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.