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Considerations on the Role of Information Professionals Today Maria Luiza Monteiro Bueno e Silva UNESCO Office Brasilia Documentation Centre UNESCO Clearing House Workshop 2003 Paris, June 25-27, 2003 The Knowledge Universe… Let’s imagine the Knowledge World as being the Universe, where each star is a new discovery… .. the Organization is a spaceship navigating through the Information Superhighway… Where would you place the Information Professional into the Organizational Chart in order to help the spaceship navigate through the information & knowledge developing world? What are the roles of an Information Professional in today’s world? What is the main function of an Information Professional inside an Organization? Information Professionals as Organization Co-pilots on the Journey through the Knowledge Universe… Basic Considerations… Before considering a modern and sophisticated environment for information professionals and their roles in today’s world, there are always basic considerations that can never be forgotten … … so let’s compare these basic considerations with a growing plant… Information Professional as a Growing Plant… First, let’s consider a seed as an individual person… Personal Development into the Educational Developing Process… A person needs to develop his or her skills… The Growing Seed… A person needs to grow individually through the Educational Developing Process in order to integrate into society… The person integrates into society by growing intellectually and physically… The Growing plant… Society grows its roots of development through the cooperative support of individuals, organizations, and tools… Information Professionals grow as plants to be part of the Knowledge World with the same support of individuals, organizations, and tools… Plants need the sun, water and air… … as Information Professionals need professional respect, recognition, recycling, training, and social awareness in order to perform its role in society properly… Information Professionals need individuals (users) to serve them with information… They need support from the Organization where they serve… They need good tools to work with to offer good quality service… Functions of Information Professionals … The main function of Information Professionals remains the same as the traditional librarians as being the mediator between Information resources (Knowledge World) and Information Users… … but today, since the world started the new millennium with an “explosion” of new technological tools, new means of communication, new attitudes, and new ways to access knowledge… … information professionals need to be in complete harmony with new discoveries and new challenges that appear everyday... … but also needs to preserve the basic professional considerations as being patient and polite with new users who are not familiar with dealing with searching information skills… Information Professionals today Information professionals need to be objective, creative, active, curious, aware of ethical attitudes… They need to collect various skills from multidisciplinary techniques and unite them all into efficient, prompt, exact, adequate, and good quality information services. Information Professionals have to have absolute awareness of their enormous social function. For this reason, it is necessary that Information Professionals keep up with the advancements of the knowledge, communication and information world in order to bloom as a flower and generate new fruits for the advancement of society as a whole.
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