The Future of Newspapers and Libraries? Surprise! There IS One!

Seriously.  There will be  a future and that future will include newspapers and libraries.  Whew, I’m glad THAT’s settled.

OK, it’s a bit more complicated than that, of course.  Today’s program on the changes occurring in newspapers and their impact on libraries shed some much-needed light on how newspapers got themselves into their current situation, what that situation is, and where they will be headed years down the road.  And of course, how libraries are affected by and adapting to these developments.

We had three outstanding speakers, each with a unique perspective.  Amanda Maurer is the Online and Social Media Producer for the Chicago Tribune.  Dan Sinker is a professor of journalism at Columbia College.  Bruce Brigell is the Coordinator of Information Services at the Skokie Public Library.

Here’s a video they showed to kick off the program. Good for some laughs (“owns home computer”), but relevant to the topic as well!

Let us know how you liked the program.  We had a great discussion going on before we had to break up, let’s keep it rolling here!

Edit: Bruce Brigell has shared his two handouts: “The Public Library and the Public Record” and “Program Links” (both in pdf).


Upcoming Program: The Future of Newspapers and What it Means to Libraries

Photo from Manchester Library's Flickr Photostream
Photo from Manchester Library's Flickr Photostream

Newspapers across the country have been going through major changes.  Most have gotten smaller to some degree.  Many have cut staffs.  Some have even given up paper for an all-web presence.

Librarians are paying close attention to these changes because newspapers are so integrated into the services we provide.  We all have “The News Crew” – that group of patrons who come in every day to read the papers.  We have patrons who look specifically for the newspapers’ TV listings, book reviews, and classifieds.  We send press releases to the newspapers touting our accomplishments and invite reporters and photographers to cover our programs.  Perhaps most importantly, newspapers are an invaluable reference resource.  Students look to libraries when they need articles for their paper and genealogists rely on newspapers to research their family trees through birth and death notices.

As a source of focused, local information, newspapers are hard to beat.  But what happens if – as some are predicting – newspapers go away?  How will libraries replace those services?

Join us on Tuesday, December 15th from 9:30-noon and listen to three speakers discuss the future of newspapers, how people will replace newspapers as a new source, and what it all means for libraries and librarians.

Our panel of experts include:

  • Bruce Brigell is the Coordinator of Information Services at Skokie Public Library.
  • Amanda Maurer is the social media and online producer for the Chicago Tribune.
  • Dan Sinker teaches in the journalism department at Columbia College Chicago where he focuses on entrepreneurial journalism and the mobile web.

When: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 from 9:30am-12:00pm

Where: NSLS Auditorium, 200 W. Dundee Rd. Wheeling, IL 60090 [map and directions]

Cost: Free – sponsored by HW Wilson

Register online now!