News Library News Online
Vol. 20, No.2/Winter 1998

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Internet Librarian '97 Conference

Monterey Conference Center
November 17-19, 1997

By Penny Love

This conference was billed as the "first internet conference designed specifically for librarians and information managers," and it was true. The simultaneous multi-track sessions for each day gave the attendee many choices at several levels of expertise. Choices of subjects included tips for searching the web, digitalizing resources, net strategies, intranets and other trends.

The organizer, Jane Dysart, and her organizing committee did a fantastic job recruiting speakers from all levels of expertise. One of my complaints was that I'd like to have attended most every presentation. The other complaint has already been answered by the pages of presentation links on Information Today's web site on the internet. See the documents at

The two-part session on search engines and tools was a topic that could have occupied an entire day with standing-room-only crowds. There were representatives from Alta Vista, HotBot, Infoseek, Yahoo, and Northern Lights to share the information and tips that would help make us better internet researchers since each provider seemed to have a specialty or a chosen group of users to attract.

The evening session, titled "Internet Librarians in Action," was well attended. The four case studies were presented expertly with many laughs and some very interesting examples. Each case study was unique and clearly demonstrated the need for our profession to organize and tame the internet for users of all levels. Many thanks to the West Group for the reception, as well as the green mugs, beverages and cookies for the evening session. It was a long and intense first day; the food was a real treat and the mug was a great souvenir.

The second day presented me with many difficult choices and a good reason to purchase the tapes and the conference proceedings. (Contact Information Today at 800/200-9868.) I was captivated by Track A, Virtualizing Services session. I heard, observed and began to dream of what I would like to offer our users in the News Research Center. Many of the case studies from Harvard Business School. Companies such as SmithKline Beecham gave the audience many new ideas and ways to deliver information to the desktops of our users. Many administrative functions can be automated and simplified by harnessing the power and diversity of the computer. The folks at Northern Light Technology provided the reception in the exhibit hall that evening and they deserve a big thanks for putting a nice end to another very busy day.

One theme repeated by nearly every presenter was that most of these innovations can be a reality, but it is vital to make friends with the people who maintain, program and purchase your company's computers and networks. Form an alliance with the entire department and begin or continue to develop a level of expertise to do as many things with your own equipment as possible.

The third day was was just as full of fascinating speakers and topics as the previous two days. I was able to attend the session titled "Hot, New & on the Net." Ulla de Striker, the presenter at this 45-minute session, was able to squeeze at least one hour of excellent information into this time slot. I never knew someone could talk that rapidly and make sense. (I did give up on taking any notes.)

The program for this conference is an important resource that includes information on reaching the speakers and vendors who made this conference such a success. For those who did not attend the conference, I would recommend looking up the presentation links and marking your 1998 calendar for the second Internet Librarian conference.

Penny Love is a News Researcher at the Orange County Register. Contact her at

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By Catherine Kitchell

Stephen C. Miller is Assistant Technology Editor at The New York Times. This fall he was a Fellow at The Freedom Forum in Arlington, VA researching how computers have changed journalism. He spoke to reporters and editors at BNA as part of BNA's internal training program on electronic journalism. In this talk he spells out the minimum computer skills a modern reporter should possess. Those skills are listed below. I thought most of them should apply equally to a modern news librarian. Impressive how much one really knows!

Know The Basics of Windows, Preferably Windows 95

  • Know The Basics of Using a Mouse
  • Click/double click, dragging and dropping
  • File Management
    • Navigating folders
    • Creating, moving, deleting files and folders
  • The Start Menu and desktop shortcuts
  • Understanding how to move information via the Clipboard
    • Highlight
    • Copy/Cut
    • Paste

Know the Basics of a Word Processor

  • Create a file
  • Enter and edit text
  • Save text to a file
  • Retrieve text from a file
  • Print text
  • Saving file as an ASCII file

Know the Basics of A Spreadsheet

  • Navigating Cell addresses
  • Creating labels
  • Creating formulas
  • Using icons as shortcuts (autosum, for example)
  • Sorting/Filtering

Know The Basics of A Database

  • Fields
  • Records
  • Files
  • Tables
  • Relational Queries
  • Reports

Know The Basics of Communications

  • How to use a communications program (Hyper Terminal)
  • Dialing via a modem
  • Login procedures
  • Telecom troubleshooting

Using the Internet

  • Email
    • Send and receive email
    • Subscribing and unsubscribing to a listserv
  • The World Wide Web
    • Navigation (point and click)
    • Understanding URLs
    • Use a Search Engine
      • Boolean logic
      • Literals
      • Weighted searches
    • Bookmarks
  • Other Internet tools/protocols & when to use them
    • Telnet
    • FTP
    • Gopher/CSO phone books
    • Usenet News
    • IRC/other chat vehicles

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by Tom Lutgen

Believe it or not it's time to think about Indianapolis and the annual conference. The theme "Information Professionals in the Driver's Seat" couldn't be more apropos. Aside from the allusion to the classic race car event, 1998 is definitely a year when clever news librarians can excel and increase their role as corporate innovators and leaders.

If you have never attended the annual conference or even if you're a regular attendee, I urge you to make every effort to come to Indianapolis. You won't be disappointed. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that no news librarian ever regrets attending this once-a-year opportunity to learn, to meet new colleagues and to be challenged by the examples of our most creative and successful counterparts from around the world.

Having been intimately involved in planning last year's programs in Seattle, I'm really looking forward to soaking up all the great ideas and other experiences that this year's planner Carol Campbell and her team are readying for us. I have been privileged with a sneak preview of some of the program ideas and am impressed by the range of topics to be considered in Indianapolis.

Maybe you (or your manager) need to be reminded of why attending the annual conference is important. Let me suggest a few considerations: The proliferation of digital information continues to accelerate presenting challenges to news organizations on many fronts:

  • How to acquire, evaluate, store and present the multiple forms of digital information directly for research and for publishing or for reuse and repurposing.
  • How to make the most of the content created by the news staff. Competitive markets demand that publishers and broadcasters look for new outlets for the information their staffs produce.
  • How to select new vendors and adopt new technologies which surface continually. Which are good potential partners and which could solve some of your information needs?

Attending the News division sessions and networking with colleagues from around the world will help you become much more confident about the decisions you'll be asked to make in the next months and years. No matter how unique your situation may seem, there'll be someone at the Indianapolis conference who has the same or very similar situation. You'll hear lots of ideas and solutions. Sometimes what you hear will simply confirm what you already suspected was true. Often you'll gain insight from new perspectives and experiences.

Tom Lutgen is Editorial Library Director at The Los Angeles Times. You can contact him at

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The News Division Welcomes New Members

Christopher D. Barth, Anchorage Daily News Library, Anchorage AK
Barbara J. Bentley, Greenwich CT
Nicole A. Cooke, East Orange NJ
Rachel Hart, Auburndale MA
Andrea Hawkins, Spencertown NY
Chris E. Horn, Annandale VA
Cate L. Hutton, Albany CA
Cynthia R. Kahn, Ann Arbor MI
Maria V. Kisunko, Price Waterhouse LLP, Info Ctr, Washington DC
Judith Mandelbaum, Morristown NJ
Stacie Marinelli, Hyattsville MD
Musette F. McKelvey, Cary NC
Teresa C. Meikle, San Francisco CA
Mary M. Muller, US Information Agency, Washington DC
Erica D. Omorogieva, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, Electronic Publishing, Bethesda MD
Christy G. Rilette, Basking Ridge NJ
Steven D. Rubin, MediaStream, Philadelphia PA
Barbara Rutkowski, Troy MI
Diane J. Scrima, Weekly Reader Corp, Stamford CT
Johnsie A. Smalls, US Internal Revenue Service, Washington DC
Michael R. Smith, Catholic Univ. Chemistry Library, Washington DC
Cathy E. Spitzer, Austin CA
Lynne B. Turdin, Record-Journal Publishing Co., Meriden CT
Alice Hart Wertheim, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Atlanta GA

Total membership count for end of November is 857. Please contact if you need more information.

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by Catherine Kitchell

Belatedly, NLN notes that Joy Birdsong, research librarian at Sports Illustrated, was featured on the cover of Library Journal illustrating an article on library schools and diversity. Joy graduated in 1995 from Pratt where the commitment to diversity is strong, although not widely trumpeted. Her job at SI grew out of a summer internship there. The article notes that during the past decade the number of new minority graduates from programs accredited by ALA has grown from 178 (6.7% of total graduates) in 1985 to 434 (10.01%) in 1995. Still all minorities, except Asian/Pacific Islanders, are under-represented relative to their population at large. The article ran in the April 15, 1997, issue.

In December of 1996, Judy Metcalf retired from The Dallas Morning News after 17 years in various library positions. She's been a member of the News Division for most of that time and misses all her friends. She is now a Reference Librarian at the Dallas law firm of Haynes and Boone, L.L.P. The firm occupies 6 floors of the tallest building in Dallas (NationsBank Plaza) and there are satellite libraries on 4 floors. Judy says all the running around keeps her in shape. Send her e-mail at as she'd love to hear from people.

Brenda T. Ling has joined the staff of the CBS News Reference Library in New York as Senior Reference Specialist. Among Brenda's responsibilities are providing reference services to "Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel"; Eye on People -- a CBS Corp. cable channel; and CBS' New Media units -- including the editorial folks who bring you CBS' Web sites.

Stephen Marvin, after working with NewsNet, has moved to Manning & Napier Information Services in Rochester, NY. He actually works out of his home outside Philadelphia and loves it. The activity on the listserv and the Internet keep him up-to-date. Currently he is working on "data mining" and "visualization" applications that will help information professionals develop new relationships between the information contents of the documents they retrieve. A lot of this work is especially useful in competitive intelligence work.

Rachel Thurneysen-Lukow has been hired as Library Manager in CNN's Los Angeles bureau. Rachel previously was employed at the Energy Film Library and has also worked with Image Bank West and the Swiss Broadcasting Company.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently pictured two News Division members. On November 14, 1997, they detailed efforts by the Oakland Heritage Alliance to preserve endangered buildlings in the Oakland area. Steven Lavoie, an Alliance volunteer, is pictured in front of the Floral Depot, a building considered an Art Deco masterpiece on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. Barbara Newcombe, and her book Paper Trails, are pictured in the August 17, 1997, Chronicle. The Associated Press surveyed 29 California state agencies requesting 69 sets of records in electronic form. All requests were made persuant to the California Public Records Act and all of the record sets are described in Barbara's book. Only seven, or about a quarter, of the agencies said they could supply all requested records in electronic or paper form. Obviously not all state agencies are in compliance with the California Public Records Act which was passed to ensure public access to government documents.

Jeff Graveline has volunteered to be the new "People" columnist. Please make his life easier and send him news at He is the News Librarian at the Tuscaloosa News.

After many years of service, Gay Nemetti of the Miami Herald is leaving NLN as Business Editor. NLN and the Division thank her for all the ads she has sold over the years. Jacqueline Zaborski at the Palm Beach Post will take over her position.

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In Case You Missed It...

The following are some interesting web sites, books, and other tips that other news librarians may find useful or fun.

Check out the Lipstick Librarian. As Colleen Allen, reference librarian at The Washington Post, wrote in her paper on October 23, 1997, "The Lipstick Librarian means to overturn stereotypes by proving once and for all that librarians can be brainy, beautiful - and take a joke." The web site notes that what makes a Lipstick Librarian is the ability to "look fabulous while poking around a dot-matrix printer with a bent paper clip." This author notes that Colleen, last seen encased in black with a red scarf, having brunch at Sequoia, certainly makes it as a LL!

Equally provocative are James Rettig's reviews of current reference books. Sperry Krueger, Resource Manager at The News & Observer, notes that his reviews from October 1995 to September 1997, when he was sponsored by H.W. Wilson, are located on their homepage. Currently he is sponsored by Gale so the newest reviews are on Gale's homepage.

The second edition of Jo A. Cates' book Journalism: A Guide to the Reference Literature is now available from Libraries Unlimited, Inc. The first edition was published in 1990 when Jo was chief librarian at The Poynter Institute of Media Studies. The book is a "selected, annotated bibliography and reference guide to the English-language reference literature of print and broadcast journalism." Mostly it covers sources from the late 1960s through 1995. While the first edition contained 728 entries, the second edition covers 789, including 252 new entries and a whole new chapter on commercial databases and Internet sources.

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1998 SLA News Division Preliminary Program

It's not too early to start thinking about the conference in Indianapolis. Please contact Carol Campbell, Information Center Manager, The Daily Oklahoman at if you have comments, questions, or suggestions about the preliminary schedule.

SATURDAY, June 6th

5:30 to 9 p.m.
News Division Open House at the Indianapolis Star & News

Stop by anytime between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., but be sure to allow time for a tour. Sandy Fitzgerald has agreed to put up with us, show us around and ply us with coffee and cookies.

SUNDAY, June 7th

8 a.m. to Noon
News Division CE Course
Business is News: A Primer and Evaluation of Business Resources

This half-day course will cover:

Annual Reports
What are they and when would you need one?
SEC documents
What is a proxy statement? An 8k? What's the best report to find particular information? Other regulatory agency documents - If the business is a nuclear plant, what else can you find out? If the business is a local restaurant, what type of information is available from the county health department?
Sources of Information and how to evaluate
A. Public companies - If you want "X", you can get it at "A" (comprehensive but expensive), "B" (free, but messy), "C" (cheap and a little nicer), or "D" (cheap and pretty, but doesn't have all the information you need). B. Private companies -- are there any sources available? what can be scrounged up from other sources of information?

News Division Education Chair: Sperry Krueger, The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC

4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
1997-98 News Division Board Meeting in the News Division Suite

6 p.m. to ?
News Division Open House in the News Division Suite

NewsBank will again be our host for this open house. The coordinator for this is Allen Stein, Chicago.

MONDAY, June 8th

Noon to 1:15 p.m.
News Division Annual Luncheon
Sponsored by Congressional Quarterly

1:30 to 3 p.m.
Non-USA Panel Discussion Tips on international sources. A panel consisting of library specialists from outside the U.S.A. will discuss Canadian and other international sources available on the Internet and elsewhere. Moderator: Kirsten Smith, Southam News, Ottawa

3:15 to 4:30 p.m.
News Division Annual Business Meeting

6 to 9 p.m.
News Division Reception and Awards Banquet
We are eagerly awaiting the location announcement for our annual blow-out. Dinner will be preceded by a cocktail reception hosted by UMI.

9 p.m. to ?
News Division Open House, Division Suite

TUESDAY, June 9th

7:30 to 8:45 a.m.
Corrections and Quality in News Databases - To err is human...Cleaning it up is in our control! Are the standards for handling corrections in full-text news databases changing? How do we keep it clean, credible and legal? Panel moderator: Jackie Chamberlain, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside, CA

8 to 9:15 a.m.
Breakfast and Roundtable - Anyone who has questions can ask them; anyone who has answers can offer them. The only requirement is that questions and answers be pertinent to news libraries. Moderator (or Referee, as needed): Pete Johnson, Los Angeles Times. The News Division welcomes The Associated Press as sponsor of this event.

Noon to 1:15 p.m.
Freedom Forum Lunch and Program - Phyllis Lyons, Freedom Forum, plans a buffet where folks can get what they want, sit down and enjoy the program.

1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
- UNSCHEDULED AT PRESENT - Possibilities include a session on New Wave Training

3 to 4:30 p.m.
Ornamental Intranets: Getting the Attention You Deserve - Explore cool technologies and hot ways to decorate your corporate Intranet pages. Customize and randomize important URLs with Server Side Includes (SSIs). Add functionality and fun with Java applets and Javascript. Develop animated textures, buttons, and just plain animations with QuickTime and vector-based authoring tools. Dazzle your web audience with audio and video content. Impress your IS department with a proposal to set up streaming servers. This session assumes a basic knowledge of the Web and HTML. Moderator: John Sinclair, Edmonton Sun, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

6 p.m. to ?
News Division Open House in the Division Suite
Host for this evening is DataTimes/UMI.

WEDNESDAY, June 10th

9 to 11 a.m.
SLA Annual Business Meeting

11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Lunch buffet and How We Did That - This session will focus on the variety of systems out there, especially integrated systems, and what smaller papers can do without a whole lot of money. Kathy Foley, San Antonio Express-News, will talk about her new text archive. Bridget Janus, Cedar Rapids Gazette, will discuss her photo archive. Kathleen Flynn will chronicle the Cox-wide archiving project. Moderator: Linda Henderson, Providence Journal. Lexis-Nexis probable sponsor.

1:30 to 2:45 p.m.
Solo/Small Libraries Speakers include: Jeff Graveline, of the Tuscaloosa News. His is a one-person library he took over with practicaly nothing. Jeff has built up a good reference collection using little money. Julia Muller, from the Savannah Morning News. Hers is a two-person library. She will offer ideas for stretching people, time and money. Moderator: Diane Logsdon, Pantagraph Library, Bloomington, IL

3 to 4:30 p.m.
What's Next? Hindsight in the year 2010 - We're going to find out what new and exciting things we can look forward to, technologically speaking, of course. Moderator: Mona Hatfield, Contra Costa Newspapers, Walnut Creek, CA

6 p.m. to ?
News Division Open House, Division Suite Probably sponsored by KRI.

THURSDAY, June 11th

9 a.m. to ?
Tour (destination undecided) Jody Habayeb, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, is looking for something wonderful for a tour.

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By Victor Greto

A new front-end system means a new way of life for a newspaper: it fundamentally changes the newsroom routine that has built up over years - sometimes decades - altering the flow and interaction of stories, photos, art and research.

As newspapers approach the year 2000, many are moving into new PC-based systems that offer more than the old mainframe systems, including desktop access to the Internet, E-mail and local archives.

What can Research Centers or newspaper libraries do to prepare themselves and, more importantly, continue to become an increasingly pertinent stream in the latest newsroom flow?

Here at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, we've just brought in Unisy 92 Hermes pagination system. Instead of the limitations of the CSI system we had before, we can build pages at our desktops; we can type or dump wire copy directly onto a page. Reporters may view ahead of time how their stories will be presented; they can search for stories both finished and in-progress on the network, without having to know where it was either originally placed or subsequently moved.

Researchers can take the stories they've found on Nexis or Dow Jones and place them on reporters' desktops. Each reporter now has a spreadsheet program, a relational database, Internet access and E-mail, and will soon have direct access to local archives.

Yet, beyond the bells and whistles of a state-of-the-art PC-based system, the Research Center must evaluate how it wants to fit into the new system-flow, as well as how to make archiving choices for the next decade.

Some decisions are easier than others.

Along with its pagination system, Unisys sells a resource called DocCenter, an archiving system that preserves both images and text. Since The Gazette chose not to acquire it, programmers from Unisys wrote an export program that allowed us to send stories from the page onto our Basis+ server. It takes about the same amount of time to archive the paper as the old way.

But we are still looking into a text and image system that will solve our archaic (and separate) photo and text archiving. The advantages in having a system that preserves both images and text - as well as the page as it appeared when published - are enormous, from the time and money saved in "enhancing" the text of each story, to creating revenue from the ability to reproduce entire pages for customers to buy and frame. So, with a state-of-the-art archiving system and the additional investment of a laser printer (among many other options), the Research Center may turn into a profit center of enormous proportions.

Which begs one to address the question of the future of research centers in a newer, more online world.

As reporters become efficient at accessing government resources on the Internet; as they get used to easier access to local archives; after they learn how to use spreadsheets and relational databases: what is the future role of the researcher?

In many ways, we pioneered and taught reporters and editors the possibilities and uses of cyberspace, as well as taking on some of the computer-assisted reporting. Now, the fruit of much of our effort is at their desktops. We've done our job well. But has technology and technologically-astute clients and reporters phased out and changed some of our roles?

The short and qualified answer is yes.

But there is as invigorating a life after PC-based front-end systems. It includes an open mind and a willingness to concentrate on other aspects of research and the role of a newspaper library.

For instance, the Research Center as profit center, mentioned above. Tied with aggressive advertising on the web and in the paper, research centers can become major sources of revenue for newsrooms.

The Center will also probably continue to have a monopoly on high-end research and costly databases, such as Nexis, Dow Jones or Dialog. Even this, however, I hesitate to see as a long-term role, for database services will be increasingly hard-pressed to compete with newspaper web services, which will probably drive their flat-fee prices down to the point where reporters may have as ready access to them as they do the web.

We will also concentrate more on archiving not only newspaper images and text, but also databases and spreadsheets that reporters create and use for stories. It will be our role to give everyone access to these databases at the click of a mouse.

Librarians and researchers must make it a policy to stay ahead of the technological curve in both archiving and accessing information. Our libraries and centers will always be a place to go for the latest technological information and access if we task ourselves to be technologically indispensable.

Change is good. So, be good.

You can reach Victor at

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NAME: Ginny Everett
TITLE: Director, News Research Services since August 1995
COMPANY: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
PREVIOUS POSITIONS: Deputy Director, News Research Services, AJC, October 1994 to August 1995. Director, News Library, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN August 1988 to October 1994. Asst. Director, News Library, The Commercial Appeal, March 1987 to August 1988. Reference Librarian and Asst. Branch Director, Memphis/Shelby Co. Public Library and Information Center, 1980-1987. Reference Librarian and Talking Book Librarian, Middle GA Regional Library, Macon, GA , 1978-1980.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND HONORS: Special Libraries Association: member since 1988 President, Mid-South Chapter, 1991-92 past Membership Chair, News Division Recipient, of the AJC Reader Service Award, 1995. Selected by the AJC Editor in recognition of News Research activities in training news staff to become more Net-literate. Speaker, on news archives on the Web at Interactive Newspapers conference and at SLA in 1997. Speaker, on news libraries as database providers, at Tennessee Library Assn. Exhibitor, for Stacks, the AJC's fee-based information service and web archive, at GA Library Assn. conference, 1997.
PUBLICATIONS: Written on online newspaper archives for DATABASE magazine and a variety of topics for News Library News.
COMMENTS: Like most news libraries, the AJC News Research department's 20-person staff is busy on a variety of fronts -handling information and image requests from the newsroom and other departments; managing the electronic text archive and the digital image archive; training the newsroom to use the Internet and other information resources. NRS reference librarians also provide content in the form of links to Internet sites relevant to stories published in the newspaper each day. Exploring and evaluating new resources, and training newsroom staff to use them, is a vital part of our job. We are making information from commercial resources to in-house databases available on our newsroom intranet. I also am responsible for Stacks Information Service, which handles research requests from individuals and businesses, sells a variety of information products and is responsible for granting reprint permission. I spend a considerable amount of time finding ways to repackage and repurpose newspaper content, whether it is in finding ways to market the web archive or participating in the team developing a web photo store. Since news librarians in general are the most experienced information managers around, this reflects an arena where many of us are becoming very active.


NAME: Linda Henderson
TITLE: Library Director
COMPANY: Providence Journal Co.
YEARS ON JOB: 11 years at Journal; 6 years as Library Director
PREVIOUS POSITIONS: 1984-1986: AT&T Communications, Information Research Center, Bedminster/Morris, Plains, New Jersey Information Specialist/Researcher and Research, Specialist in telecommunications industry. 1978-84: Courier-News, Bridgewater, New Jersey (Gannett, daily, 60,000 circulation), Newspaper Librarian (one-person library)
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/OFFICES: Rhode Island Library Association (member) Special Libraries Association: News Division: Bylaws Chair; Chair of the Student Stipend Award Committee; Managing Editor of News Library News (1994-1996); Awards Committee (1997) and 1998 Conference Planning Committee. New Jersey Chapter: Served on Public Relations Committee. Rhode Island Chapter: Served as Public Relations Chairwoman, Treasurer and President. Investigative Reporters and Editors: Served on the steering committee and led two sessions for the 1996 IRE annual conference held in Providence ACCESS/RI: Founding board member of nonprofit group dedicated to open government in Rhode Island. PUBLICATIONS: Journal-Bulletin Rhode Island Almanac - Managing Editor for annual publication Editor of News Library News (2 years) and occasional contributing writer
COMMENTS: The News Division has been invaluable to my growth as a news librarian. My goal is to reciprocate by serving the division in whatever way I can.

NAME: Chris Hardesty
TITLE: News Research Manager
COMPANY: The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
YEARS ON JOB: Two years
PREVIOUS POSITIONS: The Chattanooga Times, head librarian, 1988-1996 The Chattanooga Times, assistant librarian, 1987-1988
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND HONORS: President, Board of Directors, Times Printing Company Credit Union, 1994-1996 Secretary, Board of Directors, Times Printing Company Credit Union, 1992-1994 Treasurer, The Newspaper Guild, Local 164, 1989-1991 Visiting faculty for The Poynter Institute's News Libraries for the Year 2000 seminar, February 1998 Recipient of The Freedom Forum/SLA International Libraries Program fellowship to Russia, November 1997 Vormelker-Thomas Student Stipend Award Committee, 1997; chair, 1998 Mentor in News Division's program for first-time annual conference attendees, 1997-present Coordinate fund raising News Division auction, 1996-present Publicity/Public Relations chair, News Division, 1995-present Publications

Director of Publications

NAME: Carolyn Edds
TITLE: News Researcher/Librarian
COMPANY: Herald-Journal (Spartanburg)
PREVIOUS POSITIONS: Senior Library Technical Assistant, University of Florida Libraries (1987-1995) (I started out as a Data Entry Operator and was a Senior Library Technical Assistant when I left in 1995.) Student Assistant to Operations Manager, Independent Florida Alligator, 1994 (I was the webmeistress of the electronic version of the paper. I was one of a three-member team that developed this site.)
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND HONORS: News Division Webmeistress Summer 1996- News Division Education Committee member 1996- Newcomers Committee Meeting Organizer 1996 President, Piedmont Library Association 1997-1998 Vice-President, Piedmont Library Association 1996-1997 Student Liaison, SC Chapter of SLA, 1997-1998 1997 SLA Scholarship Award Winner Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors Poynter Seminars: News Research and the Newsroom, December 3-7, 1995 Training the Trainers (at IRE), June 1996 News Libraries: Leadership for the 21st Century, February 2-7, 1997 Panels: Beginners HTML Class, MidAtlantic News Research Conference, July 1997 Getting Systems Support: Speak Their Language or Do-It-Yourself, SLA, 1997 Newsroom Intranets Panel, Florida News Librarian's Association conference, October 1996 Tips for New Managers, SLA 1996 Using the Internet for Research in the Newsroom, Piedmont Library Association meeting, April 1996
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Since my arrival at the Herald-Journal, I have overseen the installation of a new electronic text archive and have started archiving photos digitally. I created an Intranet and have built a library of printed and electronic resources. I spend my days conducting research, training reporters to use the Internet or other computer applications, adding material to the Intranet, maintaining and building the reference collection and overseeing the text and photo archives. I plug the occupation of news librarian every chance I get at the USC Library School, either through discussion in class or on electronic mailing lists for the class. I attend career fairs at the Library School to promote the trade and I always bring a copy of the most recent job postings from the News Division web site. I also alert the students to news library internships posted to NewsLib. I have demonstrated my Intranet to classes in the library school at the University of South Carolina.

NAME: Barbara Gellis Shapiro
TITLE: News Researcher/Net-Web Librarian
COMPANY: The Palm Beach Post
PREVIOUS POSITIONS: Head Librarian, The Associated Press News Library, 1989-1994 Librarian, The AP News Library, 1979-1988.
PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES AND HONORS: Speaker at Florida News Library Association conferences: (1997) Demonstrating The Palm Beach Post Intranet, (1995) Overview of Internet search engines and methods of accessing the Internet. Webmaster for 3 web sites: The Post library's intranet, Kidzette (student publication supported by the Palm Beach Post's Newspapers in Education department) and my own web site, Barbara's News Researcher Grafitti Pages.
PUBLICATIONS: Internal company training manuals - in print and Intranet versions. Web publication "Barbara's News Researcher Graffiti Pages."

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Vormelker-Thomas Student Award

This year the Vormelker-Thomas Student Award, co-sponsored by UMI, Inc., offers two $1,000 stipends that will enable two graduate students interested in news librarianship to attend the 1998 Special Libraries Association conference in Indianapolis. Selection criteria include the following:

    1. Applicants must be members of SLA at time of application.
    2. Applicants must be attending their first SLA conference.
    3. Applicants must be graduate students interested in a career in news librarianship.
    4. Applicants will be judged on the basis of a typewritten essay (500-1000 words) addressing an issue in news librarianship.
    5. Applications should include a reference from a news librarian, a news editor or a faculty member.
    6. Applications should be accompanied by a resume including a list of course work undertaken and a statement of professional goals. They should also include a statement on what he or she expects to gain from attending the conference.
    7. Applications must be submitted no later than March 27th to:
      Chris Hardesty
      The News & Observer
      215 S. McDowell St.
      Raleigh, NC 27607
The winner(s) will receive a check prior to the conference in June. The Division reserves the right not to award the stipend if there are no suitable applicants.

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The Best of the News Sites on the Web

by Jennifer Small

Is the Internet replacing the news librarian's need for services like Lexis-Nexis, Dow Jones or Dialog? At this point, probably not. Commercial online services continue to provide the most efficient access to the text archives of newspapers and magazines. Are there advantages to using news resources available on the Internet? Definitely. On the Web, production time is minimal and news hole is infinite. When events happen, web-based news sources can post information immediately. Consequently, information on the web is often more current than any information available from a commercial online service. When the judge's ruling regarding the British au pair Louise Woodward was made public, for example, most interested parties turned to the Web for information on the decision. Unlike the hard copy version of the newspaper, online news sources have the space to be comprehensive in their coverage. Papers across the country have taken advantage of this luxury. In the fall of 1997, the Kansas City Star published an interesting series, "Money Games," that examined problems inside the NCAA. Web surfers could access interactive databases at the Star's web site to search for injury rates by sport, average head coach salaries and much more. There is no question that the Internet offers a wide variety of valuable news resources. So how does one effectively access news on the web? If you are interested in locating the web site for a particular paper or magazine, go first to a site that compiles the online versions of news sources. These mega-sites organize both national and international news sites by geographical area and type. Some of the best mega-sites include:

Newspaper Association of America Hotlinks

This site focuses on American papers online. You can search by state or by publication types like business publications, press associations, or college papers. This NAA site also provides a useful link to other news organizations.

AJR Newslink

American Journalism Review (AJR) lists both U.S. papers and international news sources. AJR divides sources by region and publication type. At this site you are able to access major metro dailies, non-dailies, and alternative news sources. The archives of AJR can also be searched.

Editor and Publisher Online Newspapers

This site includes a very large database of online newspapers from across the globe. When you search for a particular newspaper, you also receive information about the online version of the paper. Records for each paper can include ownership information, contact phone numbers, web site addresses, and launch dates for the site. Online newspapers are useful for accessing the most current information from a particular city. In addition to the day's news, many online sites may also link to a paper's text archive. Most news researchers are familiar with the minimal costs accrued by searching newspaper archives at either Infinet's News Library , or the Dow Jones Publications Library, accessible through the Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition. There are other sites on the Web, however, that link to the text archives of news sources.

Newspaper Archives on the Web

News librarians (of course) have compiled one of the best sites to access archives available on the Web. From this site, the web addresses of several papers and online libraries are available. Site are organized by state.

Ecola Newstand

Ecola is a directory of English-language media links. At this site, you can access a list of online newspapers, magazines or computer publications. From the first screen, link to searchable newspaper archives. Archives are organized by region. As more newspapers focus on creating an online presence, the amount of news-related information on the Internet will multiply. In many instances, your needs may be satisfied by accessing a paper's web site or archive. If you are interested in a particular topic in the news, however, you should utilize one of the many sites that focus exclusively on the news. At some of these locations you can search for information on current stories. At others, you can access the most recent headlines from each area of the news. Still others allow you to track particular issues. The following sites exemplify the value-added services that are currently available on many news sites.

News Index

News Index is the original news only search engine. Search a database of over 200 sources from around the globe for more information on a current story. The engine searches only current articles it is not an archive.


This site links to papers from every state in the country. News Works editors compile "packages" of links for particular stories. These packages can contain stories, audio clips, polls and commentary. Great place to find background on a topic.


Hot Bot's answer to the search for news on the Internet. Again, the focus is on searching current news. Returned hits are ranked by relevance and contain detailed information on how long the site has been up on the web. One can also search for recent headlines on a particular topic like business news, entertainment news, or political news. Hot Bot is also developing the NewsBot Personal Agent. Personal Agent will notify you by email of any developments in a news topic that you are tracking.


Excellent spot for the most recent information available on various news stories. From the first screen, you can see the top three headlines in world news, health news, financial news and other topical areas. This site updates every 15 minutes and notes how many stories have appeared in the last 15 minutes. You can view headlines by topic or by the time that the headline was posted. The source of the posting is also noted.

News Trackerz

The folks at Excite break the news into sections. See the top headlines in entertainment news or the national news. News Tracker will allow you to set up searches on various topics. You will be notified via email of any new developments. Top news stories will also have links to related stories following the text of the article.

Lycos News Guide

Like the Excite site, Lycos breaks down the news by topic. Great background information can be found in the Lycos "community guides." Developed by Lycos in response to users' demands, community guides provide a number of links on various topics. In the Entertainment guide, for example, you can find a list of links on someone like Howard Stern. In the United States community guide, find links on the affirmative action debate or gun control. News librarians should familiarize themselves with the multitude of news-related sites available on the Web. Because of the infinite amount of news hole, a newspaper's online presentation of a story may be much different from the hard copy version. Researchers can use some of the supplemental documentation posted on the Web for background information or story ideas. The Web also provides the most up-to-date information available on topics in the news. Almost immediately after an event occurs, online papers will be posting stories, updates, and related links. Sometimes these postings can save a lot of time.

Jennifer Small is a Reference Librarian at the San Antonio Express-News. Her email is

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Push Technology in the Newsroom

by Richard Drezen

With increasing emphasis by reporters and news librarians to use the Internet as a research tool, more people have been introduced to and have started using what is know as "push technology" to aid them in finding information.

What exactly is push technology? In a nutshell, it's a variation of an electronic clipping service. You set up a profile requesting information on a specific subject be sent to you, either by accessing it online or having it e-mailed to you offline. The information is then "pushed" automatically to your desktop daily and you are able to retrieve it and read it at your convenience.

How can this be used in the newsroom? Reporters might use this to monitor stories pertinent to their beat. Assignment editors might want to follow how other newspapers are handling a story they've covered. News librarians might be watching for new developments on a subject they've been asked to track.

Pointcast has been one of the bigger players in push technology and when visiting their web site you are promptly informed that "over one million busy professionals rely on Pointcast as the Internet's #1 news and information service." Various options for starting with Pointcast involve free downloading software that enables one to get customized application similiar to a screen saver which provides late-breaking news, a stock ticker and even weather information at your desktop. Of course, Pointcast in not the only player out there. Marimba and Backweb are other competitors. Both Microsoft and Netscape have designed their own push products as well.

In order to get a better sense of how news librarians are using push technology, I posted a query on NewsLib, the listserv for news librarians specifically asking how it was being used and what, if any, have been the benefits. The results were surprisingly underwhelming and ranged from, "I tried Pointcast when it first came out and enjoyed it but then they stopped updating it daily..." to "I had it on my computer for about a week and found it distracting" or "a lot of the stuff Pointcast offers is useless to me." Follow-up phone calls to respondents produced further negative evaluations such as "it takes up too much space" or "it has too many advertisements" or "it might bring in a virus."

To see if these reactions from news librarians were lopsided, I conducted an informal survey of several reporters at The Washington Post who further confirmed that while some of them really use push technology, the jury is still out as to whether it is really helping or just cluttering up their computers.

Since many of the negative comments were directed towards Pointcast, I contacted them for their response. Joe Perna, Director of Content at Pointcast, admitted an earlier version of their free software had problems. The latest release is less of a memory (or disk) hog. He pointed out that individuals who do use Pointcast are able to determine how many or how few times daily they want updates. He said that the real strength of Pointcast is to focus on "company" or "industry" content and this would be especially useful for financial journalists. Those wishing information on more general topics might be happier with other push products that allowed for greater flexibility.

Obviously there will continue to be a need for the old-fashioned news alert or SDI (selective dissemination of information), and vendors such as Dow Jones or Lexis/Nexis have not been idle. Both have fine-tuned their push products and offer various ways of delivering information to one's desktop. The difference, of course, is that with these, there is a cost factor. With Pointcast, Marimba, Microsoft and Netscape, the cost is minimal, if non-existent. Will news librarians be willing to pay for this type of service? More importantly, will reporters and editors ask for it knowing that it is being done so at a price? Stay tuned for further developments....

Richard is a Reference Librarian at the Washington Post. Contact him at

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To Russia, With Love

By Chris Hardesty

I suppose I'll never be able to give a thorough travelogue of my trip to Russia last November. The story has been told dozens of times, but folks till toss out questions looking for facts and anecdotes that I fail to mention. Read on. I'll answer some of the questions I've been asked.

What were you doing over there?

This is the third year The Freedom Forum has teamed up with SLA to send special librarians to other countries as part of their international libraries program. I spent two weeks in Moscow and St. Petersburg helping journalists and journalism students to better use the Internet.

Did they know how to use computers?

Yes, although to different degrees. In fact, that's what made adhering to a training plan difficult. Some people wanted me to show them how to build Web pages, while others were getting on the Internet for the first time. Most of my time was spent showing them the ins and outs of searching for good and useful information.

Do you speak Russian?

Nyet. About half of the people I met with were bilingual, though. The other times I had a translator. Speaking through an interpreter or to bilingual groups is exhausting. On those occasions, one must make sure to use proper grammar. Avoiding contractions and slang is a must. Simple sentences should always be used. After two or three sentences, pause to allow the interpreter to relay the information. Try it. It makes a three-hour training session seem like an all-day affair. I did pick up about a dozen phrases while there.

What did you do about language differences outside of the training room

Anna Sharogradskaya, the director of the RAPIC office in St. Petersburg...

Whoa, what's RAPIC?

Russian-American Press and Information Center. They've changed their name to the National Press Institute since I was there. The Center in St. Petersburg houses The Freedom Forum Library I worked out of, and I made the Center in Moscow my home base, too.

OK. About the language differences?

Anna taught me something valuable: take everything in context. Wasn't it Dali who asked why, when he's in a restaurant and orders grilled lobster, he's never brought a telephone? I haven't the foggiest idea about what he was getting at, but if someone approaches you and they're tapping their wrist, they probably want to know the time. Walking down a sign-filled street gives you an idea of what it's like to be illiterate. But I was never left too long without an English speaker. In Moscow, they arranged for young English-speaking women to take me to see the sights.

Were they pretty?

Absolutely incredible! Beautiful and elegant is more like it. I'm sure you've seen pictures, but you can't fully appreciate the beauty until you stand next to something and touch it. It's a full sensory kind of thing. You take in the sounds, smells, everything. Some were deteriorating, though.

Are you talking about the women?

No, I thought "pretty" was referring to the sights. But yes, my sightseeing guides were pretty too. I saw many pretty women. And again, beautiful and elegant is a better description. The stereotype of Russian women being unattractive and bulky is no more accurate than the stereotype of librarians being old maids with their hair in a bun.

Did you meet any librarians?

I met three -- The Freedom Forum librarian in St. Petersburg, one at a university and one at a newspaper. The status of librarians is generally low there. Granted, we're not often put on a pedestal here, but many librarians in Russia perform only clerical functions. So, many people I met were confused about my role at The News & Observer.

What about The Freedom Forum librarian?

That's Chris Hamilton. He takes requests from journalists from all over the city. The questions he gets could just as likely be asked by a reporter at my paper. The journalists can also go to the library to use its resources. He keeps busy with them and gets repeat customers. I guess some Russian reporters have realized the value of a good librarian, but the bean counters at the papers haven't figured that out yet. Chris is an American, but he's in his fourth year in St. Petersburg. We're roughly the same age and have similar interests. My leisure was time well spent, thanks to him. I saw a ballet, visited fantastic museums, toured magnificent cathedrals and met interesting people. He invited me to return in June when it's not as cold and there's more than six hours of daylight. The sun hardly sets in June.

How cold was it?

Cold enough for someone who's lived in the South for more than half of his life. The week after I returned home they had record low temperatures. I'm quite happy I missed that -- 25 below zero is way too cold.

You said the RAPIC offices were your home base. Did everyone come to you or did you go to them?

Both. I visited two newspapers and two universities. The other groups met at the Centers.

How were the Internet connections?

That varied, too. It certainly was slower than what I'm used to at work, but faster than what you'd get at home with a dial-in connection. Sometimes the connection would just freeze for a minute or two. Their telecommunications infrastructure is not quite what ours is in the U.S., but it was better than what I originally anticipated. I noticed that several people didn't load images to speed up navigation. In 1890, St. Petersburg had one of the best phone systems in the world. But it's said that some of the orginal copper wires are still in use today.

What about the food?

I'm often trapped in indecision by fine menus, but nothing has compared to this trip when all of the foods were new to me. Chris knew of many great places. I ate very well. I ate blini, these thin pancake things stuffed with anything from apricots to cabbage, caviar or mushrooms, and topped off with sour cream. The first caviar I ate in Russia was at a hockey match. Instead of picking up a hot dog at the arena, they've got fancy little sandwiches of caviar, ham or smoked fish. Pelmeni, a sort of Russian ravioli. Borscht, a beet soup. The list could go on.

And the vodka?

I drank my share.

Send Chris e-mail at

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