With all the recent focus on nonprofit journalism as a future for news reporting, I hadn’t thought until recently (well, today, actually) about the role that libraries could play. All libraries, from the small-town ones to the New York Public Library, are thinking the Internet can offer new ways for patrons to search their catalogs and find out about on-site events. But some, like the NYPL, are creating original weblog content to draw in users who might not have been heading for a library site in the first place. While this seems like an obvious way to market libraries, who are trying to peer into the future as in-person research becomes less and less a part of their function, but it raises questions about how far the trend could go. Will libraries be hiring writer-bloggers to create must-read sites? How does the academic, intellectual role of a librarian fit in with the stereotype of the writing-in-my-underwear blogger? Just goes to show it’s not only newspapers and magazines that are having to recalibrate their missions for a digital readership.


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