Papers well read—May 8, 2009
Ask a librarian, “What’s black and white and read all over,?” and you might get an answer slightly different from what you were expecting. . .not just “a newspaper” but “11 newspapers," most definitely and frequently read all over at Hastings Public Library.
In a salute to journalism event last week, sponsored by the Friends of HPL, Omaha World Herald columnist Robert Nelson cast a shadow on the current status of the newspaper industry. “It’s been a difficult time,” he noted.
But despite competition from 24/7 television and online reporting, newspapers remain a staple among the library’s non-circulating resources, and continue to play an important role in delivering the news and preserving our local history.
The library is a good source for genealogists, historians and anyone else who needs information from archived "Hastings Tribune" editions. The Tribune is accessible back to October 2, 1905. Paper copies are kept for one year then transferred to microfilm which may be viewed with the library’s reader. (Currently, there is a seven-year lapse in available Tribunes from 2001 to 2008, pending their transfer to microfilm.)
A click on the library’s website also offers the opportunity to search the Tribune’s index file for obits, births and articles of local interest.
Other newspapers are kept for up to one year. The library maintains a three-month backlog of daily newspapers – the Grand Island Independent, Kearney Hub, and USA Today. Issues dating back one year are available for the Lincoln JournalStar, Omaha World Herald, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
The library also retains the last three months of the Christian Science Monitor, which just this week switched from being a daily to a weekly publication.
Look for investment news from the publishers of the Wall Street Journal in Barron’s National Business and Financial Weekly. Current editions are located in the adult magazine area and back issues are stored for one year.
Copies of Hastings High School’s Tiger Cub are stashed in the library’s teen area.
Keeping all these newspapers current on the shelves is a tall task. Volunteers Rogene Aulner, Donna Presnell and Virginia Walton have tallied hundreds of hours over the past year shelving new copies and recycling the old.
While newspapers do not check out, and coupon clippers need to know that scissors in a library are considered WMDs, HPL does welcome its journal readers with comfortable seating and hot/cold beverages available.
Even if you subscribe to one or more newspapers, think of the library for your other need-to-know needs! I live in a two-newspaper household and still turn to the library’s copies of others to read a special article or a favorite column like Nelson’s.
Come see what’s making news at Hastings Public Library!