Unhappy Cincinnati Reporters- Are You Out There?


A big part of the charm here in the celestial library is the collection of very large, largely unfamiliar pieces of library furniture, including a fourteen foot long walnut magazine stand that has become a semi-satisfactory new book stand, two fourteen foot new book stands that, in a nice twist, have become semi-satisfactory magazine stands, and ten seven-foot-long mahogany and cast iron stand-up newspaper desks that have less and less to do. In the great days of newspapers and their superb delivery system, the railroads, we had forty newspapers up on those stands every day. There were at least ten high stools to perch on while you were looking at the Toledo Blade or the Louisville Courier-Journal from that very day. In addition to at least four Cincinnati dailies and a bunch of nationals, there were the German-American newspapers and a few journals from the continent.

What are we going to do with the desks when the dailies disappear? Which they are doing. We’ve adapted a few – turned them into bookshelves – and one of them holds a pretty interesting naval display, but we’re running out of uses other than the odd art exhibition. Stacked readers who come up with an intelligent and inexpensive use may find themselves with a year’s paid membership if we think the use is actually useful.

Of greater concern than the desks, of course, is the disappearance of local investigative reporting, a phenomenon that will be unusually hard to notice in a city where there is no tradition of investigative reporting. But in cities where they do have it, local investigative reporting is highly prized. It’s how people learn about things like the links between supposed popular uprisings and calculated political maneuvering. Stuff like that.

Stacked readers who are interested in news beyond the Stacked headlines should take themselves to Voice of San Diego to see how a paperless but not toothless news site might work. It might work here.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 11:54 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am very worried about the disappearance of investigative reporting. It is the local newspapers that set the agenda locally when it comes to news. If we lose that part of our local media then who is going to pick up the slack, or will the slack be picked up at all?

  2. At least one of them could hold photos from the latest library event. People love to see themselves in 8 x 10 glossies! You could leave blank papers with pens attached so people could write witty comments about what a great time they had. Then people would read them, see the glossy pictures and think “I really must go to the next event!”

    You could also have “Librarian’s Choice” lists with pictures of each of the staff and then lists of their favorite books underneath. Once a month you could also have one of your patrons contribute a list. Cuz people love to tell people what they love!

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