Vol. 21, No.4/Summer 1999
|Notes from the Chair
On the run . . .
By Ginny Everett
My first column, and I'm writing it on the run, before going to a meeting on digitizing microfilm, writing a job description for an information store manager, and looking at proposals for desktop information resources. Im rushing to get it to our NLN editor who will be editing it on the plane on the way to her wedding. On the run. Isn't that what our lives are like now?
After the high of seeing News Division members at conference in Minneapolis, at meetings, in the suite, at dinner, and hearing from our knowledgeable and expert presenters, it's back to life in the fast lane for all of us.
Our panelists on evolving roles - Nora Paul, Lany McDonald, Kathy Foley, M.J. Crowley - raised a number of questions that reflect the issues that we're grappling with:
Our NewsLib Live panelists discussed the impact of new archiving systems. We must be experts on those too right? And, what about Jim Hunter's wonderful phrase "Archive Bracket Creep"? What do we need to be preserving and archiving that we're not doing now? How can we influence the development of new technologies to support our archiving and retrieval needs?
And how do we do it all? Or do we? What about those of us with shrinking staffs? How do we make the choices? What are our priorities?
Many questions, not many answers. We all have to sort those out individually and collectively. And between conferences, that's what our communications tools - newslib, e-mail, the telephone, and those yet-to-be invented mediums -- are there to help us do.
When you read the truly impressive history of the News Division that Justin Scroggs compiled for our 75th Anniversary celebration, it becomes obvious that news librarians have always been on the leading edge, on the run, ahead of the pack. Sandy Hall, News Division Chair 1979-1980, was one of the News Division alumni who returned for our 75th anniversary and she described herself as one of the "fossils." Sandy, are you kidding? To be a fossil you have to stand still long enough to get buried, don't you?
Like so many former news librarians, Sandy has focused her formidable energies on other interesting arenas and she's busy in her current role as Duke Kahanamoku's biographer. Our energies as a group are formidable as well.
Well, gotta run. See you again in three months!
Ginny Everett is the head of the library at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her email is email@example.com.
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