NewsReader is about helping information professionals make sense of the huge amounts of daily news streams. To find out how to help professionals the most, it is important to know what types of information they need, how they search for it and what the bottlenecks in current technology are.
Before the summer, the NewsReader team got in touch with the Department of Information services at the Dutch House of Representatives to see whether NewsReader could be useful to them. Last week, we had a workshop with 9 members of staff of the Department of Information services to gain more insights into their day-to-day information needs and way of working.
After a short introduction of the department and NewsReader, we split the group in two, spread out two huge rolls of paper and grabbed some coloured pens to start mapping their workflow when they prepare for a parliamentary inquiry. Throughout the course of three hours, we got a lot of insight into the tasks, systems and issues the information specialists at the Dutch parliament deal with. The resulting workflow maps show the steps involved in the process of a Dutch parliamentary inquiry (black in Image 2) as well as the ‘hot spots’ where the work of the information specialists is essential (the pink post-its in Image 2).
The NewsReader team is very grateful to the Department of Information services at the Dutch House of Representatives for their enthusiasm, time and openness. This has given the NewsReader team a lot of inspiration, and in the coming weeks we are going to analyse these workflows, and think about contributions of the NewsReader project in this domain.