Monday, April 30, 2007

Gettting the Editor's Ear

More history. I thought I'd read every that's been said about news libraries until I came across Getting the Editor's Ear: The Manchester Guardian Library in the 1950s by Geoffrey Whatmore. Whatmore was the MG's first chief librarian and the article is full of details about the characters who inhabited the famous Cross Street building. I was drawn though to the penultimate paragraph which could have been written today:

'On the way home late at night one of the best things was to open tomorrow's first edition and find it in paragraphs due entirely to the library's efforts. Library contributions are notoriously difficult to evaluate. Because it did its job, some articles and some leaders, carried more information, some were richer in content and perhaps more readable, some news more accurate.'

We occasionaly mock the old days of cutting and filing but this proves that news librarians have been providing an invaluable service for years. Talking of Whatmore, I've met people who saw him as the founder of modern media librarianship, bringing a certain amount of discipline to the profession whilst others claim he was clueless and wrecked their library. After leaving the Guardian he worked at the Daily Mirror and the BBC.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Those were the days.

Doing a bit of microfilm research and came across a job advert for a library assistant at the Guardian, dated March 12 1969. Doesn't ask for a library qualification but applicants should be able to type and know how to use reference books. Oh, and the remuneration? A solid £18 7s 6d. In modern money that's around £236.30 or £12,287 a year.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Film Noir Librarian

Ok, so I'm not even sure what film noir is but I think it's got something to do with being shot moodily in black and white. That being so, check this posting on youtube. It's not great, but if you need to kill 4 mins 10 seconds, then it's worth visiting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Don't know if there are any places left but the BBC and Yahoo! are hosting a joint Hack Day at Ally Pally on June 16/17, allowing full access to their interfaces and feeds in a bid to foster new ideas. Sign up here.
Went to a really interesting AUKML panel discussion last Thursday on advancements in film and video research. More will follow on the evening itself, but one of the sites that was discussed was the BBC Backstage network, designed to "encourage innovation and support new talent". Really opened my eyes to the diversity of the library industry.
The National Library of Scotland is trying to raise £5m to secure the John Murray Archive of literary papers. The collection, gathered over seven generations by the Edinburgh publishers, includes items from Lord Byron, Jane Austen, Benjamin Disraeli and Charles Darwin. Go here to help out.