Anne Raci, an MLIS student at Dominican University, majored in journalism as an undergrad and worked as assistant editor at a daily paper outside Chicago after graduating. She is now the database coordinator at American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Her search for classes that would help her with the technical side of her job led her to the MLIS program, and there she has found “the perfect fit” for what she values and hopes to do in her professional work.

My name is Jamie Helgren and I am in my final quarter of the MLIS program at the University of Denver. I work as a research fellow at Library Research Service, a unit of the Colorado State Library, where I have enjoyed the opportunity to incorporate some of my undergraduate journalism experience in researching and reporting relevant information to librarians in the field. I hope to pursue this combination of my professional interests throughout my career, as I continually notice the similarities between journalists’ and librarians’ work.

Anne and I are in similar positions as MLIS students with backgrounds in journalism, and we are both approaching the BiblioNews gathering curious to hear what everyone is saying and/or doing about collaboration between libraries and news organizations. We agree that such a partnership has potential and are eager to know how conference attendees visualize it. Both of us are full of questions rather than possible solutions, and wonder if the collaboration that others envision might simply involve journalists using the library for research and news sources, or the library becoming a publisher of community news?

As we discussed how this partnership might look five years from now, our thoughts turned toward communities’ perceptions of blending the library and the newspaper. Would either be taken as seriously, or valued as much? How might the reputation of either change as a result? How can we prove to communities that this is a valuable partnership? How can we create a structure and framework now that will be sustainable on a large scale in the long-term?

This conference seems to offer the opportunity for people with both big ideas and specific goals to plan how to make this work, but with so many people from different backgrounds involved, it could be a challenge to get everyone focused enough to move from brainstorming to creating an action plan. Anne hopes to leave the event not merely thinking that it was an interesting conversation, but with measurable steps she can take to act on any decisions made. I am excited to make connections with people who have similar goals and interests; as I am just beginning my professional career, I am in a position to devote time and energy to these efforts, and hope to meet people at BiblioNews who are ready to start implementing their ideas and need help!