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  • Marsha Iverson 12:27 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: book clubs, civics, fact checking, film, media ethics, , public relations, radio, television   

    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.

  • Alpha DeLap 7:26 pm on April 4, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: civic conversations, coffee, digital divide, , multimedia, rural, staffing, , television, training, urban   

    April 3, 2011, Preliminary conversation between Alpha DeLap and Saul Tannenbaum

    Tell me about your work and how it led you to saying yes to this workshop. What outcomes would you like for yourself and your organization/work from these sessions?

    Saul: I work for a community television channel and am interested in the possibilities this type of a conference will open up. In some ways the link between librarians and journalists seems relatively novel, that said I’ve spent a lot of my life in libraries and one could argue that the Internet is the modern day library so though I’ve drifted away from libraries in everyday life, I would like to begin to re-invest in the libraries as spaces that can truly bridge the digital divide and re-charge civic engagement.

    Alpha: I am a graduate student in library science at the University of Washington. I consider myself to be a writer, a teacher and voracious lover of the printed word. For me, the love of stories and their ability to transform people’s lives is what brings me to this work session. My belief is that both journalists and librarians are stewards of a society’s stories.

    Tell me about an experience you’ve had which points to the potential at the intersection of journalism and libraries.

    Saul: One example is Tufts medical library, an environment that moved away from the idea of the library as “a repository of the holy book” towards a community center with courses, printed resources, and of course, very importantly, coffee.

    Alpha: One example I can think of is the Suffern municipal library in upstate New York. This was a small municipal library that had enough resources and support to create a physical and intellectual environment that encouraged civic engagement through its programming, its physical layout (meeting rooms, café, printing center, computer labs) and its staffing (librarians with a range of subject area expertise and experience with outreach to diverse users).

    What do you value most about yourself? What do you yourself bringing to this workshop?

    Saul: My ability to see connections whether others might not. Also, I value my range and breadth of knowledge in a number of subject areas. I consider myself to be a vacuum cleaner of information.

    Alpha: Me, I’m a lover of people’s stories. I also value my ability to remember almost every person’s story I’ve ever heard. I am also a trained academic moving into pratice and thrilled about it: praxis!

    2016. Librarians and journalists have a vibrant relationship that is catalyzing civic engagement in many communities. What is happening? How does this new environment function? Who does what? What is now possible as a result?

    In 2016, libraries in urban and rural areas are spaces for true community reflection and debate. Funding is stable and increasing. Libraries continue to be repositories of printed texts, paper and electronic, but they are also training grounds for 21st century skills, especially those related to digital literacy. Libraries provide forums for local civic conversation and teach basic skills to document and curate current events. Libraries also include space for rotating collections with a range of themes that stimulate local conversations regarding societal issues and concerns. Librarians are fluent with multi-media tools and journalists are actively involved in library training programs, mentoring users and library staff, in journalistic writing and the use of digital equipment. Libraries contain multi-media equipment for check-out and provide space for editing and screening of media artifacts. In many ways, libraries become the 21st century internet-based equivalent of public access television, providing the technical infrastructure and support services in an inclusive, content-neutral framework allowing for all community voices to be heard.

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