He [Scott Converse, founder of the Longmont Observer] called the Community Information Cooperative learned that there’s a type of special district that’s actually really common in Colorado. They’re for libraries. And what are libraries, he says, if not nonpartisan, nonprofit sources of trusted information chock full of some of the nation’s best information ninjas?
“Librarians are badasses. You do not mess with the librarian,” he says. Try to ban a book, says Converse, and you’ll run into serious trouble.
“And that’s because they believe in the freedom of information,” [Scott] Converse says. “They have more legal protections than just about any other entity on the planet for protecting information.”
They’re also nonpartisan, nonprofit and community-driven, he adds, “What better place to put a newsroom?”
Converse dreams of the library housing not just a staff of local journalists, but also tools for citizen journalists to cover their community, like a makerspace for news.
“Never shushed anyone in a library in my life, don’t plan to start,” says Longmont Library director Nancy Kerr, as she walks through the lobby on a weekday morning. The library is gently bustling with residents looking through books on display and kids picking up prizes for summer reading.