Special Libraries can be incredibly valuable and minimise risk by:

  • Validating the information delivered so their clients can rely on information quality.
  • Undertaking due diligence research for Human Resources or compliance staff.
  • Carrying out company research to ensure corporate suppliers, contractors, customers, collaborators are reliable and do not have any conflicts of interest.
  • Providing timely critical life saving information in time.
  • Fearlessly delivering information that may not on occasions be welcome – such as a competitor’s recent success with a new product, or a newly discovered threat or significant change – political, legal, health or commercial.

Some Special Librarians have been able to identify critical share register information prior to a hostile takeover. Others have relentlessly reported new information as it became available on the health hazards of asbestos, talc, and other products.  In recent times, disastrous nationally reported recruiting errors could have been avoided with simple searches, if Special Librarians had been asked to carry out background checks on job candidates.  Disastrous investment decisions could have been avoided if validated statistics on the projected demand for a mineral had been sought from reliable world sources. The stories of health librarians being involved on clinical rounds along with their iPads are also inspiring.

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