Biblionews-Who else belongs in the room

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Jump to: navigation, search -- Beyond Books: News, Literacy and Democracy and America's Libraries

Cambridge, Mass. (Boston), April 6-7, 2011 at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media


Who else belongs in the room, and what links matters?

When near 130 people registered for "Beyond Books," we asked each two questions: Who belongs in the room that we may not have already thought, and what information resources should we be sharing? Here are the answers they provided.

Who else belongs in the room?

  • Jay Rosen, well-known journalist and professor at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, has a unique perspective on citizen journalism and the future of media.
  • There's a new movement of online news outlets that rely heavily on social media (e.g. Patch) and who may have some interesting things to add to the discussion.
  • Homero Gil de Zuniga (an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas.
  • Boards of Directors and other governing boards; Community Foundations and other representatives from funding sources
  • Technology professionals capable of advising public libraries how they can harness their unique potential to democratize networks and technologies, to engender citizen journalists by creating new media literacy for the public. The nettime mailing list and related resources.
  • Wael Ghonim, Google employee and organizer in the very recent ""Jasmine Revolution"" in Egypt. His thoughts on the real-world applications of social media as a platform for freely available public information would provide a unique and valuable insight.
  • Eric S. Raymond, vocal advocate for open source software. He makes a persuasive argument for the careful integration of open source principles into a capitalist economy, with the idea of maintaining the profit motive while facilitating innovation. Politically, he is a staunch conservative, and would provide a counterpoint to what I can only assume will be a fairly liberal set. His email address is:
  • Clay Shirky, associate professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Dept. of NYU, and a Distinguished Writer in Residence in the Journalism Dept. He is @cshirky on Twitter.
  • Danah Boyd,
  • Rob Goodspeed, of DUSP, who is helping a PlanningTech conference accross campus.
  • The Uptake, Cynthia Moothart, The League of Rural Voters Communications Director and a former journalist/editor for the Detroit Free Pres, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Kansas City Star.
  • Brewster Kale, founder of The Internet Archive.
  • Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia
  • State Library Consortia and Knowledge Repositories
  • Ralph Nader, an influential voice for shining the light on our government and for funding public libraries.
  • Kids who already go to their local library. Youth librarians.
  • I assume that the Knight Foundation will be there. Have you thought of getting some of the people who run community foundations involved? They could be important catalysts in bringing local libraries and news organizations together.
  • Douglas Rushkoff, author and media theorist, should be in the room for this discussion. His research examines the intersection of technology and popular culture. In a recent interview with Library Journal, Douglas Rushkoff said, ""Dewey foresaw a society in which people would be able to participate actively in democracy and other social institutions. Lippman thought that was a pipe dream. The jury is still out. Egyptians decided to become more active. Others decide to become more passive.

Librarians can help people to understand what they're choosing, and that it's a choice. It might be that we live in a civilization that chooses to stay passive-but we can at least help people understand that this is a choice, too". He can be contacted via email For more information, including the interview mentioned above, see his website at

  • Online forums that take on the role of reporting news or uncovering issues locally when newspapers shut down. I know that the Knight Foundation has done work around this phenomenon.
  • Social media champions and technologists
  • Community leaders and funders.
  • Scholars/researchers who study the information gathering mores of people. We need the researchers to hear what the journalists and librarians need to know and how they'd measure it
  • Ethicists working on ethical standards in a vastly changing environment - privacy, intellectual property rights, etc.
  • Elected officials - how to communicate a message that's palatable to lawmakers dealing with overwhelming cuts.
  • Advertisers/media owners who set the rules behind the scenes - whether it's publishing books, newspaper ads, cable ownership, an endless list of links in the information chain
  • People who can speak for the homeless community would help participants to understand the central role that libraries play for homeless Americans.
  • People representing open access initiatives and copyright issues belong in the room. In my experience, much of the discussion about improving or enhancing services glosses over hurdles like the reality of copyright issues in a digital environment. Having that aspect represented would be beneficial both for librarians who tend to support open access, and journalists who often are embedded in a for-profit publishing world.

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