There is a global data deluge today and Special librarians are in a preeminent position to use their unique knowledge of search technologies and publishing, to locate the published knowledge needed by their clients both manual and online, both for the fee-based and the free web information sources more skilfully than other professional staff in the organisation.

Knowledge infrastructures are defined as ”robust internetworks of people, artefacts, and institutions which generate, share, and maintain specific knowledge about the human and natural worlds”. (Knowledge Infrastructures: Intellectual Frameworks and Research Challenges. Report of a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Sloan Foundation University of Michigan School of Information, 25-28 May 2012, p. 23

Ideally the IT staff and Special Library staff work in harmony.  While the IT staff have a critical role to play in knowledge transfer, they provide the pipes. Special Librarians evaluate, select and provide the information to go through those pipes!  So what are their special skills?  They:

  • Have special knowledge of the publications supply chain including published information in the specialised fields of their parent organisations.
  • Compile and index raw information from the field, internal publications or primary publications and record them in databases. So we can integrate internally generated information with external information to maximise efficiency.
  • Train others to use modern information resources to find reliable information.
  • Find reliable information more quickly than others in their organisations due to their specialised training.
  • Have excellent knowledge of the value added online databases from providers such as LexisNexis, Proquest, Factiva, Thomson Reuters, Ovid, etc.
  • Have excellent knowledge of the latest techniques for research on the open WWW and on the Deep Web.
  • Can obtain information needed only temporarily, quickly and cheaply from other libraries.

Posted in: My Elevator Pitch

Copyright © 2021 Web Search Pacific Pty Ltd, All Rights Reserved.

Web Search Pacific Pty Ltd is a registered company (ABN 13 003 256 380).