The Role of Libraries in the Knowledge-Economy

The Role of Libraries in the Knowledge-Economy

Knowledge Management and the Role of Libraries Kumar, A.K. (2020). Knowledge management and a new generation of libraries of information services: a philosophical concept. In International Journal of Library and Information Science 6 (4) Available online: Available on JSTOR:


Libraries are active agents of knowledge creation, but it is not entirely clear how libraries can contribute to an evolving society. Knowledge creation requires time, focus, and commitment. The process of creating new knowledge often leads to failure. It is often necessary to borrow, or purpose, existing knowledge, and create new work based upon that knowledge. Librarians must be skilled at weaving this activity across the many layers of a library. Libraries must become information centers that serve as cyber-campus extensions of the traditional campus libraries.


Knowledge construction requires two important elements: active knowledge creation and active assimilation of that knowledge into the library environment. Knowledge acts when it is used, rather than being stored. This implies that libraries should construct explicit knowledge and implicit knowledge, which are then used and stored.


An important aspect of knowledge management and the role of libraries are information science. Information science develops methods and strategies for extracting the maximum possible value from available knowledge and ensuring that information transfer occurs smoothly. Information science relies on many disciplines, including computer science, engineering, business, accounting, philosophy, and psychology. All libraries need to participate in this interdisciplinary effort. Library culture and activities should be designed to support the various disciplines’ research, development, collection, preservation, and access requirements.


The third focus area of interest for librarians is teaching and research. In the research arena, librarians play a major role in disseminating knowledge, especially knowledge management. The research process includes knowledge sharing, which is how individuals gain new and different knowledge and use that knowledge to solve problems. Librarians facilitate this process by working with faculty, students, staff, and other resources to develop, sponsor, and maintain a rich and varied collection of information and knowledge.

librarians participate in teaching

Many librarians participate in teaching and research efforts. They have developed relationships with other information professionals, such as university professors and members of the campus community, which has increased knowledge management and the academic library’s role. This increasing collaboration has led to improved standards for library technology and equipment and an increase in the accessibility of information to those outside of the institution.


Librarians have a unique vantage point to facilitate the process by which information is shared within the institution. The combination of knowledge management, information technology, and collaborative learning makes librarians an integral part of any size academic library’s information system. Knowledge managers must be highly skilled in planning, managing, and implementing a large library’s day-to-day operations. They must be willing to work closely with all individuals within the institution and provide support when needed. To be a librarian takes dedication, creativity, and knowledge about various topics, plus a strong sense of self-confidence and interpersonal skills.


Library librarians use specialized systems, software, and networks to collect, organize, manage, and share information. In an age where e-mail, social networking, and text messaging have become the norm for communication, academic libraries must establish a strong electronic data storage and retrieval system to satisfy their patrons’ growing needs. Besides, these electronic systems are often networked with other libraries, making it possible for users to research various institutions.


Knowledge management and the role of libraries are at the forefront of a new focus called the “knowledge economy.” This economic model concept refers to the process by which knowledge is developed and shared through a network of providers. It is, essentially, a “Knowledge Market” where providers can compete for user attention. Knowledge librarians serve as the gatekeepers of the knowledge economy. Knowledge librarians pursue a variety of functions, including educational planning, development, training, and services. The role of a knowledge library is to provide access to relevant and timely information.

libraries in the knowledge economy

The key roles played by libraries in the knowledge economy are: Providing access to relevant information and knowledge, developing and maintaining collections, and conducting research and analysis. These three core functions will ensure that the library serves its valuable role in providing access to knowledge and information. To effectively serve their users, libraries need to develop and maintain a good information management system (IMS). An effective IMS will require the creation and maintenance of an Information Lifecycle Management (ISMO) that identifies and tracks every stage of the information process – from collecting data to delivering data to the point of information distribution end-users. This comprehensive system will also ensure that all aspects of the process are tracked – from the acquisition of data, through the data processing stages, to the delivery of information to users and end-users.


Although libraries have a vital role in the information economy, many analysts believe that libraries face several challenges today. One challenge facing libraries is the lack of formalized process improvement processes. Library systems must effectively track, collect, analyze, and present evidence relevant to improving customer service practices, product development, and strategic management. Many library systems have failed to meet these criteria because they have not developed effective IMS models.

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