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jtm-mls-seminar-04-27-12-summary.doc Common Goals: New Projects, New Ideas for Connecting Libraries, News and Communities April 27, 2012 / 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Massachusetts Library System (MLS) 225 Cedar Hill St., Suite 229 / Marlborough, Mass. 01752 / 508-357-2121 THESE NOTES AVAILABLE AT: ideas for action are also available from:

Photos from the session: consensus statement: April 7, 2012


ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF EVENT These are notes compiled by Bill Densmore of a Friday, April 27, 2012 day-long seminar at the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) offices in Marlboro, Mass., attended by approximately 37 people, two-thirds librarians and one-third journalists or former journalists-turned-librarians. Cosponsors were MLS, the New England News Forum and Journalism That Matters Inc. with help from the New England Newspaper & Press Association. "Common Goals," is an outgrowth of a 2011 event held in April at the MIT Center for Civic Media. That event was, "Beyond Books: News, Literacy and Democracy for America's Libraries." See: The Twitter hashtag for the day.s event was #biblionews MLS streamed the presentations and wrap-up session life from this URL: An edited archive of the session will be available at that address. AGENDA

9:30 a.m. . Welcome . Greg Pronevitz, Massachusetts Library System 9:35 a.m. . Introductions . Bill Densmore, Journalism That Matters (617-448-6600) 9:45 a.m. . 11:30 a.m. . CATALYTIC STORIES 1. The Banyan Project's news cooperative for the "news desert" of Haverhill, Mass., closely aligned with the Haverhill Public Library. Presenters: Carol Verny, Library Director and Tom Stites of The Banyan Project. (25 mins.) 2. David Crowley's project with CIRCLE-Tufts to launch and fund a National Civic Communications Corp., modeled after VISTA or Teach for America. At one of three demo sites, the San Antonio, Texas, library is a co-collaborator. (25 mins) 3. Pre-lunch discussion: Arranging the afternoon (10 mins). 11:30 a.m. . LUNCH and discussion on your own. There is a cafeteria in the building. 12:30 p.m. . Screening: Seven-minute JTM video about MIT .Beyond Books. 12:45 p.m. . 2 p.m. . CATALYTIC STORIES (continued) 4. NEWS CULTURE -- Sylvia Buck, librarian in Warren, Mass., will participated in a Q&A about her experience serving journalists during the Molly Bish disappearance case, seeding a discussion about possible journalist/librarian roles. (15 mins.) 5. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT -- Barbara Gref, retired daily editor, will showed a two-minute video and describe the non-profit Kids Reporting Project operating in collaboration with the town library in the Catskills town of Livingston Manor, N.Y., after the town lost its only weekly paper. (15 mins.) 6. ARCHIVES CRISIS -- Leigh Montgomery, Christian Science Monitor news librarian shared ideas and concerns about preservation and access to legacy community information (e.g., newspaper clips) (30 mins.) 2:15 . AFTERNOON BREAKOUTS CALLS Bill Densmore explains modified .Open Space. process (call a session that matters to you . up to five sessions total)

CIRCLE QUESTIONS: 1) What have you learned so far today? 2) What.s now possible for our communities and democracies when journalists and librarians work together? 3) What session are you calling for this afternoon? 2:35 p.m. -- BIO/COFFEE BREAK 2:45 p.m. THREE BREAKOUT DISCUSSIONS CONVENE a. Library as civic and community engagement host b. Monetizing. archives and digital-news content c. Information reliability and the role of the library as curator 3:30 p.m. . RECONVENE / Breakout reports / What have we learned? What.s next? 4:05 p.m. . ADJOURNED WHO WAS IN THE ROOM? Contemporaneous notes by Bill Densmore of round-the-room self-introductions. Sylvia Buck . Warren Public library . Will present case study of abduction of Molly Bish and how the library facilitated work by journalists. Sasha Nyary . worked for Time Inc., now getting library degree at Simmons. Interested in combination of journalism and library information science. How do people learn what they know and separate facts and truth? Lisa Downing, Forbes Library, Northampton, Mass., asst. director. Works with media often to get publicity for library. How to strengthen those ties with the media. Projects at library are important and people like reading about them. Katie Krol, Monson Free Library. They have hired a local reporter part time, so a new tie with the media that we have never had before, so can see things from same perspective. Library got a direct hit from tornado. Media has been there since. Wants new ideas on collaborations between library and news media. Jen Wroblewski, works part-time as library tech at Monson library and fulltime as editor of the Agawam Advertiser News (part of Turley Publications Inc.) Keeps in touch with local library, what news they consider important. Dave Bloss, a foot in both courts, formerly a Providence Journal reporter; he and his wife (also attending), and were in Asia for 10 years, now back and are beginning of Rhode Island multimedia project on the future of libraries, information, job hunting, what a library is going to do in the future. Jody McPhillips, Dave.s wife, was at ProJo. Great tradition of long-form journalism. They are looking for a way to continue long-form journalism. The Public Square . in formative stages. David Crowley, Social Capital Inc., a non-profit focused on civic engagement. He.ll be talking more later. Interested in how they as a community organization can fit it. Michael Dooling, news librarian for the Republican American in Waterbury. Used to be in consumer products research. Interested in needs of communities for information and how that has changed and the emotional needs satisfied by people reading news papers. Linda Chapman, Patriot News, Quincy, news library. They are really interested in expanding their role in the community, interested in finding other ways to work together. Phil Camp, owner/publisher, The Vermont Standard, Woodstock, Vt. Any good organization whole community should know about it and appreciate and support it. Woodstock.s Norman Williams Public Library is under appreciated. Jennifer Belton, has been at the Woodstock, Vt., library since January. She was 20 years at the Washington Post research center. The intersection of the two is of interest. She took The Post from a .news morgue. to a true online information center, where all the stories and photos were automated. Now she is awakening the Woodstock library a bit. Trying to define appropriate role and collaboration with a very community-oriented paper. She kudos the ex-ProJo people (Bloss-McPhillips, above). Celeste Bruno, communications specialist at Mass. Board of Library Commissioners. She.s interested in the shift in the way people get news and in the way news is created. Anyone with a cell phone can do reporting. Librarians. lament: .We can.t get our message out.. There.s a limit to what newspapers can do. The intersection comes where libraries can be a place for the birth of civilian journalism in a community. Get (or offer?) some training for people to do journalism. Kim Siebert, on the Bedford library board and founding member of hyperlocal online journalism called the Bedford Town Taxi and a reporter for the Bedford Minuteman. Hard copy papers don.t have the money to be able to cover what needs to be covered in order to promote citizenship in town. How to address what.s happening . possibly a new hyperlocal solution. Looking to connect with others. Meredith McCulloch, retired Bedford head librarian, (and former director of the New England News Forum), has always had a passion for libraries and journalism. She is looking to see how libraries can support local reporting and citizen journalism. Debbie Smith, Perkins Braille, does outreach to find new patrons and looking to collaborate and network. Dave Olson, editor of the Salem (Mass.) News. Newspapers and libraries are the two great connectors of communities and they are undergoing tremendous change now. How can we collaborate to tell the stories that people really need to hear? The Gloucester Public Library is one of his favorite places! Leigh Montgomery, news librarian at the Christian Science Monitor. She.ll talk (after lunch) about news archives. She.s working on the intersection and volunteering on an MLS task force. Her goal is to convey the state of news archives and the challenges and opportunities. She has been to two JTM events. The first one she realized taxonomies and linked data will profoundly change the (news) industry. At Beyond Books there were so many great ideas! Mary Baker Wood, Spencer, Mass., (not Eddy!), a public-library director. She works closely with local media sources. They provide more information for articles and photography. Fortunate in having great people to work with. Library is asking: Do we use our website as a community information bulletin board? They have a committee working on that. She is also a longtime historian and archivist. How are we preserving the news? We have to think about what saving. We are actively thinking about how we save our history. Mary Braney, Westwood, Mass., public schools librarian but lives in Spencer, and is chair of the board of the Spencer PEG-access operation. They are doing a survey . asking townspeople . how do you want to get your news? She is interested in her students, but is also concerned that schools might be underrepresented. Kathy Cryan-Hicks, assistant director and in charge of community programming at the Chelmsford Public Library and used to write for the Lowell Sun. There is a connection in providing community information . unbiased information without an agenda. She.s interested in collaboration. She runs a Friday morning lecture series . topics inspired by the Foreign Policy Association.s great-decision series. Tavis Kimball, curator of special collections at the Jones Library in Amherst, Mass., including the Robert Frost and Emily Dickens collections. She is passionate about how libraries are going to go about re-inventing themselves. They have started: -- tells stories. Have had some success with members of community and students writing stories about our town. Huge challenge on limited budget but is the future of special collections. Jackie Rafferty, library director, Cohasset, Mass., was at Beyond Books at MIT and thought it was fabulous. She is interested in information-literacy piece. She just read the Knight Commission on Information Needs of Communities report. How can we help students sort out too much information, not all of it good. Likes idea of developing programs with students that encourages them to be creators and reporters of information. The ALA has a branch program seeking to do this . teach young people and students how to be critical analysts. The are now digitizing archives of the Cohasset paper. Looking for grant funds to digitize resources. Lots of pieces interested in as librarian and intellectual freedom and censorship. Mike Labonte, engineer from Haverhill, Mass. Drawn to JTM events. Was citizen editor with He is chair of organizing committee for Haverhill Matters, which we.ll be hearing about from Carol and Tom. He wants to pick up anything to help news and information literacy take hold. Carol Verny . will be talking about Haverhill Matters and will talk about the .Haverhill news desert.. Hearing the comments . so many of them we will talk about. Hope to, in transforming their library into a web-based world where people who develop the skills and have the information in traditional methods can be part of this new digital environment and hopefully get many of them actively contributing to the content we hope to present on Haverhill Matters. Tom Stites . Founder of Banyan Project, pioneering a new business model for web journalism designed to not only be sustainable but replicable from community to community. Haverhill Matters is the pilot project. Barbara Gref from Jeffersonville, N.Y., to talk about a new project between the Livingston Manor Free Library and her non-profit, the Community Reporting Alliance. That NGO is about preserving local news. She is engaged with the library-based youth led news. Manor Ink. It will be in print and online. Kevin Gref . husband of Barbara. He will be working on Manor Ink for a local public radio station. Deb Hoadley, an advisor at MLS. She.s here to listen and to pass it along to member libraries. Carolyn Noah, assistant director at MLS. The bright future of libraries largely lies in collaboration and partnerships. She.s here to gather information and disseminate. Marianne Stanton, editor/publisher of Inquirer and Mirror on Nantucket. The island.s library has become a cultural center for her town. Greg Pronevitz, director at MLS, remind folks who came in a little bit late that this is being recorded live. One of his concerns: Local access to local news in the library. MLS provides local access to local news from third-party aggregators. But local newspapers through this are not affordable. It would be best if the newspapers and libraries could partner up to get the archives online. He offers assistance to any community that wants to work with their paper to figure out a way to access that does not eroded subscription base. Caitlyn Kelleher, newspaper reporter and editor; the weekly paper she was working for just closed, the Community Journal in Westminster, Mass., part of Holden Landmark Inc. She thought it would be fun to come and listen. Dave Hallenbeck, director of NH library Trustee Association, represents 243 libraries in New Hampshire. SELECTED PRESENTATION HIGHLIGHT

Banyan Project.s .Haverhill Matters. news co-operative

Tom Stites. proposed a new definition of journalism: .Journalism is reliable information people need to make their best life and citizenship decisions.. Problem in Haverhill: A city of 60,000 people with no local paper; weekly the Haverhill Gazette, is closing; had only one reporter/editor. WHAV is being revived by another member of the Haverhill Matters coordinating committee. Goals include deeper community engagement; working on the right software to make that possible. Can.t be adequate without collaboration. Carol Verny, Haverhill head librarian: She tells a personal story to explain why she is working on this. She moved in Jan. 2009 from Columbus, Ohio, to become the Haverhill public library director. Her board wanted her to learn the community. Where to start? Advice she was given was start with two local papers. But nether paper was covering what the library was doing. Should library be involved in .kidsfest.? Some question about that among staff. Key question: What do we have in common? Both library and Haverhill Matters want to encourage collaboration, education and interaction. Common mission is civic engagement, information transparency, revitalizing a community where a lot is happening but it is really difficult to find out who is doing what and why and where. Want to help form engaged communities that contribute to the betterment of our society. She believes in the concept of the library as a community place. Other things in common: Share a belief that we want information you can rely on and that.s it.s necessary for an empowered democracy. Critical thinking skills are fundamentally important. The shared mission: Helping people to find quality, reliable information that they need to make important life decisions. Librarians have done that in many media for a long time. It.s difficult to move beyond the idea of a center of information in the sense of passive response to inquiry. .Now we realize that the people who don.t use our physical buildings, our physical materials, perhaps are strong users of our electronic resources, are people we are interested in having conversations with.. She is asked: .In Massachusetts why can.t you deliver materials to us?. Libraries are becoming electronic advocates. People using Facebook, Pinterest or other social-network tools . . . she notices what people use their public-access computers . they are gaining critical skills. Important to recognize role of civic engagement and the case made for supporting libraries. State umbrella groups are great and providing resources to make the case. The resources and arguments are relevant to journalism too. What is the common goal set for responding to needs of 21st-century communities? Libraries and news-media organizations are important to the economic benefit of our communities. A lot is happening and growing in Haverhill, there is lots of energy and excitement. But she isn.t sure people have moved beyond the old image of Haverhill, or beyond the traditional image of what libraries were. Traditionally libraries have been information consumers. .But now I see a real interest in Haverhill, of people who are interested in being content creators.. They are working with high schools and are finding a group of kinds enormously interested in creating content. They may have in cases more skill than the libraries do in creating. They can contribute to Haverhill Matters, she believes. Possible roles for collaboration with Haverhill Matters: Creating a community-events calendar. Difficult for anyone to do, to make sure everyone is represented. An ancillary benefit is promoting what the library is doing. (People don.t know what the library does . like learning games for teens). Create an API widget for news. A link from all public-access computers with news or snippets to stream all the time. They have 60 public-access computers. They could stream news or link a little link. Running survey right now, it.s the opening screen that people see: .What reliable news in Haverhill? We can help you, click this link.. .Just the facts. database. Things commonplace to a journalist. Training opportunities. Library doesn.t have full capacity for tech training but have goal in strategic plan to get community trainers. Hope HM cooperative will produce some of those trainers. Back to Tom Stites: Haverhill Matters will potentially offer the events calendar and API news feed to the library. Other ideas: Links to e-book downloads. Online book chats? Planning concept of a .local resource bank. . every school in town having its own page, lost pets, time banks, tool exchanges, garage-sale map, API pulling things like real-estate transactions, building permits, gas prices, I-495 traffic community resilience tools. Do all that in addition to covering the news. Link to all (.responsible.?) bloggers. COMMENTS FROM THE ROOM: Canaries in the mine (newspapers) are dying. The vanishing resource is people trained in reporting. She.s seen this in other countries . information just gets shoveled out and nobody thinks about it. Community database is great idea . they are working on this. Pushback is we are seen as a trusted source, but what if you get too much involvement and there are the wrong people involved. How do you mediate? How do you teach citizens to do quality journalism? Is there an association of online newspapers.

BILL: Will post link to work of Lawrence Journal-World. There is no national association of local-online news communities yet. SEE: How do you prevent burnout? Tom Stites: Has to do with business model . it helps if you get paid. Some 7,000 LONCs have started around the country but a small percentage are still operating. No viable business model. Co-operators historically are awash in volunteers. Italy, Germany, Mexico and India. Listener-owned radio stations in Canada. BREAKOUT REPORTS

A. Library as civic host and community engager What does engagement look like, what are some barriers, what do we need to succeed? Libraries have long open hours, and are taking place of other agencies paring down. Library becoming go-to place for services formerly elsewhere. Library as community center is part of the whole framework. One librarian in the group said the culture of the library has changed because the mission has changed. Librarians are going out and physically engaging. No longer desk bound. Mission of the library is expanding. Sometimes there are people in the community . teen-agers . thrilled to be advocates and teachers for the community. Where kids know how to use mobile devices, they can teach adults . in innovative ways. Kids could work off fines for late fees by volunteering and training to teach adults as a technician. There.s a program called connecting with computers her library has. Matched computer literates with technophobes. .Big rock. identified . finding people in the community to access for training for others. Other people that could be useful are bloggers, interns, underemployed writers and community mentors generally. Dedicated volunteers . often there is no volunteer aggregator. Not pervasive that every town has that. Libraries could cultivate that. There is value in promoting what the library does in fun and creative ways, where the library gets out of its silo. Example: Librarians dressed in hunger games(?). Emphasize traditional and non-traditional no roles. Non-traditional: Field enviro-thon teams. Library could lead a group adding excitement and interest. There.s a danger of watering down or overreaching. Library can.t be all things to all people, but CAN be known as a neutral convener and a place where ideas are fomented. Action items: Grant opportunities Collaboration among communities to start pilot projects. NSTA(?) and IMLS grant opportunities Find interns from community colleges or high schools or college students on vacation; e.g., David Crowley.s AmeriCorp-like idea. Extending the idea of what literacy means; what does it actually mean? People can.t read, or technological or other forms of illiteracy that can be in funding pitches. Broaden the meaning? State source for regionalization block grants KEY CLOSING IDEA: More training for trustees. When advocating for library becoming a place for citizen journalism or media takes place, the governing board may have trouble understanding why this is appropriate role. Long-term idea of good governance training for boards of trustees. No grand solution; there are town boards that you must train for . some legislative thought to get training. Final idea: Libraries have 60,000 friends of library across Massachusetts . they are under accessed resource. B. .Monetizing. archives & digital news content Loop of conversation . access to local news at local libraries is the key. Concerns about archiving. Everything needs to be captured somehow digitally, from the citizen blogger to a large news organization . whatever the info source. Opportunities and challenges around meta-data for non-text assets . journalism/media is now multimedia and visual. Norman Williams talked about monetization through syndication . wildly different from 10 years ago. New players include NewsCred. Discussed .paywalls,. and affordability of databases by local libraries. Greg Pronevitz of Mass. Library System said he would be talking to the online content advisory committee about the affordability issues. Communities should be able to get access to their local news. Libraries should be a conduit, bypassing the third-party aggregator. Some sort of embargo would ensure newspaper still has revenues. Two professional journalists talked about opportunities there . look at the .white spaces. where no one is doing anything, and cover that. There are niche sites that just cover the environment, or construction or energy. What is the audience for niche content? There is one. There is work in Rhode Island on a website about libraries in the state. Talked about paywalls vs. open access and came to the conclusion that what news organizations need is someone like Norm, dedicated to finding new markets and opportunities for their content. C. Information reliability; library as .curator. Main concern boils down to how do libraries maintain their community standing while elevating their role as a community information source? The answer is policy, policy and policy and they have to be very public. What the policies need to do differs depending on the appropriate role for a library depending what else is going on in their community (like is there still a legacy paper vs. a .news desert.). It might be something added to or parallel to a current materials selection policy. If the library is, or convenes, a community information source, policies would have to address the different flavors. Nobody sure if anyone has been aggregating sample or model policies. Greg Pronevitz says there are samples on the MLS website. A research librarian needs to work. Questions were raised about legal liability. What really matters is your community standing. That can be messed up without any legal liability. Be wary of .comments. online. A place to be careful. What are community online engagement topics that are consonant with the library mission? Some answers: Construction community change, help with understanding of the community, possible an FAQ service, or information for new residents. There was discussion about helping with engagement. END OF DAY WRAP

BRAINSTORMING NEXT-STEP IDEAS: Get a grad student to survey material selection policies that might relate to new roles for libraries in community information sorting, and address online participation. Look into finding direct library-to-news organization relationships that are mutually beneficial but allow the library to be a local resource of local news. Think about available grants from IMLS and other source(s) to see what was funded. Opportunities we might not know about. Write a guide on monetizing news information in the Internet age Explore more regionalization among towns . how would we set that up. What are appropriate services to regionalize? Explore the clash of cultures between journalist and libraries given somewhat different outlooks. Journalists are more reluctant to see themselves as advocates than librarians are. Journalists may fear librarians are constrained by public funding from full advocacy. How to create environment where libraries can understand the e-book environment and take better charge of it. Future topics for discussion: How to promote increased usage of news in and by libraries and their patrons. How to make it more accessible. Maybe have an RSS feed through or promoted by library. SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE GATHERINGS

.I was has hoping for easy answers but got pointed questions instead.. Provide some pre-convening homework to participants so that all arrive with a small baseline of common information. Example: Read the Knight Commission on Information Needs of Communities report ( ) Suggestion some pre-convening homework, like the Knight Commission report. SELECTED LINKS FROM THE DAY

Manor Ink . home page: Manor Ink, a video introduction: THE DAY.S TWEETS Sasha Nyary . @sashanyary is on, an easy website builder. "absolutely no technical skills required." #biblionews 18h Social Capital Inc. . @socialcap Learning about this cool youth journalism project, Manor Ink #biblionews

18h Sasha Nyary . @sashanyary is the student community-wide newspaper. #biblionews also on facebook, of course.

19h Marilyn Johnson . @Marilynajohnson Fascinating updates from @sashanyary about role of local library when press descends on a small town. #biblionews

20h Sasha Nyary . @sashanyary The online commnities that @socialcap is building is resulting in increased community involvement, in many areas and ways. #biblionews

22h Social Capital Inc. . @socialcap Join our conversation! RT @sashanyary: Common Goals library/news conference in MA: #biblionews. Streaming: View video

22h Tom Stites . @tomstites About to present Banyan Project at Common Goals library/news conference in MA: #biblionews. Streaming: View video

23h Social Capital Inc. . @socialcap 5 Strategies to Revive Civic Communication by @PeterLevine Sharing this at #biblionews today. Sylvia Buck.s discussion notes: ABDUCTION MISSING CHILDREN DISCUSSION OUTLINE I. Library.s role in the community 1. Information provider 2. Extra services that might be offered by the library 3 . Parking: Can you offer space in your parking lot? II. Dealing with the media 1. They can be demanding, disrespectful, and impolite 2. Interviews? Who in the library staff 3. Library staff may be photographed in background, interviewed Journalists do not have to ask your permission to quote you. III. Reference Materials to provide (to media, police, authorities) 1 through 7 IV. Confidentiality issues 1. Library staff can.t reveal. Reporters might not be aware of this. 2 Offer personal information or opinions ? V. Effects on town: 1. Disruption to everyday life. 2. Parking problems. 3. Some events canceled or postponed. VI. Public emotional reaction. 1. People will be edgy, 2. strong opinions about the case 3. Parents refused to allow their children out alone 4. Anger about clogged streets and poor parking situation. 5. Anger about lack of solution to the mystery. 6. Sensitivity to hyper emotions VII. Unusual visitors to Library 1. Psychics Sylvia G. Buck, Director Warren Public Library 934 Main St. Warren, MA 01083 -0937 (413) 436-7690 voice/fax Published by Google Docs–Report Abuse–Updated automatically every 5 minutes