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Even more discomforting was the fact that previous research in , this response was 7.

Lisbon European Council Conclusions of the Presidency

As the report findings state, "While this profession has traditionally carried the torch for knowledge availability and distribution, it does not appear to have developed a mandate to move into the leadership role for knowledge management practice". One would hope by now, that the situation has improved for special libraries and KM. There is evidence of some library professionals being employed in organization-wide KM leadership roles, but I would hesitate to say that many organizations still do not see the corporate library as an obvious source for KM leadership.

Is it that special libraries are not viewed by management as potentially centres of excellence, or are capable of leading the way in KM best practice?

While KM theory certainly adds to the existing body of knowledge when it comes to library and information science, I am not convinced that libraries have not significantly paved the way for such postulation on this "new found" thing called knowledge. Traditionally, librarians have not led the way in terms of self-promotion and marketing.

I don't believe this is generally the case now for many specialized information services. Promoting one's services and expertise is key to survival and this imperative is not lost on today's library professional.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

As Wittwer states, "they special librarians require a fearless, forward thinking mind-set coupled with an acute ability to self-promote". Rowley , in addition to describing the above prevailing sentiment, also argues that this "stubborn declaration" is inconsistent with the realities we face. No matter what the protestations of the faithful, the author believes it matters little. Surviving in a "knowledge-based society" cannot accommodate a denial of KM, no matter what the "fuzziness", or which self-serving sector chooses to take it as their own.

If one is to be accused of being a luddite, then Rowley's paper does a good job in smoothing ruffled feathers and explaining the realities of KM in the context of modern society and the workplace. She boldly states that "KM is the future" and that there is potential for those practising conventional librarianship to shift and become part of the KM paradigm shift.

For many special librarians who have witnessed or experienced the frustration that is non-library management imposing often unrealistic expectations of KM, uneasiness is to be expected.

Knowledge and Special Libraries (Resources for the Knowledge-based Economy)

Conversely, and clearly, special libraries will have to accept that KM is here to stay and that keeping it at arm's length will only further harm the potential for specials to champion the KM cause within their organizations. In conclusion, it is equally important for special libraries to adopt, promote and educate on all things KM but from their own perspective and expertise, and not submit to the "preachification" of those who have suddenly discovered that knowledge is key.

Information society vs. knowledge society

Librarians have known this all along, but now is the time to do something about it. Loughridge, B. Rowley, J. From custodians of history to gatekeepers to the future ", Library Management , Vol.


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