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ROUGH NOTES: Jan. 6, 2011 planning call for "BiblioNews"

These are Bill Densmore's raw, unedited notes of the Jan. 6, 2011 conference call of participants/planners for "" the April 6-7 gathering for journalists and librarians at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media.

NEXT CALL: Tues., Jan. 18, 4 p.m. EASTERN, call: 641-715-3200 access code: 132888#

TENTATIVE AGENDA (hold call to one hour)

  • Confirm agenda -- add items
  • Status of registration -- LIVE -- comments/edits/suggestions?
  • Hotel thinking -- $209 at Cambridge Marriott; checking other options
  • Take a look at proposed agenda/schedule on the [1] information page.]
  • Discuss ideas for topics/speakers for Wed. evening / Thurs. lunch
  • Review "open space" approach (Peggy); challenge in 1-1/2-day event -- stay focused on desired outcome(s)
  • Second discussion on what our "convening questions" might/should include
  • How do we get "best practices" examples and people in the room, or profiled in advance?
  • Discuss innovative use of JTM website for pre-convening dialog/planning (Peggy?)
  • Outreach, outreach, outreach -- If we confirm registration good to go, how do we promote?
    • Social networks
    • Personal emails
    • Trade/policy/advocacy organizations such as FreePress, ALA, NELA, ONA, JTM, ASNE, NENF, NENPA, who else?
  • Fundraising: Now's the time to construct asks and make them / use for food, stipends and pre-event organizing)
  • What else?


On the Jan. 6 call:

Jessica Durkin, Colin Rinesmith, Andrew Whitacre and Lorrie LeJeune from MIT, Peggy Holman, Marsha iverson, Mike Fancher, Leigh Montgomery.

INTRODUCTIONS and why are you interested:

  • Jessica Durkin -- Had to do media landscape. She is doing that for New America Foundation. Take a look at libraries and journalism and see what she comes up with. Open. Jessica is a former reporter, seeking masters in library and information science.
  • Colin Rinesmith PHd at UC librayr and information science, worked at CCTV and his dissertaiotn will be looking at public computer intiatives. Howe people are using public computers for citizens journalism.
  • Andrew Whitacre, communciations manager at MIT centure for future civic media. Wife is archivist at WGBH.
  • Marsha Iverson: Calling from San Diego ALA / fascination about common interest in factual information. She is communications specialist for King County library system around Seattle, Wash.
  • Bill Densmore says he also talked this AM to Alan Inouye, who heads the ALA's Office of Information Technology POlicy (OITP) in Washington, D.C.
  • Mike Fancher, retired executive editor of Seattle Times, board member JTM. Librarians have a lot of sympathy with journalism.
  • Peggy Holman -- A founder of JTM. Her take on this is one of the things JTM has done thoruhg its 10 years is continually enlarge the defintion of who is in the jouranlims and news adn information ecosystem. Bringing new voices into the conversation that serves democracy.
  • Lee Montgomery, librarian at the Christian Science Monitor and manages research department and creates content directly. She has a new role, social media moderator, monitoring all the comments on the site. A wide range of responsibilities. Montgomery: Talking about libraries being natural partners for connecting communities with what they need to know. We haven't really gotten out there fo ra year and Bill has been very enthusiastic aobut this and how libraries can do that and encourage citizens to be active observers and reporters and awake and aware as to what's happening>

  • Laurie LeJeune is progam manager at MIT C4FCM. They are donating the facility in the media lab.

  • Andrew Whitacre: A couple of years ago had the media in transition conference; might be able to tap their mailing list. Media in Transition.


  • Marsha: make a connection with the general public. There's a failure of perceived value. If you look at incoming students new use of the intennet, they never think about the library, they just go to the web.
  • Peggy: When we think about outreach, great to have technologists in the room as well.
  • Jessica: To add to the technologist. Technologists shoudl be part of the conversation. The big barrier to local information is lack of access. Talking to the guy at JTM-Detroit event, people who run the Sacramento Press -- they are programmers. Their biggest obstacle it getting local information was that all the county and municipal information is still in paper form. It is a matter of getting these old forms and creating new APIs.

Peggy: Another group of folks, the people, a fellow in Seattle launching something that grew out of last year's JTM conference -- Matt Rosenberg. Has been looking at ways of taking and making government inforamtion databases more accessible for research purposes. Stephen.

  • Mike: Have a good value proposition for journalims and likes bring the public piece in. Is there a sufficinet value proposition for librarians?
  • Marsha: My idea is it is easier to get people to udnerstand why we are valuable if they know what we do. She has talked to LLAMA and they are very intrested in being an in-name only sponsor. Possibility of making a broader connection with ALA.
  • Leigh: I think it is just a totally new way of thinking. I think it is very much in line with the mission of the public library. They're all trying to get more awareness and use of their resources which as many people don't know are thousands of digital sources. They are constantly looking for ways to bring people into the library, new and novel and different approaches. You are trying to get people to go out and come in again.


  • Would this kind of service require libraries to offer something new or be more effective and detailed about using the resources they have?
  • What tools should libraries offer?
  • What about libraries and controversial issues?
  • Colin: He has been looking at this question a bit. Introducing public computers is another challenge. Some librians look at this as another thing they have to do. Look at some ofthe more innovative uses of technology for citizen journalism as a point where journalism where traditional journalism might be taought. There is SkokieNet at the Skokie Public Library. that might be a place to look toward where libraries have been open to these types of steps toward more tradiitonal journalism training and bring some of thse folks into the conversation.
  • Bill: One goal then is to gather examples of best practices, and get those practitioners in the room.
  • Marsha: used the word about librarians becoming partisan. That's a fear. That word is read into a bull in the anti-literacy circles. Libraries make a major effort in intellectual freedom. That would be a policy approach that is already a hallmark in a way. Having the skills be shared is part of the mission, but journalism that results is not the result of the library.
  • The other group is educators, in our library there are folks who talk with educators. in their hierarch any kind of conversation having to do with schools has to go through many many other people. That poses some tactical challenges.
  • Creating the firewall. We offer information, don't distill, point or shape your interpretation. However, library has to be a bastion of intellectual freedom, questions are asked and the information is available.


  • Peggy: Peggy has been listening for who do we want to have in the room. Her list so far:
    • Librarians -- (Marsha: She can put the word out at the San Diego conference. Can promote it.) (Jessica will spread the word at the Univ. of Pittsburg NAHJ board, and SPJ minority journalism organizations.)
    • Journalists
    • Technologists -- (c4fcm has a list of 700 people -- ANDREW)
    • Open government folks (Bill will contact Stephen Clift -- eDemocracy and New England FOI Coalition)
    • Digital literacy and media literacy educators
    • Media policy people
    • Overlaps ASNE conference -- but look at Online News Assn.
    • Open Commons people / Lew Friedland, Madison (Can talk to Lew Friedland -- peggy)
    • Creative Commons Lawrence Lessig's group -- Jessica

How do libraries absolve themselves of responsibility for journalism done in libraries?


  • Peggy: I we have access into communities we have named the principle work is to get something into peoples hands that is an invitation.

  • Bill: will do revisions to posting notice and send it out for comment. It will be linked form the page and that URL will point whereever it should point.


  • A couple of quick minutes on budget purposes, pricing it. Looking at $95.00 to get a test of that as a price for the conference. There was no strong objection to that price; thinking it might go up closer to the event.
  • Laurie will get info on lodging availability and pass along to Bill for him to research and make inquiries.
  • Kendall Square -- Marriott -- a fair bit of lodging. Not cheap. Easily accessible on the T.
  • Kendall Hotel. Marriott. There is a Marriott Suites.


Tuesday, Jan. 18, 4 p.m. EASTERN. Call 641-715-3200 132888#