Jessica Hodorski's short career in theater in college and post-graduation is serving her well today in her role as program coordinator at the Torrington, Conn., public library. She spends many evenings coordinating workshops and meetings at the library in the city of 30,000 in the rural northwestern part of the state -- a lot of that time speaking and teaching in front of small crowds.
Earlier this year, the Torrington Register-Citizen daily made news when it moved into a new building, and within the building, right beside the newsroom, it created a cafe, open to the public. The idea was to bring the public into the newsroom. Just as Hodorksi spends much of her time helping citizens in the library well beyond the circulating of books or periodicals.
"They have done extensive workshops on the freedom of information act which brings people in turn in to see us with questions," says Hodorski. "We find that the more we work together, the better the result."
For example, the paper and the library each had incomplete microfilm collections of archive newspaper editions. They are now working together to establish two complete sets.
Hodorski says the paper is offering classes on blogging and web geneology research. Now when the library offers similar workshops, more rather than fewer people show up. "There is a peaked interest," says Hodorksi. ""I think we're dealing with the same core issues here -- without print how do we have ways to reach people and without a doubt that is the web."