Knowledge Management in Libraries in the 21st Century
Library of Chinese Defense Science and Technology Information Center (CDSTIC)Beijing, China
Knowledge economy is a knowledge-based economy. In the knowledge economy era, the management refers to effectively identify, acquire, develop, resolve, use, store and share knowledge, to create an approach to transforming and sharing of tacit and explicit knowledge, and to raise the emergency and innovation capability by utilizing the wisdom of the team. Since knowledge has become the driving force for social development, the attention of the society to information and knowledge is rising and people's demands for information and knowledge are increasing step by step. This has provided a good environment for library development [1 ]. Moreover, as information and knowledge has become an important productive factor for the modern economic system, the society will inevitably require intensified management of information and knowledge. How to manage knowledge will become an important subject facing libraries in the near future. Knowledge management in libraries should be focused on effective research and development of knowledge, creation of knowledge bases, exchange and sharing of knowledge between library staffs (including its users), training of library staff, speeding up explicit processing of the implicit knowledge and realizing of its sharing.
Characteristics of Knowledge Management in Libraries
The role of knowledge management in libraries will become more and more important along with the development of knowledge economy. It is a new management mode, boasts the following superiority and characteristics incomparable with conventional management:
Human Resource Management Is the Core of Knowledge Management in Libraries
The most important resource in the knowledge economy system is the talents who grasp knowledge. The talent competition has become the focus of market competition in the knowledge economy era. In the knowledge economy era, the libraries will attach importance to vocational training and lifelong education of library staffs to raise their scientific knowledge level and ability of acquiring and innovating knowledge. They also will and fully respect the human value, guide and bring into play wisdom potentialities of library staffs, take developing knowledge resources in the brains of library staffs as an important way for rising work efficiency. An all-round improvement of library staffs quality and positioning of the human value will become important objectives of knowledge management in libraries.
The Objective of Knowledge Management in Libraries is to Promote Knowledge Innovation
Information Technology Is a Tool for Knowledge Management in Libraries
Contents of Knowledge Management in Libraries
As a completely new method of management, knowledge management in libraries leaves much to be desired in its theoretical system. In my opinion, knowledge management in libraries should include such respects as follows:
Knowledge Innovation Management
Knowledge innovation management in libraries refers to the management of the production, diffusion and transfer of knowledge as well as of the network systems constructed by related institutions and organizations. It includes three aspects, namely, theoretical innovation management of knowledge, technical innovation management and organizational innovation management.
Theoretical innovation management is to enrich and enlarge the theoretical and practical research fields of library science and information science through pursuing the latest development trends in library science the world over. Technical innovation management is to manage the network systems constructed by institutions and organizations that relate to the full course of technical innovation. In their evolution from conventional libraries to electronic libraries, or digital libraries, Libraries should make technical breakthroughs and progress and build up technical facilities to support knowledge management. Organizational innovation management is to create a set of effective organizational management systems adaptable to the requirements in the electronic library era to support and strengthen knowledge management activities, by optimizing the functional departments and operation procedures of libraries.
In these systems, it firstly requires that leaders who take charge of knowledge management activities should undertake to formulate the management plans and coordinate all knowledge management related activities. Secondly, it requires establishment of special leading groups of knowledge flow for accomplishing all tasks relating to knowledge management activities. Electronic resources committees are established composed of various types of specialists to take charge of evaluating, procuring and creating the electronic resources on the one hand, and coordinating activities of business departments and spurring them on to close cooperation in such fields as procurement and organization of the electronic information resources as well as providing services on the other hand .
Knowledge Dissemination Management
1. uninterruptedly strengthening the creation of libraries' own document resources and deepening the development of document information resources;
2. continuously raising the quality of libraries' staffs and strengthening continuous engineering education of working staffs;
3. giving full play to the special role of the expert system in knowledge dissemination;
4. making a comprehensive utilization of all media to ensure security of operation of networks, and prevent online criminal activities and online dissemination of impropriate information .
Knowledge Application Management
In the 21st century libraries should also attach importance to provision of services for people to acquire knowledge and achieve maximum functions and efficiency of knowledge information. Therefore, knowledge services based on high-speed information networks should be carried out by:
t. Setting up virtual libraries or information centers for enterprises, governments, public organizations and scientific research institutions. It is difficult for an enterprise or a social organization to put sufficient manpower, material and financial resources on information gathering, organizing and developing. It is also impossible and unnecessary to spend a large amount of funds on information resources for their own use. Libraries can create virtual libraries or information centers for these organs separately according to their respective information requirements by using abundant information resources on the high-speed information networks.
2. Setting up digitized knowledge services which is actually a development trend of libraries in the 21st century. This presupposes: creating step by step the users-oriented information service systems such as information dissemination, information search and special supply of information; quickening the creation of digitized libraries; studying the methods, means and techniques of information distribution and search with the Internet as the base and WEB technique as the core.
3. Digitizing libraries' resources. The electronic libraries or digitized libraries are the technical modes and development trends of libraries in the knowledge economy era. The knowledge services of libraries in the future will start with creation of databases comprising electronic journals and books in different languages that have discipline features and can operate on high-speed information networks. Great efforts should be made to transform all existing large non-electronic information resources into electronic information and integrate them into electronic libraries.
Human Resources Management
Human resources management takes it as its basic starting point to train high quality specialized talents and to revitalize the library undertaking. In practice, we should pay full attention to diversity end variation of library staffs' requirements, strengthened management of different library staffs by applying contingency managemert approach. That is, to some people, rigid management method is applied, rigorous supervision and control imposed, and quantity and quality requirements of work according to regulations and procedures are made clear. And, to the rest of people, more flexible management method is applied to let them participate in decision-making and consultation and undertake more jobs so as to bring their management abilities into full play and realize organizational and personal objectives. Doing well in continuous engineering education of specialized staffs, which should net only focus on the theory of library science and related disciplines, but also cover the latest technical knowledge. And strengthening professional ethics education .
Technologies for Realizing Knowledge Management of Libraries
In the Field of Organizational Structure, Business Processes and Culture of Libraries
(1) Introducing the CKO System
(2) Realizing seamless combination of library business management withknowledge management during the business process reorganization oflibraries
Knowledge management integrates itself with the whole process of knowledge exchange, sharing, innovation and application of the organization, and becomes the key driving force for the knowledge innovation, exchange and application of the organization. The implementation of knowledge management will inevitably give rise to organization of library business process. This reorganization will also be the process of further combination of library business management with knowledge management.
(3) Rebuilding the library culture by using the theory of knowledgemanagement
In the Field of Information Technology
The main information technologies relevant to knowledge management includes. Internet, Intranet and Extranet; storage architectures; database management systems; metadata; data acquisition and gathering: dissemination, messaging; push and pull; information retrieval; information resources sharing; groupware; middleware; on-line analytical processing; multidimensional analysis and data mining. How to convert data to the object of knowledge management - knowledge is also relevant to some basic information technologies, mainly including data processing, reporting, networked communication, document management, information search and retrieval, relational and object-oriented databases, electronic publishing, work flow and help desks .
In addition, because of the differences in architecture, usage and characteristics between information and knowledge, the storage and management of knowledge are more complicated than those of information. The storage architecture technology, database management system technology and metadata are also the key technologies in knowledge management.
Economic environment and information environment js changing quickly today. Knowledge management has become a powerful tool for promoting innovation and realizing reengineering the various walks of life. It occupies very outstanding position in the creation of the knowledge innovation systems of a country. How for the library circles to meet the challenge of knowledge economy and to build the knowledge management systems of libraries is a subject that demands our urgent study and solution.
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2. Cao Yi. The Reorientation of Libraries in the Knowledge Economy Era, Library Work & Research, 1999(3), 24-26
"3. Wang Defu. The Collection and Processing of Knowledge. February -1,199. http://www.bsti.ac.cn/bsti_kmchina/gei /048 001 .htm
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Magazine, 1999 (8), 29-32
7,8. Chen Rui. Thoughts and Technologies of Knowledge Management, Information
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