseda CA

Susan K. Lerdal
Des Moines IA

Brenda T. Ling
CBS News
New York NY

Denise Love
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Chicago IL

Donna MacHutchin
Montreal Gazette
Montreal CANADA

Holly H. Mackenzie
Asheville Citizen Times
Asheville NC

Andrea D. Markley
Fredericksburg VA

Sharlene M. Matsuhara
San Francisco CA

Cynthia S. McCracken
Lexington KY

Joanne W. Miller
Berkeley CA

Barbara H. Oliver
St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg FL

Jennifer L. Rawlings
Chapel Hill NC

Elizabeth A. Rimar
Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida
Jacksonville FL

Rebecca Sandee
Madison WI

Kimberly Saunders

Robert R. Schrott
The Baltimore Sun
Baltimore MD

Michel-Adrien Sheppard
Montreal Quebec

Zena Simmons
Detroit News
Detroit MI 48226-3197

Laura Soto-Barra
Jacksonville FL

Jenelle Stadstad
Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks ND

John Stanley
Phoenix AZ

Nicole M. Stewart
Toronto ON

Daniela Stranscak
CTV Television Network Ltd.
Agincourt CANADA

Susan K. Thompson
Orlando Sentinel
Orlando FL

Patricia Thraen
St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul MN

Matthew M. Toll
Dow Jones & Co.
Interactive Publishing Sales
Princeton NJ

Maria A. Tsitseras
Raleigh NC

Sheila R. Varnad
Capitol City Press
Baton Rouge LA

Pamela S. Wedemeyer
The National Press Club
Washington DC

Patricia A. Wood
Alexandria VA

Holly G. Wright
Federal Filings Edgar
Washington DC

To the top.


By Jeff Graveline

A familiar face has returned to the San Antonio Express-News. After a short stint at the Corpus Christi Caller Times, Jalyn Kelley is back as a researcher and editor of the Express-News' intranet, ENsite. She is directing a lot of her efforts to enhancing the newsroom intranet pages as well as coordinating the development of the company-wide intranet. Jalyn is also performing research for the metro, business and state desks.

On May 1, Barbara Semonche was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award given by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science Alumni Association. She has been library director for UNC's School of Journalism and Mass Communication since 1990. Prior to that she was a news research librarian at The Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina for 13 years.

Linda Deitch, of The Columbus Dispatch, has been promoted to the newly created position of Library Services Manager. She started with The Dispatch in 1993 and considers it to be her dream job. The new position has given her additional managerial duties and because it is new, she has been able to help define her responsibilities. She will work with Jim Hunter, Chief Librarian, in positioning the library and its staff to grow in several new directions.

Congratulations go to Donna Scheeder, Coordinator of Congressional Information Services at the Library of Congress, who was selected to be the United States Representative to the Parliamentary Libraries section of the International Federation of Library Associations. She will travel to Brussels and Amsterdam for two weeks in August and participate on a panel dealing with the integration of information research with the analysis functions of Parliamentary research organizations.

There has been change in the ABC News Research Center in New York. Nancy Quade, formerly an information specialist, has accepted a promotion to the position of Supervisor, Research Services. Prior to joining ABC in 1993, Nancy was on the staff of the Telephone Reference Department of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Laura Soto-Barra is the new library director at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. She came to the Times-Union from Canada where she had worked for Micromedia, an electronic publishing company and the Metro Toronto Reference Library.

And in publishing news ... Alison Head has been selected to receive the H. W. Wilson Company Award honoring the author of a superior article published during the year in Information Outlook. Her article "Managing Computers and Work: Are Companies Informed Yet," published in September 1997 won her the award. Until recently, Alison was the director of information management at The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California.

Barbara Oliver has become the first ever Research Editor at the St. Petersburg Times. She is responsible for all areas of the library. She hopes to have the library play a larger part in training the newsroom staff on new computer research tools available to them. Prior to joining the research staff last year, Barbara was with The New York Times and had worked as a freelancer gathering materials for books and analytical work for some of the nation's top consulting firms.

There is a new face at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Lisa Peterson joined the Editorial Research Center on June 1 as a researcher and intranet developer on Barbara Hijek's research team. She recently received her MLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and interned at the Raleigh News and Observer.

It's great to know that you are appreciated. Jim Meier, librarian at The Sporting News, received recognition in the March 2 issue's "From the Editor" column in TSN. John Rawlings, TSN editor, referred to Jim as their "go-to guy" when it comes to fact checking. Jim has been at TSN since December 1995 when he came to them from the Durham County Library. According to Jim, his "primary function is reference assistance for writers and editors of the magazine and yearbooks, the graphics and photo editors and online editors." He has also written several articles for TSN.

Pete Edelman, of the New York Daily News, has been busy over the past year. In June, he completed his tenure as chair of the International Relations Committee for the NYC chapter of SLA. While chair he created a new adopt-a-library program in which libraries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe receive professional journals donated from SLA. There are currently nine participating libraries. He has also received credit for research in three books since late 1996 for authors Jim Sleeper and Samuel G. Freedman. He plans on beginning a new project with Freedman in the near future. Pete has been with The Daily News for the past 6 1/2 years.

Two News Division members have been involved with Lexis-Nexis' subject indexing project over the past year. C. B. Hayden of ABC News and Michael Jesse of the Dayton Daily News are part of a five member team that has lent its expertise to creating a term hierarchy. Five subjects have been released in the past year and more are in the works, including Media and Publishing.

To the top.

In Passing ...

In March, we lost our friend Joyce McMillin of The Christian Science Monitor. Joyce joined the library staff of The Monitor in 1986 and received her MLS from Simmons College in 1995. Many News division members knew and loved Joyce and she will be deeply missed. You can find a website dedicated to with reminiscences from friends and colleagues at

We also mourn the passing of Aurora Davis, former librarian and researcher at The Kansas City Star. Aurora passed away in April in Miami. She had returned home to Miami five years ago to take care of ailing relatives. Aurora had an MLS from the University of Missouri, Columbia and taught at the Library School there.

Editor's note: Jeff was married in July to Monica Blackburn, a second-year law student at the University of Alabama. They honeymooned in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort where Jeff proudly notes he did not gain too much weight! NLN wishes them much happiness. Please send Jeff the latest about yourself or your colleagues at

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