Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An information curator’s year in review

This past week, our newsroom was focused on compiling a “Year in Review:” the top 10 stories, “Best of the Rest” and notable deaths in 2011.

As an information curator (a professional editor and library volunteer) there were commonalities in several of my selections: 2011 was notable for enhancing readers’ access to information on a variety of fronts.

• At the top of my list is Lake County’s cat euthanasia rate: more cats killed in Lake County than in any other county in California. It doesn’t have any direct relationship with this column’s theme, except that I am an editor who shares her home with a cat who fills my life with love and delight.

If you have a cat or dog, get it spayed or neutered to prevent the birth of more animals than you are willing to be responsible for. Don’t adopt an animal unless you are willing to care for that animal for its entire life.

Thanks for reading.

Continuing on, here are my selections from the perspective of an information curator:

• Lake County broke ground in September on a new library and senior center in Middletown. This development was absolutely thrilling to this library volunteer.

The library collection has outgrown the current building’s 1,790-square feet; the new building will give the Middletown library 5,450-square-feet.

• KPFZ 88.1 FM can be heard via the Internet at www.live365.com.

Online accessibility was bittersweet on Sunday because radio station programming was dedicated to the memory of radio host Steve Elias, who died Thursday. The direct URL to stream KPFZ online is www.live365.com/stations/steveelias.

• Record-Bee’s parent company shifts to “digital first” emphasis upon reporting the news.

In September, MediaNews Group appointed John Paton as its CEO and entered an agreement with Digital First Media to provide management services.

This quote from a column by Vacaville Reporter opinion page editor Karen Nolan offers a good summary of the change in focus: “If newspapers are going to survive, (Paton) believes, they must become digital content providers that also publish newspapers, instead of newspapers that also publish
digital content.”

What this means for Record-Bee readers is that stories are often posted online immediately after writing and editing. Staff reporters and editors post breaking developments on Twitter. Stories are further updated online as information becomes available.

To read Nolan’s column online, visit www.thereporter.com/columnists/ci_19630518.

• For the first time during 2011, Lake County took part in the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)’s Big Read with a variety of featured activities.

“Featured writer Edgar Allan Poe, 150 years post mortem, touched the lives of many teens with his descriptive, poetic language and obsessive fear of entrapment and oppression,” Big Read project director Robin Fogel-Shrive wrote in a recent column in the Record-Bee. “It was wonderful to see these kids value Poe’s literary merit and relate to personal struggles as emerging, but not quite, adults.”

I would love to see Lake County’s continued participation in the NEA’s Big Read. To learn more about the Big Read visit www.neabigread.org/. Read Fogel-Shrive’s column about the power of stories at www.record-bee.com/ci_19612335.

• Lake County Law Library provides access to the EBSCOHost legal reference database with complete text of Nolo Law books.

This is a valuable resource; just a few weeks ago I found a book about copyright that I wanted for a class assignment. To access Nolo e-Books, visit www.co.lake.ca.us/Government/Directory/Law_Library/ebsco.htm.

Published Jan. 3, 2012 in the Lake County Record-Bee

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