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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Knowledge Management in a Changing World - Best Practices Revisited

Just found an excellent article on "Knowledge Management in a Changing World," by Steven A. Lastres, Director of Library and Knowledge Management at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. West Librarian Relations - Law Librarians newsletter - March/April 2009–Law Books and Legal Information–West:, Also linked at Future Ready 365 and India librarian international

Contents of the article include issues, such as, Knowledge Management in Action, Becoming Business Managers, and Other considerations in selecting and deploying KM services.

Since the earliest days of libraries, librarians have served as knowledge managers. Whether they were maintaining the scrolls at the Library of Alexandria, creating the catalog for the House of Wisdom (a Ninth Century Islamic library), or assembling annotated links for the law firm intranet, law librarians have always been in the forefront of organizing information and adding value to it. Librarians have long excelled at getting information into the hands of the people who need it. The precise definition of knowledge management (KM) is an elusive one, but one pillar of KM practice holds that knowledge management "is the process through which organizations generate value from their intellectual and knowledge-based assets."(1)...

Other considerations in selecting and deploying KM services include the following:

•Access needs to be intuitive–no training should be required. A well-developed taxonomy that makes sense to the legal staff is key. Content ought to be logically organized. The process is a laborious one for the KM staff, but it pays off in time saved by attorneys;
•It also pays to train attorneys how to get the most out of the services KM makes available. Getting the best value out of subscription services is a two-step process, in which the KM manager (1) makes sure the legal staff knows what is available and (2) makes sure that staff know the ins and outs of searching those services. continue reading

(1) Megan Santosus & Jon Surmacz, The ABCs of Knowledge Management, CIO Magazine, 2001.

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