ABC News Shutters Research Library, Cuts 8+ Jobs

Via WebNewser: ABC News announced yesterday that its research library will be no more: “Today, we begin the process of converting our existing research library to a digital research facility….When this new system is completed, you will be able to get the information you need and conduct your own searches from your desktop,” wrote news president David Westin in an e-mail sent to staff. This will involve a move and a reduced staff—WebNewser reports that eight already have been notified— but “some” of the current library staff will remain on, Westin’s e-mail said.

WebNewser commenters, a savvy bunch, were dismayed at the news:
“As a long time ABC staffer, I cannot believe Mr. Westin thinks research was being done from a pile of dusty newspapers. The staff of the now defunct ABC News Research Center led the way in modern journalism with its use of intranet sites, online research databases, and near instantaneous delivery of research across the globe. Someone has convinced ABC upper management that outside consultants can deliver a better product than a dedicated internal staff,” wrote “newsperson2009.”

Commenter “chris” added: “Candace Stuart, the News Research Center Director, and her staff worked tirelessly. As an intern, I saw 13 people, most with graduate degrees, work day and night and rarely get credit. What does it say about network news when they are so willing to disregard staff that have worked so hard?”