Link to January 29 Columbia Journalism Review report, "Endangered Species: News librarians are a dying breed".
Excerpt: Now that every reporter and editor has access to Google and a wide range of search technologies and online databases, the thinking is that they don’t need to call upon the Boolean expertise of librarians. You can see how it makes sense—except then the facts start to get in the way. In fact, the modern news librarian seems in many ways more important than ever. Even those old clipping files still come in handy.
When I spoke with Amy Disch, chair of the Special Libraries Association News Division and library director of the Columbus Dispatch, she said her team had accessed clipping files and hard copy photo archives more than ten times that day alone. But that’s the least of what they do at the paper. In addition to providing research services to support reporters, the library runs a newsroom intranet and wiki, provides data analysis for investigations, and offers a range of other useful services.
Then there’s the reality that just because reporters can access Google or search Nexis and other databases, it doesn’t mean they know how to use them properly.
Amen to that.
And good luck to turning this around without news librarians.