Will the Real Knowledge Managers Please Step Forward?

Abstract: The literature of library and information management of the past few years has periodically exhorted librarians to market themselves as skilled knowledge workers capable of taking over the emerging “knowledge management” function in their organisations. This paper challenges such a fanciful re-engineering of the librarian’s role and suggests that it is based on the misguided conflation of knowledge management and information management. It argues that the two are much more distinct than most of the Australian LIM literature suggests, and contrasts them, first, by outlining appropriate “position descriptions” for knowledge and information managers and, second, by examining the educational background required to prepare people for each role. The paper also argues that in those cases in which library and information managers have contributed to the knowledge management of their organisations, for instance in the legal and health sectors, success has been achieved through cooperation with the real knowledge workers and not through attempted colonisation of their field.

Stuart Ferguson: The Knowledge Management Myth: Will the real Knowledge Managers Please Step Forward? In: Janine Schmidt (Ed.): Challenging ideas: ALIA 2004 Biennial Conference, Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia, 21-24 Sept 2004. Australian Library and Information Association, 2004: 1-6.

Copyright © Australian Library and Information Association.

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