Building relevance amidst the content revolution
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Purpose - There has been much discussion in the past two decades about the need for the library profession to change. The prophets of doom and gloom have spoken loudly about the profession's lack of relevance and the consequence of this irrelevance. Many have taken notice - marketing campaigns have been introduced, technologies put in place, measures established, etc. All these activities have made some improvements to services but the reality is that is tinkering at the edges rather than taking the giant steps that are actually needed. By investigating the profession's past this paper aims to provide some insight in how to rebuild relevance of the profession i the digital environment. Design/methodology/approach - The challenge is to find a way in which the core skills and competencies of the profession can be shown to add value to work regardless of the context in which they are demonstrated. These skills and capabilities revolve around content; how it is created, how it used, stored, managed, accessed and utilised in order to contribute to an ever-increasing global body of knowledge. The wider environments in which people work often fail to recognise the complexities of this cycle, and the contribution that the information professional makes to keeping accessible, relevant information available from the desk top. Big decisions whether they be company acquisitions, research methodologies or clinical trials cannot be made without appropriate content. Why then are the content managers, the information professionals, under threat? Are there new skills and capabilities required by information professionals to build value in the content industry that continues to revolutionise? Findings - Libraries need to implement a structure that will allow them to sell, deliver and communicate value. It is time to position the profession as a central player in the digitised information landscape.
Copyright 2010 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Library and Information Studies not elsewhere classified