On Sunday night, we had the meet and greet of the mentors and mentees in the News Division Suite. Shira Kavon, who does an excellent job organizing this event, provided gift bags to the mentors and mentees. The bags included many items such as coffee from Pennsylvania, M&Ms;, a coffee mug and small magic 8 ball to ask questions about the future. When asked about the future of news libraries, a magic 8 ball responded with “Ask again.” It was an opportunity for newbies to meet experienced conference attendees. We got to catch up with colleagues we knew and meet some new ones. Heritage Microfilm provided some great appetizers and beverages, dinner for some of us.
On Sunday afternoon, several people attended the CE course, learning about researching social connections using Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Attendees learned how social networking services must become a crucial part of news research. Meg Smith, from the Washington Post, gave a great presentation in person and then Catharine Skipp, from Newsweek, joined virtually for the second half of the class. Smith’s handout is here, also found on the SLA News Division Program page along with presentations and handouts from other sessions. Pictures from this session to come.
About 20 to 25 people met at The Seattle Times early Saturday evening. We enjoyed a virtual tour of the intranet followed by a tour of the newsroom. We also enjoyed some light refreshments. Miyoko Wolf, a Seattle Times news researcher whose desk is in the newsroom, welcomed us. Katherine Long, Research editor/Weekly Review editor, provided the tour of the Seattle Times intranet, which is called the Cafe. Items on their intranet include the upcoming story plan/budget, forms for making requests from different newsroom departments, telephone directories, database lookups, an experts list and resources for reporters. After learning about the Cafe, Katherine and Miyoko took us on a tour of the newsroom. All of the newsroom staff are located on the same floor, but the floor is not a wide open newsroom as it is in some other shops. Different departments are in different corners. Two librarians share the library with the investigative team. It was an interesting and great evening! See a slideshow of pictures from the tour here.