Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Demonstrating information skills

It occurs to me that information professionals - at least the ones that I know - need to get better at personally using their information skills. For example, I was recently talking to some fellow graduate students in my program about developing some kind of archive to preserve some of the interesting projects that students create every year. The purpose of such an archive is essentially knowledge management: by sharing experiences, the archive helps students better design and benefit from practicum opportunities. There are several other examples I could refer to, such as managing email (one area where I need to become more systematic).

It occurs to me that this kind of heightened more personal use of information skills could also be helpful in the workplace. Rather than vaguely referring to productivity and the hypothetical value of a well designed intranet system, one could present a narrative of personal success. Something like, "Ah, before I adopted a knowledge management system in my group, most of the gains made by short term staff were being lost and training for new staff took 20 hours. Now training time is down to 5 hours and stress levels in the office are much lower."

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