Explores the essential nature of knowledge management, and identifies key issues that impact on the successful implementation of knowledge management strategies. Although there is a recognition that the knowledge society and the knowledge economy have arrived, and that knowledge is a key business asset, organisations are still in the early stages of understanding the implications of knowledge management. Core themes for knowledge management relate to: the creation of knowledge repositories; the improvement of knowledge acquisition; the enhancement of the knowledge environment; and the management of knowledge as an asset. The embedding and embracing of knowledge management within an organisation requires attention to objectives, types of knowledge, technologies, and organisational roles. Knowledge management strategies need to be tailored to specific organisations.
The knowledge management assessment tool (KMAT) is designed to help organisations make an initial high-level assessment of how well they manage knowledge. Completing the KMAT can direct organisations toward areas that require more attention, as well as identify knowledge management practices in which they excel. The KMAT proposes ways that four enablers (leadership, culture, technology and measurement) can be used to foster the development of organisational knowledge through the knowledge management process. This process embraces the steps that the organisation takes to identify the information it needs and the manner in which it collects, adapts and transfers that information across the organisation. The model places all the major knowledge management activities and enablers together in a dynamic system. Describes how organisations can have their performance rated and benchmarked with those of other organisations for each of 24 practices.
In commercial contexts the concept of customer loyalty has received much attention, because there is perceived to be a link to profitability. A review of the theoretical work on this concept identifies that loyalty has both attitudinal and behavioural elements. Categories of loyals proposed by Dick and Basu are defined by the relationship between attitudinal and behavioural aspects of loyalty. Antecedents to loyalty include cognitive, affective and conative factors. The management of loyalty must focus on the control or modification of these antecedents. This offers an agenda for further debate within specific libraries. The outcomes of any programme to manage loyalty needs to be evaluated and measured. The measurement of loyalty poses some interesting challenges in terms of the definitions of the attitudes and behaviours that it might be appropriate to measure. Library managers need to identify which measures are the most appropriate for their context
Reports a study to determine the perceptions of the clients of the University of Botswana Library as they relate to quality service, and how far the University Library has succeeded in delivering quality services. A questionnaire was used as the data-gathering instrument and is appended to the paper.
The complexity and ambivalence of cultural experience is a well-known aspect of consumerism and late capitalism. Partly a search for the authentic and partly the consumption of the popular, such experience presents us with a set of challenges about what is real and what is image, what is itself and what is irony, what is historically so and what has been detached from historical context. Experience is increasingly a commodity provided by tourism and the heritage industry. Heritage is an area where postmodernism offers unique relevant perspectives. The article considers these issues as they arise in teaching heritage courses in higher education.
Investigates attitudes amongst decision makers in the European Parliament to the role of information in their work, and their ability to identify, access and evaluate that information most relevant to their needs. Aims to elicit data regarding levels of satisfaction amongst MEPs in relation to information retrieval, and to identify areas of information need which were not being addressed. Describes research methodology and analyses results. Results reveal the wide range of subjects that are of interest to MEPs; that all MEPs have research assistants to help in their work, with an average of 3.5 assistants per MEP; the majority of these assistants are based in the UK and are employed full-time; and that the most popular sources were unofficial, informal contacts and MEPs' own files, as opposed to the official EU databases and services. Finds that the main problems faced by MEPs in information retrieval are pressure of time and the overwhelming number and variety of information sources available. Makes recommendations for further research.
Presented at the SCANUL-ECS Conference held in Kenya 23-26 July 1998. Discusses the challenges posed by the accelerating pace of change in the world of information, especially in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa and stresses the importance of managing the change in order to meet the needs of library users. Recognises the need for training institutions to review information training needs, and to design an appropriate curriculum to produce graduates with the right skills for a rapidly changing information environment. Observes that the curriculum should try primarily to develop attitudes rather than to drill in techniques. But the subjects of information science disciplines, by their very nature and because of the students' future needs when they enter the workforce, must be concerned chiefly with practice. Recommends that information on training institutions in Africa should continue to reduce the lecture method in the training and development of skills in education and training of students. Stresses the importance of continuing education and of incorporating new specialisations and new professional practices into the curriculum, as soon as they emerge.
Survey data were used to determine the influence of job satisfaction on the publication output of librarians in Nigerian universities. A stratified random sampling method was used to select 202 librarians working in 22 out of the 35 university libraries in Nigeria. A multiple regression statistical analysis was employed to examine the influence of job satisfaction on publication output of librarians. The results of the empirical analysis indicate that of the six dimensions of job satisfaction used in the study, only three (librarians' levels of satisfaction with their achievement responsibility and recognition) had a significant influence on their publication output. Other dimensions including salary, university library policies and administration, and supervision, had no significant influence on their publication output. The study also reveals that the intrinsic job satisfaction dimensions were the greatest influence on the quantity of publications among the sample population. This should be given top priority. However, the extrinsic job satisfaction dimensions which do not influence publication output should not be neglected, rather they could be improved to enhance job satisfaction and raise publication productivity.
Describes the new concept to defining value for money and quality of service delivery in UK local government. Public library services in a number of selected local authority areas are involved in pilot projects. Demonstrates the principles and practicalities of the best value process including the four Cs. These are: challenge, is the service needed at all?; compare, involving analysis, comparison and benchmarking; consult, which requires authorities to seek dialogue with the public it serves; compete, which looks for parnerships and private sector involvement.
Participative management is based on the assumption that empowering people throughout the enterprise will result in a more responsive, more flexible, and ultimately more successful enterprise. Participative management is more than a willingness to share influence - formal patterns of participation need to be truly implemented where employees have a right to contribute on all levels of decision-making. The empirical survey showed that participative management is applied at academic information services in the Gauteng province of South Africa, but more so in low-level decisions. This indicates that participation is still limited and controlled by management and is not yet experienced as a right by employees.
The process of organisational transformation at the Academic Information Service (academic library) of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, is illustrated in a challenging and innovative way. Aspects of the new sciences, for example complexity theory and quantum mechanics, are related to aspects of organisational life, for example creative organisational structures and team-based relationships.
Discusses the need to re-examine the education and training systems for adaptability to issues of institutional change and economic advancement and development, with special reference to Africa. Reports the outcomes of a consultative study involving persons associated with ILS education and training around the globe. The paper was presented at SCECSAL 13 on the 27 July to 1 August 1998 held in Nairobi, Kenya.
Presents the main findings of the study recently conducted by the author: "On-the-job training: a tool for professionalism and productivity" (a case study of Botswana National Library Service), which was carried out in order to explore and identify on-the-job training (OJT) needs for library staff. The instrument used was an open-ended questionnaire followed by interviews to eliminate ambiguities. Questionnaires were coded after data collection. This procedure was found to be more appropriate as participants were free to express opinions without being influenced by available choices. Data were analysed by using the MINI TAB computer program. A total of 64 library users and 64 library staff (31 professionals and 33 diploma holders) were surveyed. The main OJT training needs were identified as: information technology, job orientation, customer service public relations, marketing publicity, refresher courses and managerial skills.
Focuses on how successful collaboration has been achieved between three Canadian university libraries. The management recognised that there were cultural differences between the three library systems, and encouraged an open examination of values, personal systems and attitudes in order to prepare for the effects of change. Discusses the planning process and the lessons learned from the TriUniversity Group of Libraries collaboration.
This paper considers the impact of the emerging "information society" on the education and development of information professionals, particularly in the area of management. It identifies those features of the "information society" which are significant for teaching and learning: the new information and communication technologies; users' growing expectations of information services; the changing job market; and convergence in the information sector. It outlines some steps which schools of library and information sciences in the UK have taken to respond to the challenges presented by the new environment: revising the existing curriculum and teaching methods; expanding the range of curricula; and improved support for continuing professional development. It describes some obstacles to progress: particularly the lack of research into the value of information; isolation from other disciplines, such as political science; potential challenges from business schools; and the shortcomings of current distance learning provision.Introduction
Survey data were used to examine some issues, obstacles and the structure of career advancement prospects in Nigerian universities which was found to be slow and frustrating to reach the peak by practising librarians. The survey results indicate that 147 respondents (73 per cent) identified and rated the combination of professional duties with the academic work of publishing as their greatest obstacle to career advancement, whereas 25 librarians (12 per cent) indicate inadequate opportunities to reach the rank of university librarian as their second greatest obstacle. Furthermore, empirical results show that 12 respondents (6 per cent) indicated a lack of higher educational qualifications in librarianship as their third obstacle and ten respondents (5 per cent) indicated the lack of a generally accepted laid down policy on promotion criteria as their fourth problem, whereas eight respondents (4 per cent) indicated being uncomfortable with the unnecessary emphasis on publication output at the expense of performance of professional duties as their fifth obstacle. Issues such as the appointment of professors in university libraries, higher educational qualifications for librarians, retirement benefits and uniformity in designations were identified and solutions proffered. The author recommends the creation of new positions at the top to reduce frustration and stagnation
Libraries and information services are not static entities impervious to outside influences but are dynamic and may be affected by one, or a number of factors. Changes in policy, for example, may impact on library and information science and to illustrate this, three key areas have been selected. These are: the establishment of a computer network in the public library sector, the promotion of a culture of lifelong learning and the development of the hybrid library. These areas, although separate, can also be seen to be interrelated and factors which affect one sector may also impact on others. This paper considers how political, social and economic factors can be major drivers of change and thus impact on the profile of libraries so that they are recognised as a valuable resource by Government and other groups such as businesses, voluntary organisations and educational providers.
In recent years, staff members in many libraries have struggled to adjust to an accelerating rate of change. Researchers and observers have noted increasing levels of stress and conflict in the workplace, probably related to the rapid pace of change. In view of the transformation that is taking place in libraries and library services, it has become essential that library managers assist staff in coping with the resultant stress and conflict. To manage change effectively, it is important to understand the difference between change and transition, and to be aware of the process staff members are experiencing. Developing an inclusive decision-making style, fostering positive employee attitudes towards change, and utilizing effective communication skills can help make change a more positive experience.
Presented at the SCANUL-ECS Conference held in Kenya 23-26 July 1998. Examines the opportunities of information technology (IT) in improving access, transfer and use of agricultural information in the rural areas of Kenya. This paper has used the term "information technology" to include CD-ROM, computer networks, desktop publishing, interactive video, packet radio, expert systems, geographical information systems and satellite communications. The methodology adopted by the study was the use of case studies of the organisations and institutions that use IT in disseminating agricultural information to the rural population in Kenya. The study was limited to agricultural information. The information technologies examined include CD-ROM, computer networks, video and desktop publishing. Highlights the advantages and limitations of IT in disseminating information in the rural areas of Kenya. Among the factors that make IT relevant for rural development are vast storage, fast and inexpensive communication channels, links between different media, easy and enjoyable use at comparatively and steadily declining costs. Concludes that for IT to have more impact on rural development, it should be needs driven, rather than technology driven. This can only be achieved if the needs of the users are placed at the centre and appropriate technologies adopted.
Provides an overview of the main challenges which face public library managers in the near future as electronic networking of library services becomes more widespread. External influences on libraries deriving from the Information Society and the government's agenda are considered. The problems public libraries are facing in traditional services such as falling issues of lending books are compounded by a growing skills gap, specifically related to IT. As well as new demands on libraries, there are new opportunities, such as digitisation of important collections and funding for technology infrastructure which managers must respond to. Change within the profession is the most important challenge facing managers who need to understand the differences between the old and new cultures. The major issues facing managers are explored: strategic, budgetary, co-operation, structure, technical, staff and service issues. A short, concise checklist is provided for the fully networked manager as a guide for action