As special librarians, we connect clients to information and data. Our struggle is influencing the overall process of knowledge creation and the best behaviors for successful decision-making.
Nancy Dixon has written a great post about what special librarians can do in strategic support of their users, titled Three Eras of Knowledge Management. It fits nicely with my own position that it’s not possible to actually manage knowledge. I may be being a bit heretical here—but I believe we need to understand this deeply to know the difference between data professionals, information professionals, and knowledge workers.
In Special Library Land we often refer to marketing or advocacy. I do not personally like those words as frames for such activities. I like to call it what it is: INFLUENCE.
Community Asset Mapping is a great tool for looking at your potential partnerships, markets, audiences, and more. While it is widely used in the public sector—public libraries, healthcare, social services, urban planning, etc.—it promises to be a potentially very strong tool for special librarians to ‘map’ their internal and external communities.
In my country (Canada), mind mapping is in the curriculum from a very early age. This skill is a foundation for critical thinking and, indeed, project and report creation and development—as well as beginning the research, discovery and exploration process.
I’ll bet you’ve done SWOT a lot. It’s a classic technique but one which benefits, I believe, from fish bone force field diagramming. It’s easy to do and, with good facilitation, mines the brains in the room quickly.
Part Three: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—Tools to Inspire Creativity and Encourage Divergent Thinking
In this third post in my series about interesting frameworks and tools for thinking about the value-add we can provide in our product and service design, I’ll outline three tools I use all the time—sometimes alone, and sometimes in collaboration with others.
In my previous post, I wrote about how analyzing the ways in which thinking and decision-making happen offers interesting frameworks special librarians can use to strategize about the added value we provide in our product and service design. In this post I outline one of my favourites—Dr. Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.
Sometimes special librarians struggle to define the right level of value-added service to deliver. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and considering what are the most important frameworks and ways to add value.
I’m pleased to announce that my new book, Succeeding in the World of Special Librarianship, is now available from Lucidea Press. You may be aware that I am a regular contributor to Lucidea’s “Think Clearly” blog, so when they asked me to write their imprint’s next book, it felt like a great opportunity to share my perspectives in a more expansive form.
Are we ready for this? Sometimes a new technology simmers for years and then just seems to explode into the present. There are a few things cresting now in the consumer and business markets that we need to pay attention to.
In Part One of this series, we reframed knowledge management strategies in the context of strategies for improving the health of the knowledge ecology. We’re using the metaphor of building a nest (sometimes referred to as an intranet) where our eggs can hatch and ideas grow, and decisions improve in quality. In Part Two we explored five strategies, tactics and frameworks for accomplishing this. Now, in the final post of this three-part series, we offer an additional five strategies.