It is contended that knowledge management is directed towards finding out how and why information users think, what they know about what they know, the knowledge and attitudes they have and the decisions they make when they interact with others. At the heart lies the mutation of information into knowledge, a process best understood through seeing, knowing and information retrieval as features common to cognitive psychology and information management. The knowledge we have of knowledge, and changes to knowledge, can be monitored in negotiations like knowledge interviews for trainees. Such knowledge and belief systems can also be translated into managerial strategies, both qualitative, as when we emphasise value and benefit in the marketing approach to information, and quantitative, as when we devise ways of assessing probabilities with which desired outcomes will occur. Knowledge management is as much the management of meaning as management of entities and people, for in meaning lies the key to our understanding of what we decide to do as information managers. It is a multi-disciplinary field offering a semantics and pragmatics for the evaluating and self-evaluating manager.
Library assistants were originally considered to be professional librarians in the making, and were trained accordingly. With the expansion of libraries and librarianship, Britain's "apprenticeship" system of qualification gave way to formal library school education, and a new category of "non-professional staff" was created, of people who were unwilling or unable to proceed to graduate-level qualification. The development of non-professional certificates of competence in the UK is described against parallel developments in the US, Canada and Australia; the COMLA training modules are also examined. The theoretical and practical issues surrounding training are discussed, training schemes and qualifications in the four countries analysed, and the relative merits of in-house training and external certificate programmes argued.
A research project which began with specific intentions and ended by doing something entirely different is presented as a case history and evaluative report in Part I of this monograph. The report narrates and comments on the events which led to changes in direction; attempts to identify and explore factors which influenced outcomes, and derived generalisations applicable to other funded research. Part II - a series of guidelines and check-lists on the conduct of research and the presentation of business reports - is based on Applied Business Research courseware produced by the Faculty of Professional Studies of the International Management Centre from Buckingham.
The projected growth of teleconferencing for the remainder of the 1980s parallels the dynamic growth of computers in the early 1970s. At the beginning of the current decade, the proliferation of personal computers for managers and executives, and word-processing technology for secretarial operations plus burgeoning access to online research services clearly signalled the integration of computers into the mainline of American business and professional life. By the 1990s teleconferencing will be integrated into the communications technology in both the public and private sectors making the next decade the era of teleconferencing.
This article follows on an investigation conducted by the Unit for Library and Information Research of the Human Sciences Research Council in 1981 for the Department of National Education. The article is limited to a consideration of the aim and functions of national library services. Matters such as the organisation and management of these services, the pros and cons of centralisation and decentralisation in particular circumstances, bringing services into line with modern demands, problem areas in existing services, the raison d'être of national library and information advisory councils alongside the management councils of national library services, legislation of these services, etc. have been excluded from the discussion.
Downloading and uploading offer labour-saving advantages and are now accepted as useful options in online searching. All aspects are here considered, from recent technical advances, applications and legal attitudes. There is also a review of current software for downloading. Recent developments mean a trend to higher internal memory and storage capacity, and greater transmission speeds. Packages now offer access to more than one host, give maximum assistance to the user without being menu-driven and incorporate the latest developments in artificial intelligence. Disadvantages are in the length of time involved in the process and the fact that the legal issue of copyright has not yet been finalised. Database producers have turned to licensing under contract law, but there is still need to rely on user ethics, and the need for a standard permissions form is highlighted.
Interest in improving local government productivity has sparked a co-operative effort between a local head librarian and a research team from West Virginia University's Public Administration Department. A productivity analysis and evaluation was conducted for the library, using the MAUT-Bayesian method of strategy evaluation (MAUT is the acronym for Multi-Attributable Utilities). This method was selected over other comparable methods because of its numerous technical advantages. For example, it enables the policy makers to identify the department's goals and weight them in relationship to their relative importance. The library's performance of each goal is then evaluated by numerous measurements. Finally the entire library can be evaluated relative to the importance of each goal.
Some libraries and information services are quite definitely user-centred; some think they are but are not always; some seem to be designed for librarians rather than users. The purpose of this monograph is to encourage the development of libraries to meet the perceived needs of users - I hope it will be found useful by librarians and information workers as well as by students.