Librarians the ultimate knowledge managers?

Abstract: This paper seeks to establish the state of knowledge of Knowledge Management (KM) among Library and Information Services (LIS) professionals, the extent to which they find positions in the KM sector, the extent to which they practise identifiable KM processes in their work and the adequacy of educational preparation and professional development opportunities. It draws on research begun in 2005, which included a survey of advertisements for KM positions, a survey of KM courses in Australia; and an online questionnaire for LIS and KM practitioners and educators. The literature review highlights knowledge, skills and attributes associated with KM, and notes some overlap with those required for the LIS profession. The job analysis suggests that there may be some overlap between LIS and KM practice and between what are perceived to be LIS and KM core competencies, but that the two are quite distinct. Findings from the survey of KM courses suggest only a limited amount of overlap between what are considered by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) to be core LIS professional attributes and the curricula of the KM courses offered by Australian universities. The survey of practitioners did not reveal significant differences of perception between the LIS and KM groups, but noted that the two were not mutually exclusive. Significant comments from survey respondents are reported. Conclusions are mainly concerned with education and professional development, and are aimed primarily at educators and the professional association.

Stuart Ferguson , Philip Hider & Anne Lloyd (2008) Are librarians the ultimate knowledge managers? A study of knowledge, skills, practice and mindset, The Australian Library Journal, 57:1, 39-62

Copyright © Australian Library and Information Association.

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