Knowledge Management and Academic Libraries in IT Era : Problems and Positions Md. Wasim Raja Professional Assistant Centre for Urdu Language, Literature and Culture Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India Md. Zubair Ahmad Semi Professional Assistant Centre for Urdu Language, Literature and Culture Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad, India Arun K. Sinha Librarian I/c & Faculty Dept. of Library & Information Science Tilka Manjhi, Bhagalpur Universit, Bhagalpur, Bihar, India Abstract sustaining, applying, and renewing knowledge The paper explores how information technology and resources of an organization including its relationship related automated systems can support librarians’ with seeker and service provider. Knowledge can be endeavour towards better implementation of knowledge broadly divided into two types: management. Provision of adequate budgetary support, professional training and a pro-active outlook are key Tacit knowledge, and factors for an effective knowledgement management strategy. Explicit knowledge Keywords: Knowledge, Management, Knowledge Management Management, Knowledge Manager, Technology, Management is a mental process. Management as Information Technology, Library, Academic Library, Library Professional. the process of coordinating total resources of an organization towards the accomplishment of desired goals of that organization through the execution of a Introduction group of inter-related functions such as planning, In the present age of information technology (IT) both organization, staffing, directing and controlling. information and knowledge have become essential ingredients due to multi-dimensional use and application in the society. They have also been playing Knowledge Management an important role to change and improve the current Knowledge Management is a process, which deals society for future vision. with knowledge creation, acquisition, packaging and application or reuse of knowledge. It is basically Knowledge Management is an emerging field, much consists of the following four steps: tooted or hyped since late 1990s. Knowledge Management is a complex process, which deals with Knowledge Collection creations, acquisitions, packaging and application of Organization knowledge. It is the systematic, explicit and deliberate building renewal and application of knowledge related Data protection and presentation effectiveness and returns from its knowledge assets. Dissemination of Knowledge Information Library & Information Science professional and Knowledge Manager have realized the importance of Knowledge Management is the way to keep knowledge knowledge management. growing through sharing and such sharing is best done either in material or human terms. The relationship Knowledge between the knowledge and social development can Knowledge is a product of human experience and it be understood with the help of the following flowing can be defined as the management of creating, chart: Knowledge Creation Understanding Knowledge Knowledge Processing Pricing for Knowledge Knowledge Enhancement Knowledge Distribution Generating Wealth Development of Human Society 702 ICAL 2009 – POSTER PAPERS Definitions Knowledge Management is the systematic process According to Srinivasan, “Knowledge Management of finding, selecting, organizing, distilling and refers to a collection of process, technologies and presenting information in a way that improves an principles that serves to promote a learning employee’s comprehension in a specific area of environment supportive of the search community goal.” interest. [Source: Knowledge Management Server] Knowledge Management is the process of capturing value, knowledge and understanding of corporate Concepts of Knowledge Management information, using IT systems, in order to maintain, Data → Information → Knowledge, and → Wisdom re-use and re-deploy that knowledge. [Source: OIC The following chart indicates how knowledge can be Document Management] transferred as wisdom Principles of Knowledge Management To promote scientific research Thomas H Davenport has formulated ten principles of To promote relationship between library and users knowledge management as listed below: To protect the intellectual property right, in Knowledge Management is expensive information technology era Effective management of knowledge requires To create knowledge repositories and manage hybrid solutions of people and technology knowledge as an asset Knowledge Management is highly political To organize the value of knowledge and improve Knowledge Management requires knowledge effective research managers Benefits of IT in Knowledge Management Knowledge Management benefits more from maps The combination of computers, databases, and than model, more from markets than from telecommunications, especially the Internet, provide hierarchies managers with an incredible number of options for Sharing and using knowledge are often unnatural improving the way organisations function. Whenever, acts IT provides a systematic and professional approach to the management of Information Technology service Knowledge Management means improving provision. Adopting its guidance offers users a huge knowledge process range of benefits that include: Knowledge access in only the beginning Reduced service costs Knowledge Management never ends Save the time of users as well as staffs Knowledge Management requires a knowledge contract Quality and quantity improvement Improved user services Objectives of Knowledge Management in Improved customer/user satisfaction through a Academic Libraries more professional approach to service delivery The main objective of Knowledge management is to ensure that the right information is delivered to the Improved productivity right person just in time, in order to take the most Information Technology helps to maximizes the appropriate decision. The objectives are as follows: benefits To promote collection, processing, storage and Provides confidence to managed and cover risk distribution of knowledge to achieve the organizational goal MD WASIM RAJA, ET A L . 703 Faster and easier recovery of data and Academic libraries are under pressure from two sides: disseminate the information reduced budget and increased demand from faculty and students. The implementation of Knowledge Reducing risks and errors Management in academic libraries is mainly driven by its mission rather than by the competition from Tools for Knowledge Management Internet-based reference services or electronic books. Key types of knowledge related tools are given below which is effective in managing and handling information and knowledge and thereby maintaining the knowledge Role of Library Professionals in Knowledge base organization: Management The conventional role of library and information Intranets/Extranets professionals was to collect, process, disseminate, Electronic Document Management store and utilize information to provide multi- disciplinary services to the personal and professional Data Analysis Data Warehousing needs of the library users. But now their role is not Help Desk Technologies restricted to information management only. They play major role in knowledge management programmes Mapping Tools and identifying, acquiring, developing, resolving, storing Machine learning and sharing of knowledge. Library and information professionals have to manage relationships with Workflow management systems external providers of information and knowledge and Groupware should negotiate with them. Knowledge management has created new ground in the field of library and Information Retrieval Tools information science. The library professionals should Data Warehousing: Metadata have following types of knowledge: Portals Knowledge about library’s information sources for assets, products and services. Agent Technologies Knowledge about where these sources stored are Ontology’s (Computer based) and what is its use. Knowledge Management in Academic Knowledge about users including teaching staff, Libraries researcher and, who is using these sources and Davenport explains that Knowledge Management as how to increase its uses. a process is about acquisition, creation, packaging What are the current usage of these sources and and application of reuse of knowledge. In any how to increase its use? organization, the libraries are the backbone of information dissemination and the different services Creativity and ability to learn and adapt the new offered by the libraries are mainly designed to fulfill technologies to provide better services to its the goals/missions of the organization. The main aim clients and ability to create, share, harness and of library is to provide right information to the right utilize knowledge user at the right time. Understanding of knowledge creation process and Librarians deserve a central role in the development impact of knowledge of processes and policies that harness an Information literacy skills creating, finding, sharing organization’s knowledge base. As keepers and and using disseminators of information within organization, librarians make substantial contributions to the Understanding of the principles of “Organization successful implementation of knowledge management of Knowledge” projects. Academic libraries are information centers established in support of the mission of their parent Barriers to Knowledge Management in institutions to generate knowledge, and people Academic Libraries equipped with knowledge in order to serve the society Every library professional who works in academic, and advance the well-being of mankind. In the digital public or any special library wants to use the age, academic libraries face challenges from both techniques of knowledge management to achieve the within (academia) and without (the business sector). organizational goal and provide better service to its Implementation of knowledge management enhances users but due to some following barriers they are not the traditional functions of academic library. Academic able to use that: departments, or even faculty and students, may There is no co-operation between senior and junior purchase or build their own portals to meet their academic and/or research needs. staff. 704 ICAL 2009 – POSTER PAPERS Generally, the junior staff cannot share their UGC may establish a monitoring centre specially knowledge and ideas when they feel there is no for libraries to monitor the standardisations of benefit of this in terms of salary increases. library and provide assistance Every library cannot participate in terms of modern technology and its management Conclusion However, due to the complicated nature of knowledge Lack of communication skills. per se and its management, it is often difficult to Lack of staff training. estimate or demonstrate the value of knowledge Lack of sufficient budget / funds management. In spite of the fact that there are many knowledge base products in the market, none of them Lack of tool and technologies is suited for libraries or flexible with the dynamically Lack of Centralised policy for Library Cess changing environment in the IT era. Libraries, with limited budget and human resources, should utilize Suggestions the current management structure and technology to The IT and knowledge need to work together and focus implement Knowledge Management, either bottom- on getting the right information to the right people at up or top-down. With a concerted effort, use of the right time. The entire librarian and information Information Technology in Knowledge Management will scientist community should have knowledge help to increase libraries’ operational efficiency and management strategy or framework to use the IT to cater to the ever-increasing needs of clientele. disseminate the information as demanded or required. Knowledge Management helps library and information The following points are identified for the better professionals in improving the services being rendered implementation of knowledge management in libraries to their users. Information professionals have to recast mostly in Academic Libraries: their roles as knowledge professional. The librarian’s To provide sufficient budget roles should not be limited to being the custodians of information but they have to acquire skills to keep To provide special fund for the new technologies themselves updated so as to cope intelligently and To equip library with new technologies with network objectively with the effective and efficient knowledge facility management in Academic libraries. Inter change of technical staffs among Information technology and systems can provide organizations/ libraries effective support in implementing knowledge management. Librarians should train themselves and Staff sharing to develop their professional skills their staff to develop the appropriate knowledge Organize a training programme and inter-change management systems and use information of staff for time being on National level (at least technologies to equipped libraries to provide better, once in every two year for two months) faster and pinpointed services to its clients/ users.