Techdirt and Editor & Publisher posted two stories that the Wall Street Journal is laying off two news librarians:
Editor & Publisher:
“NEW YORK The librarian who operates The Wall Street Journal’s news research library — which is set to close with the elimination of her job and another staffer’s — said in a memo to other librarians that the shutdown is both a personal difficulty and a hit to news coverage.
“When I asked who will do research for the reporters, I was told, ‘No one,’” the memo from Leslie A. Norman, posted on a librarian list serve last week, stated. “The reporters will probably be using a Lexis product called Due Diligence Dashboard (you know how your moms told you ‘if you can’t say something nice…’)”
She later adds that it cannot replace the “knowledge about how to research using all the tricks we’ve learned over the years. We figure that the reporters will probably spend 10 times our compensation trying to do their own research.”
The library cutback is part of a 14-person newsroom job reduction announced last week by the Journal, which also includes news assistant Ed Ramos in the library. Norman and Ramos plan to remain on the job until at least March 23, the memo stated.”
Apparently, the Wall Street Journal has eliminated the two research librarian jobs at the paper with no plans to replace them. The idea, apparently, is that reporters should be doing their own damn research from now on. I actually have rather mixed feelings on the news. At a time when newspapers should be focused on providing a better product to remain relevant, you have to wonder if removing research services makes sense. However, the question remains as to whether or not the position is really needed. This is not — at all — to suggest that research librarian aren’t quite good at what they do and provide a truly valuable service. But, it is true that the tools for research have become much cheaper and accessible for anyone.
Here are the two links:
h/t to LisNews.com
Posted by Rich