Hello All As one of the minor instigators…

Hello All,
As one of the (minor) instigators of this event, I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Cambridge.

My Conversation Catalyst partner is Mike Kittross, aka J. Michael Kittross, who began his career as a radio journalist a very long time ago. I began my career in public relations about half as long ago, and began working in libraries about half of the intervening years.

Our initial conversation lasted a good two hours, as did the second; the third was shorter as we both had deadlines to meet. Suffice it to say, we found many things to talk about, many similarities, a difference or two, and a shared enthusiasm for continuing to discuss issues of libraries and journalism, among many other topics.

Beyond journalism–he’s the editor of Media Ethics magazine–Mike has a daunting resume in academic posts, military service, and passionate interests in film, television, libraries, and more.

Surprisingly, we live about three miles apart, in Seattle. Even more surprising is the highly unlikely fact that both of us have our very own ”Valhalla Vikings, Gasoline of the Gods” faux credit cards, relics of a 1950s radio promotion attributed to advertising comic Stan Freberg. Anyone else with such a card is invited to bring it to the conference for comparison and general levity.

Both Mike and I are coming to BiblioNews because we want to have a voice in the discussion, and to bring our varied experiences together with the rest of this innovative group to see what happens.

We share the belief that there is far too much ”information” and too little critical evaluation and ”understanding” these days; we both have a common hope that by collaborating, libraries and journalism can raise the quality of ”understanding” through engaged, active civic discourse.

Mike loves books–and would love to see libraries devise ”global book clubs.”

My particular aspirations are:
– Finding willing advisers to help me refine an online newsroom for information research

– Developing a basic model for libraries and journalists about how to organize and conduct civil discussions about civics, information literacy, political issues, and fact-checking between now and the 2012 General Election.

All ideas, comments, and interesting stories are most welcome, in person or online.

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