Trying to Keep Pace with SLA Members

Yesterday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, one of the most storied names in the newspaper industry, announced that it would cease its daily publication schedule and instead print only three days per week–Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Advance Publications, the publisher of the Times-Picayune, disclosed that it was taking similar measures with three other daily newspapers, in Birmingham, Mobile, and Huntsville, Alabama.

These newspapers are simply the latest victims of a trend that has upended and reshaped the news industry. Printed publications incur significant production and distribution expenses, which for years were offset by advertising revenues and subscription fees. But ad revenues have been falling as new communications technologies have offered vendors more avenues for reaching readers, who have been deserting printed media for online sources of information.

Information Outlook has not been immune from these developments, and at the end of this year, it will join the large and growing number of publications that have moved entirely online. This change has been contemplated for a couple of years, but SLA has continued to print Information Outlook to allow members more time to become comfortable using online media to meet their information needs.

Articles and columns in Information Outlook have been available on SLA's Website for several years, but starting next year, the full magazine will be online. It will be accessible on mobile devices, searchable, and able to transmit RSS feeds. It will also allow readers to comment on, and join conversations about, topics addressed in articles and columns. In so doing, it will leverage the knowledge and ideas of SLA members and further enhance our efforts to build community through social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

SLA members have long been leaders in the information profession in using new technologies and adopting new methods to improve customer service. With its transition from a printed to a digital version, Information Outlook will take a big step toward trying to keep pace with its readers.


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