Perception and Attitude of Library and Information Science Professionals towards Knowledge Management: A Survey of Certified Librarians in Nigeria

By Toyese, Oyedokun Tunde; Ayobami, Oyewumi Fausat et al. | Library Philosophy and Practice, April 2018 | Go to article overview

Perception and Attitude of Library and Information Science Professionals towards Knowledge Management: A Survey of Certified Librarians in Nigeria


Toyese, Oyedokun Tunde, Ayobami, Oyewumi Fausat, Medinat, Laaro Dolapo, Library Philosophy and Practice


INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Knowledge management is a concept that first gains prominent in business world before transcending to other fields. This expression was give credence by Fraser-Arnott (2014), who asserted that knowledge management pre-existed in different forms before gaining prominent in business worlds in 1990s. It pre-existence in various form is what is responsible for it multi-disciplinary dimensions, as several professions (such as: management science, information science, library science, cognitive science, computer science and so on) make claim to it origination as well as part and parcel of their professional domain. In consonance to this claims, Tjaden (2010) and Tredwell (2014) advocated that there is commonality between knowledge management and library practice.

The hallmark of knowledge management was to promote integration of people, process, technology, and organization structure in identifying, managing and sharing of organization intellectual capital across to all stakeholders. Such intellectual capital include unarticulated expertise knowledge embodied in individuals as well as those that was deposited in organization databases, file cabinet and so on (Thakur & Thakur, 2003). Ability to understand the modes through which knowledge are formalized as well as being able to distinguished what constitute knowledge in organization is essential ingredient of knowledge management. The expression above was buttressed with the fact that explicit knowledge would be managed (captured, stored, retrieved, shared, changed and so on) in different ways to that gathered over the years of experience (Frost, 2017). The main purpose of knowledge management is essentially to harness the intellectual capital (sometimes refers to as knowledge asset) of an organization for easy adaptation in the face of change in organization's environment. The processes involved goes beyond management of document and vital information resources.

The success of any organization hinges on the successful implementation of knowledge management program, which encompasses management of both tacit (knowledge embodied in the mind of individuals) and explicit knowledge (knowledge embedded in processes, organizational structure routine and so on). Although it is possible to distinguish conceptually between tacit and explicit knowledge, but they are not separate and discrete in practice (Kim, 2000; Angioni, 2011). Reflecting to that, Frost (2017) stressed that all knowledge is a mixture of tacit and explicit features rather than being one or the other.

Knowledge management can be closely linked with activities that overlapped with library practices. This notion was established on the evidence that knowledge management coach for independent knowledge access which is synonymous with information literacy programs that ensure library users independently access information on their own (O'Famll, 2010). Librarianship can be seen as a field of study that encompasses other disciplines such as; communication and media studies, computer science, management science and information science (Orme, 2008). In similarity to librarianship, knowledge management also has a strong link with information system, information management, human resources management and project management (Sarrafzadeh, Martin & Hazeri, 2010).

There are several interpretations of how knowledge management and librarianship relate and interact with each other. Buttressing this assertion was Wilson (2002) who stressed that knowledge management is an amalgamation of activities linked to library and information science functionalities such as data mining, intellectual property, information systems and decision support tools and so on. This was reinforced by Schlogl (2005) who pointed out that knowledge management includes features of library practices which suggested that knowledge management is a mere re-budging and relabeling of librarianship. …

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