The Columbus Dispatch library employs four librarians to provide research and archival services for the newspaper. The library is unique because many newspapers the size of The Dispatch do not have a large library – as Web resources have become available, news libraries have dwindled.
Dispatch librarians maintain the paper’s physical collection of magazines, newspapers and literary journals, along with a quiet space for reporters to read. They are responsible for archiving the paper daily, maintaining electronic research tools like Nexis, Accruent and Smartlinks, and resources in the collection that are unique to the library:
- Clip files (thousands of news clippings)
- Photo files which range from the late 1940’s-1998
- Microfilm of the paper dating back to 1971
- Electronic archive of the paper dating back to 1985
The library staff view themselves as a customer service organization. They provide data analytics and due diligence. One librarian works in the same space as the reporters to offer embedded research services.
Julie Fulton, director, shared that her job requires a great deal accuracy and integrity, balanced with a sense of urgency around helping reporters build a better story.