Magazine article Information Outlook

Value Is Derived from Quality of Service

Magazine article Information Outlook

Value Is Derived from Quality of Service

Article excerpt

We at SLA headquarters often hear the drumbeat from the membership, the call for promoting the value of the profession to executives and senior managers. It's a wonderful responsibility for SLA to assume, and we're doing our best to respond to the call. Our media relations efforts have borne many successes this year. We expect the trend to continue, so long as technology continues to blast staggering amounts of information onto our desktops, into our lives. We also seek to devise new tools for you to implement in the ongoing fight to alter the perceptions of your profession.

Changing perception is an arduous task - one that requires communications savvy and, quite frankly, nerves of steel. Today, we must relate to organizational decision-makers in their language: What is a library's return on investment? What's the cost-benefit? Is your role a support function or a core competency of the organization? Some organizational leaders understand your profession's value, and practice what they preach. But most simply don't get it. In the future, as new waves of educated professionals enter the workforce and take on executive and managerial roles, new ideas and attitudes will take shape. It is our job to try to mold these ideas and attitudes before they evolve, so we can all speak the same language.

In between these two phases, though, we must work with a crop of budding and future managers and executives, most of whom have a firm grasp of the essential challenges and opportunities concerning the flow of information within organizations. They know that desktop computer access can put information at the fingertips of every employee. They realize that such access has an infinite level of potential (for now). They understand the value of intellectual capital, and the importance of sharing knowledge. Yet they lack the fundamental recognition that information - and thus, knowledge - cannot be managed by each and every employee, lest a company with thousands of employees might experience "information anarchy. …

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