Can Libraries Compete with Newspapers?

May 14, 2009 § Leave a comment

From Barbara Quint’s April Searcher’s Voice column:

“Library websites should include a news service that keeps people informed on activities in and around the community. Much, if not most, of the news might only need online gathering and winnowing. Local government announcements on dot-gov sites could become regular feeds. If you still have a local newspaper, then directing people to it through headline feeds could help to swell both the library’s and the newspaper’s web analytics stats. Local bloggers and “citizen-journalists” could provide another feed, possibly tagged with a caveat for opinion-laden submissions. You might also add feeds from Google News and/or Yahoo! News…”

Libraries that just don’t see themselves in the news biz should stop thinking about the “news” as just articles published in newspapers.  Check out the Sacramento Bee’s Investigation Center, especially the “Databases”section where they aggregate local data about: State and Local Government, Crime and Courts, Schools and Colleges, Health, Real Estate, Elections.

This is a newspaper aggregating local data.  And SacBee doesn’t create all this local data, they just unify it, bring it all together on one place.  Sounds like something local libraries would be good at!  The Pikes Peak Library District is already doing it on their Community Information page.


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