April 30, 2008

Report from the Joint Spring Workshop

Yesterday I attended the DCLA/SLA Joint Spring Workshop at the Library of Congress. This year's topic was "Knowledge Management: What is the librarian's role?" After a keynote address by Susan Fifer Canby on what the National Geographic Society has done in the realm of knowledge management (or "KM" as we were all saying by the end of the day), we heard from a variety of librarians doing KM in a variety of settings, with different degrees of buy-in from non-library staff.

I learned that much of what I am doing here can be considered knowledge management. I am doing it at a very grassroots level -- trying to figure out who knows what, who needs what, how knowledge is shared within the organization, and how to think about capturing and systematizing some of these implicit policies for the benefit of the organization and beyond. I learned that KM is more about people and processes than it is about technology. I also learned that you can do information management without doing knowledge management, but not vice-versa.

The highlights of the workshop were interacting with area library professionals (and realizing that I am starting to know people at these events!), participating in a KM case study of the Department of State's Bunche Library KM efforts, and of course, meeting Susan Fifer Canby. I even worked up the courage to introduce myself and share my blog address.

The more I meet librarians, especially in the federal sector, and hear people talk about the imminent wave of retirements, the more blessed I feel to have chosen this field. Events such as the Joint Spring Workshop are key for us as librarians to do our own knowledge management to train the next generation of library and information professionals.

1 comment:

Susan Fifer Canby said...

Fun to read your blog and recap of the Joint Spring Workshop. Best to you. Susan