Moving from Librarian to Knowledge Manager

Abstract: Embracing knowledge management (KM), or at least learning how to align one’s work with knowledge management vocabulary and processes within an organization, can prove beneficial to librarians whether they are working inside or outside of a library setting. For library and information science (LIS) professionals seeking opportunities outside of library settings, knowledge management projects, which may be led by teams from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, provide an opportunity that matches the skillset they have developed through their LIS education or through employment experience in a library. For libraries, particularly special and corporate libraries trying to articulate their value to funding or strategic decision making bodies, repositioning the work the library does in terms of knowledge management may prove beneficial as it allows the library to demonstrate its potential contributions to organizational goals and its ability to directly help business units. This article provides a brief introduction to knowledge management for LIS professionals who are unfamiliar with the concept or practice, identifies some barriers that have prevented libraries from engaging in KM activities in the past, outlines the competencies that are required to practice KM, and provides some directions on how LIS professionals can develop these competencies. The article provides readers interested in pursuing opportunities in knowledge management with the background information they need to get started.

Keywords: knowledge management; value; career opportunities; LIS competencies

Melissa Fraser-Arnott: Moving from Librarian to Knowledge Manager. Partnership – The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, Vol 9, No 2 (2014)

(cc)by-sa The Partnership.

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