On Thursday I attended another of the events organised by LIKE (London Information Knowledge Exchange). The speaker was John Davies. and he was talking about TFPL’s recent report “Connecting Information with Innovation” (http://www.tfpl.com/news/news.cfm?pid=284). The survey examined knowledge and information management skills and roles across a range of participating organisations. As one of the report’s authors, he was explaining the implications for 21st Century Information Professionals.
After he spoke of the report's findings, he asked us several questions including how our role fits into Knowledge Management, what or who gives us the authority to do what we do and what's more important as an attribute; vision, dogmatism, ability to meet deadlines etc. We were then asked to discuss each question in turn then share our findings.
Initially, I could not see how my role fit into the broader spectrum of knowledge information management, but , after discussing my role with several of the people on the 'fishcake' table and after a few glasses of wine, the group of people I were with expressed surprise at this and called me (amongst other things) a person responsible for knowledge transfer, a squirrel and an onion with may layers! They also said it seemed like I did a heck of a lot - which is something I could have told them straightaway! So I now feel I know my place in the grand scheme of knowledge information management, which is no mean feat.
There were a number of contentious topics discussed amongst all this especially over knowledge management versus librarianship and whether definitions are important. One lady described how when writing her CV, she didn't use job titles as she believed them to be meaningless. Others agreed that job titles never seemed to represent anything. Many concurred that this was the case but unimportant in the scheme of things. Those who worked for recruitment firms, on the other hand, found that it was making their job much more difficult.
When discussing what attributes we considered as important for someone working in the KIM sector, I mentioned the long and still ongoing debate on LinkedIn where no-one can decide on a particular attribute. In my opinion, one good attribute does not a great information professional make! A mix is required - just like a good variety of skills are required in any organisation. Surprise was expressed at there being no mention of leadership in the TFPL report as this is an attribute worth having if anything is to ever get done.
Overall I had a lovely time, met some great people and found out more about what is happening in the wider sector. It also greatly encouraged me to feel part of it.
The next session is focusing on knowledge transfer and making it stick so, considering the amount of time I spend delivering training, I will definitely be attending it.