Building the Knowledge Culture

The New Knowledge Services: From Collections to Connections

Guy St. Clair


GStC in WebinarAs we begin a new year of these “conversations” (as I like to call them), I hope you’ll join me on Tuesday, January 21. This will be our next Soutron Global Transforming Libraries Webinar, and you are warmly invited to be with us.

Our subject this time – appropriate for the beginning of the new year – is how we enhance our role in the organization by using our skills, competencies, and professional know-how to bring people together.

Here’s your invitation info:

  • Topic: TRANSFORMING LIBRARIES: The New Knowledge Services – Connections not Collections
  • Date: Tuesday, January 21, 2013
  • Time: 2pm ET (11am PT)
  • Venue: GoToWebinar

Making connections is a topic we think about a lot (in fact, the last two SMR posts touch on this topic – go here and here). And it doesn’t matter what kind of collection you’re responsible for, whether it’s hard-copy artifacts (33mm slides, press releases, photographs, videos, project reports, research materials, departmental records) or content born digital. That collection isn’t worth much if your identified users can’t get to the collected material – regardless of format – and share the content. It’s our job to manage the “getting to” part, to enable the sharing.

I think it’s commonly accepted now that for knowledge development and knowledge services to succeed – what we knowledge professionals refer to as “KD/KS” – we deal with two critical criteria: a collaborative work environment and the right tools for enabling collaboration. We’re required to give determined attention to balancing the two in our newly demanding KD/KS environment (“newly demanding,” that is, in the sense that since we began thinking seriously about knowledge sharing, we’ve come to understand the necessity of highly developed and well-designed technology for enabling collaboration). Indeed, the famous three-part mantra for successful information and knowledge work – people/process/technology – only comes into play when we figure out how to ensure the three work together. And if we’re going to be successful we don’t ignore one to the exclusion of the others.

That’s what the new knowledge services is all about. As we begin our conversations for 2014, I think it’s important to look at different approaches for balancing the components. On January 21, I’m going to focus on how we collaborate – on how we make and use connections available to us – and how, by taking a slightly different approach we can successfully balance the people/process/technology perspective.

To guide us in our discussion, I’m asking you to think about three questions:

  1. Do other business units/departments in your organization collect and deliver information to users? If so, do you have a relationship with the managers of those units?
  2. Are you responsible for the company’s knowledge assets? Or closely connected with the people responsible?
  3. With respect to the ILS or other information management system used in the business unit where you work, what are your expectations?

RSVP to reserve your place. Register on the Soutron Global Webinar Registration page, as there are limited seats available (first 100 attendees are guaranteed a space). You will receive a GoToWebinar invitation with instructions in a separate email prior to the session. During this one-hour session, Soutron Global will also showcase the company’s cost effective enterprise information management solutions to demonstrate how you can enhance the economic value of your knowledge assets and improve personal productivity while reducing operating costs. Following the Soutron demonstration, we’ll have a live Q&A session to respond to your queries.

Many thanks to Tony Saadat and the Soutron Global team for sponsoring this series of Transforming Libraries Webinars. Here at SMR we’re very grateful to be part of this conversation.

Hope to see you on the 21st.

- January 13, 2014

Add a Facebook Comment

  1. From David Adler at the SLA Knowledge Management Division LinkedIn Group:

    I heard this concept years ago when I was teaching. I believe the person that said this worked at the United Nations.

    Guy responds:

    You’re absolutely right, David. The phrase has been bandied about for a number of years. I even remember hearing it used back when I was researching my history of SLA (but I can’t remember now the date when it might have been talked about, if I ever knew).

    My colleagues and I are having fun with it now because – with strengthened (and continually strengthening) technology – we can actually do both, manage collections and manage connections.

    The problem comes when some people (and some organizations) focus on ignoring and minimizing the management of collections, and then the whole game quickly becomes one of “who do we know who can help with this?”

    I’m hoping my presentation next week will end with us all agreeing that we can – and should – be managing both. No matter what the collection is a collection of, it’s important that we continue to be able to track what’s in the collection. And at the same time, it’s important that we have some way of managing all the networks and connections (people and otherwise) that enable us to succeed as strategic knowledge professionals.

    Thanks for your good remarks.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *