Today, I’d like to talk about the emerging knowledge economy. This is a fundamental global-scale socioeconomic revolution that will, ultimately, affect all institutions, including libraries. Although this presentation focuses on libraries as public institutions, many of the ideas presented here apply equally well to organizational libraries.
&lt;number&gt; Libraries have probably existed in some form since the origins of writing. Only a handful of religions are older than libraries as a social institution.
&lt;number&gt; At the 1998 annual Conference of the International Society for Knowledge Organization, one speaker noted that no popular Internet search engine used any of the standard library classification systems. It was suggested that, perhaps, there should be a session on the Internet at the next conference. Personally, I saw this as a critical inability to recognize a fundamental sea change.
&lt;number&gt; Knowledge management is linked to the evolving knowledge economy. Although we don&apos;t know what the knowledge-based economy will eventually be like, there is general agreement that it will be very different. Adding value will be less dependant on processing atoms and more dependant on processing bits. The value of a CD-ROM is about 90 cents, but the value of the software that it contains is often on the order of several hundred dollars. The ability to create and use new knowledge is seen as the only sustainable competitive advantage. In case there’s any doubt, those who designed Canada’s $2 centennial coin recognized the importance of the emerging knowledge economy.
This presentation is divided into four parts. Outline the four.
Patti Anklam describes three generations of knowledge management. In the first generation, emphasis was on explicit knowledge. This is only natural; as this type of knowledge is the easiest to understand. It was also very difficult to differentiate KM from IM. Further, vendors and consultants could simply change the names of the IT and IM systems that they had previously developed and expand their markets. In most such cases, the systems failed because they failed to consider the essentially human dimension of knowledge. As we shall see, libraries have adapted well to the first generation of knowledge management. The second generation emphasized the capture and exchange of tacit knowledge. This is clearly beyond the realm of IM. It is also more problematic for libraries as it goes beyond their traditional “brokering function.” The third generation is just beginning to emerge. It is presently poorly defined. Sustainable business models have yet to be tested. For our present purposes, I don’t have many answers for libraries. This presentation poses a number of questions that will have to be considered the library community.
&lt;number&gt; We’ll begin by looking at some attributes of knowledge that make it so different from traditional assets.
&lt;number&gt; Here are some examples of explicit knowledge. There are many more.
&lt;number&gt; These are some examples of tacit knowledge. It can be defined as intangible personal knowledge gained through experience and self-learning. It is influenced by beliefs, perspectives, and values. Tacit knowledge is difficult to quantify, capture, and preserve. Tacit knowledge is critical to an organization, however, because people must use what they know to create and use knowledge and the ability to create and use knowledge may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.
&lt;number&gt; To have value, knowledge must be transferred from the person who created it to others who can use it. There are many mechanisms to facilitate knowledge transfer. This series progresses through three stages: one-on-one (conversations, advice, mentoring, Q & A), one-to-many (presentations, documents, education), many-to-many (meetings, workshops conferences)
Let’s move on to preserving knowledge. This is a subject that should be familiar to most everyone here. This section focuses on electronic rather than physical media.
&lt;number&gt; This is knowledge preservation viewed as a value chain. Preservation involves a series of steps, each of which adds value to the previous one. I have also indicated people and roles associated with each step. The nature and expected value the product increases as we advance along the chain.
&lt;number&gt; Capturing knowledge assets involves a sequence of steps. Outline the seven.
&lt;number&gt; A briefing note database being developed for the Canadian Forest Service provides an example of capturing knowledge. The process begins with a Web-based data capture template. It takes about 5 minutes to cut and paste an approved briefing note and its contextual information into the template. Among it’s many features, the database: Identifies all pertinent information about a briefing note. Lists all briefing notes related to particular search criteria Prints a “letterhead” copy of the original briefing note. Allows users to cut and paste material from the database into their documents. For validity and security, only information from approved briefing notes is input into the system by administrators.
&lt;number&gt; Librarians have been organizing knowledge since ancient times, yet KM programs often don’t take advantage of this capacity. This essential skill is often lacking in KM programs, or other methods have been developed. There are many ways to do this, each with strengths and weaknesses. Outline the seven.
&lt;number&gt; A system for storing data, information, and knowledge includes several components. Outline the seven.
&lt;number&gt; Similarly, a retrieval system also consists of several components. It is difficult to anticipate all the ways that people might search for knowledge. Just as in this Escher print, you only see what your mind is prepared to see – the man climbing the stairs at the bottom towards the garden in the center. If you turned the print 90 degrees left or right, you would see a totally different image and the one that you see in this view would not register as real. So too it is with retrieval systems. They should enable the user to find what they are looking for, no matter how they enter the system. Outline the seven.
&lt;number&gt; Paper documents can simply be put in storage and if the paper is of a good quality and not damaged, they are readable several centuries latter. Paper remains the most reliable medium for archiving documents. Not so with digital media. Digital media must be proactively managed to insure availability even a decade after content is placed into storage. Outline the six.
&lt;number&gt; During my lifetime, I have used all of the media shown here, listed from the earliest to the most current. All of these media are incompatible with each other without a processor to convert between them. Paper is the only media that can be read without a processor and the only media that does not have to be migrated as technology evolves at an ever-increasing rate. This picture was taken on NRCan’s loading dock – someone just cleaned out their office. The question is how much data, information and knowledge was lost as these two cartons were tossed? Trace the evolution.
Let’s move on to knowledge markets, of which libraries are a key component.
&lt;number&gt; Today, I will focus on transactional knowledge markets. Two other forms – sequential and network - will not be described here. One way to view libraries is as knowledge brokers in a knowledge market that facilitates exchanges among providers and users. The “knowledge market” represents all knowledge exchange transactions among all providers and users, whether money changes hands or not. Government On-Line and the Global disaster Information Network are examples of transactional knowledge markets.
&lt;number&gt; There are a number of attributes that enable a knowledge market to function. Outline the five.
&lt;number&gt; Knowledge brokers, such as libraries, provide a number of services that add value to the marketplace.
&lt;number&gt; There are many ways that information technology and social processes can enhance knowledge sharing, particularly for widely dispersed organizations. This list is organized in order of increasing formality and structure.
&lt;number&gt; The Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International is a knowledge market facilitator that allows clients to search an internal database for a fee. This is essentially the same operating model as the Library of Congress except for the fee It also contains links to numerous scientific databases
&lt;number&gt; The National Library of Canada site contains 25 million records from 1,300 Canadian libraries, yet search results are returned in seconds. It also includes AMICUS - my favorite search engine for Canadian publications. This is single-window public-good access to multiple independent providers at no cost. This is a first step towards facilitating an information market. Today users can get metadata about publications, including physical locations.
&lt;number&gt; Organizational libraries may also be integrated to provide single-window access to organizational holdings. The Canadian forest Service library portal enables a single query search of six regional libraries. It also enables ordering documents through inter-library loan.
&lt;number&gt; In the 21st Century, libraries will become increasingly digital. Components of a digital library are being developed and tested today. These libraries will not only store documents, but will be capable of assembling customized multi-media content on the fly – as Web browsers do today. A digital library comprises several components User Interface (simple, flexible access) Library interface (management, administration) Client server (manage interactions, assemble objects) Repository system (storage, rights, dissemination) Metadata system (location, identification, attributes) Search system (locate, retrieve) Infrastructure (computer, network, communication)
&lt;number&gt; Although some characteristics of a digital library are familiar, many are unique to a digital environment. Outline the six.
A digital world poses some unique issues, such as who is responsible for long-term permanent archives. There are problems associated with each of the traditional approaches. Outline the three. New methods of archiving commonly-held e-documents will probably be needed to ensure sustainability.
Now, we’ll briefly examine where the knowledge revolution is headed.
&lt;number&gt; Informal agreements are generally not legally binding, except as they specify property rights. Describe charters Describe the nature of informal agreements
&lt;number&gt; Networks can be classified into three scales. Groups consist of 5-10 people; any larger and synergy is lost in the logistics of participation. Eliciting knowledge means finding out what people might know but haven’t or can’t express. Unstructured means going wherever the dialogue leads and taking whatever time is needed. Aggregating means considering everything that is known by all members of the group; the best answers are probably in the outliers. Communities comprise 20-30 people with a common interest. Focus on finding existing expertise and experience; avoiding duplication, reinvention. Self-directed means that the community itself sets the rules of participation. Mechanisms are needed to “harvest” community outputs to benefit an organization Networks normally comprise more than 100 people. Peer production means that all participants and all knowledge are equal. Emergent processes means that with enough “agents” outcomes emerge that could not have been predicted.
&lt;number&gt; A network really looks something like this, with every department connected to every other department. Each connection in a network is a “node.” This picture is simplistic; some networks contain tens of thousands of nodes. Knowledge and services flow through the network from any node to any other. Intellectual property developed through the network belongs to the network; individual members can use it according to network IP agreements.
&lt;number&gt; Successful social networks follow a number of principles. Describe the four.
&lt;number&gt; Most of you are familiar with some of the more popular form of social networks. Describe the five. The first three are oriented to one-to-many collaborations. For example, this presentation has been uploaded to SlideShare. Anyone in the world can download or comment on it. Innocentive is a true transactional market structure. Wikis are a true network collaborative tool.
&lt;number&gt; Here are five examples of successful global-scale social networks. Describe the five. Although all of these are in the private sector, I believe that, with adjustments for a government context, similar successes can be achieved by government agencies.
For example, here is Natural Resource Canada’s internal wiki. The size of the index words indicate the number of articles and links. This is known as a “folksonomy,” in which topics are organized according to popularity of use. This is very different from traditional structured ways of organizing content. I am reminded of how the printing press eliminated one of Medieval Europe’s primary “industries” (copying manuscripts). The second page simply shows most of the articles classified under “knowledge management.” This is an article on learning organizations. Once posted, anyone can edit and change it as they please. In this case, what began an article has become an introduction to a major heading. Note that wikis include links to internal and external web pages.
&lt;number&gt; The key question is: if an organizationparticipates in a social network, how does it “capture value” from commonly held external intellectual property? The answer, in a few words, is to bring it inside the organization. The common property has to be stabilized. A report, policy, or regulation cannot change once it is formalized. Internal value has to be added by ensuring that it works. For example, in policy, all stakeholder concerns must be addressed; in business, an innovation must be producible and marketable. A key implication is that an organization must retain enough internal core capacity to be able to add value to commonly-held IP.
On a broader scale, what are some of the implications of knowledge being managed as a commons? Describe the three.
Moving to a still broader scale, a few societal principles of knowledge as a commons are beginning to emerge. Outline the four.
&lt;number&gt; As the knowledge economy evolves, the role of libraries may shift from primarily a curator of collections to facilitating or brokering knowledge markets. Whatever the final role, it will probably be substantially different than it has been for the last 2,500 years. I can be contacted at this e-mail address. This presentation can be downloaded from Slide Share
The Knowledge Economy:The Knowledge Economy:
Wherefore LibrariesWherefore Libraries
Eastern Canada Chapter
Special Libraries Association
Nov. 22, 2007 Ottawa, Ontario
Libraries have a long history…Libraries have a long history…
Librarians have been
for about 2,500 years
Library at Alexandria
established in 283 BC
Capture and store the
Library of Alexandria – artist’s concept
Tradition is not enough…Tradition is not enough…
“While they all make varying use of corporate
libraries and information systems, few
knowledge workers feel that these groups can
be relied on for more than a modest amount
of their information needs.”
James McGee and Lawrence Prusak
Managing Information Strategically (1993)
Knowledge EconomyKnowledge Economy
Success based on what you
know, not what you own
Value of goods based on
knowledge, not material
Creating and using
knowledge is the key
Organizations must evolve
or become irrelevant
The Evolution of KnowledgeThe Evolution of Knowledge
1st Artifacts Explicit Infrastructure for
sharing & reusing
2nd Individuals Tacit Individual behavior,
capturing & exchanging
3rd Networks Emergent Network connectivity,
group collaboration &
(Patti Anklam, 2007)
Knowledge AttributesKnowledge Attributes
Knowledge is increasing; half-life is decreasing
Knowledge can be in many places at one time
Knowledge may be permanent or time sensitive
Knowledge is used without being consumed
Selling does not reduce supply nor ability to resell
Once disseminated, knowledge cannot be recalled
Thomas Stewart (1997)
Organizing KnowledgeOrganizing Knowledge
Storing Knowledge AssetsStoring Knowledge Assets
• Information technology infrastructureInformation technology infrastructure
• Systems for archiving and managing knowledgeSystems for archiving and managing knowledge
• Interface for entry and administrationInterface for entry and administration
• Data warehouse, distributed databasesData warehouse, distributed databases
• Information repository, records managementInformation repository, records management
• Knowledge repository, knowledge mapKnowledge repository, knowledge map
• Digital libraries, traditional librariesDigital libraries, traditional libraries
A TransactionalA Transactional
Knowledge MarketKnowledge Market
Providers and users
connect through a
Knowledge BrokersKnowledge Brokers
Assist with search and retrieval
Assist in adapting knowledge to user needs
Maintain information repositories
Provide digital infrastructure for exchange
Manage the market infrastructure
Assist with knowledge dissemination
Increase awareness of knowledge availability
Knowledge Sharing: MechanismsKnowledge Sharing: Mechanisms
Talking (real, virtual)
E-mail (individuals, list servers, distribution lists)
Chat rooms, forums, discussion groups
Communities of interest, social networks
Groupware (teams, working groups)
Symposia, conferences, workshops
Data, information, & knowledge repositories
Libraries (repositories, access, search, retrieval)
Digital Libraries: CharacteristicsDigital Libraries: Characteristics
Documents are assembled on the fly
Large collection of digital objects
All types of digital material
Stored in electronic repositories
May be centralized or distributed
Accessible through national networks
Protecting Common E-DocumentsProtecting Common E-Documents
Organizations (provider & user under one
Providers (generally not aligned with common
good, societal needs and long-term preservation)
Users (preservation tends to be user-centric)
Community archives (most complex)
Purpose (historical, cultural, scholarly record)
Legal protection (from liability from open access)
Access rights & restrictions (sustainable business model)
(Donald Waters, 2007)
Network GovernanceNetwork Governance
Charter –Charter – Members agree to participate inMembers agree to participate in
achieving common objectives, within aachieving common objectives, within a
networknetwork structure, with participant recordsstructure, with participant records
and accountability and common rights andand accountability and common rights and
responsibilities to property.responsibilities to property.
Nature:Nature: Flexible, dynamic, opportunistic,Flexible, dynamic, opportunistic,
synergistic, unpredictable.synergistic, unpredictable. (unstructured,(unstructured,
self-organized, maximizes reward)self-organized, maximizes reward)
Network scaleNetwork scale
Group:Group: few participants; elicit knowledge;few participants; elicit knowledge;
unstructured; aggregating knowledgeunstructured; aggregating knowledge
(knowledge services task group)(knowledge services task group)
Communities:Communities: many participants; sharemany participants; share
knowledge; self-directed; common interestknowledge; self-directed; common interest
(organizational IM community)(organizational IM community)
Networks:Networks: massive participants; peermassive participants; peer
production; emergent processes; commonproduction; emergent processes; common
ownershipownership (Linux developers)(Linux developers)
Network PrinciplesNetwork Principles
OpennessOpenness – collaboration based on candor,– collaboration based on candor,
transparency, freedom, flexibility, andtransparency, freedom, flexibility, and
PeeringPeering – horizontal voluntary meritocracy,– horizontal voluntary meritocracy,
based on fun, altruism, or personal values.based on fun, altruism, or personal values.
SharingSharing – increased value of common– increased value of common
products benefits all participants.products benefits all participants.
Acting GloballyActing Globally – value is created through– value is created through
very large knowledge ecosystems.very large knowledge ecosystems.
Network - ExamplesNetwork - Examples
BlogsBlogs – Individuals can easily publish anything on– Individuals can easily publish anything on
the Web without specialized knowledge.the Web without specialized knowledge.
YouTubeYouTube – enables easy publishing and viewing of– enables easy publishing and viewing of
video clips on the Web.video clips on the Web.
SlideShareSlideShare – Enables easy publishing and sharing– Enables easy publishing and sharing
of PowerPoint presentations on the Web.of PowerPoint presentations on the Web.
InnocentiveInnocentive – A global “Ideagora” where those who– A global “Ideagora” where those who
need solutions and those with solutions can meet.need solutions and those with solutions can meet.
WikisWikis – Rapid collaborative development of– Rapid collaborative development of
products; anyone can revise anythingproducts; anyone can revise anything
Network SuccessesNetwork Successes
WikipediaWikipedia –2 Million English entries; 165 Languages;–2 Million English entries; 165 Languages;
10 times larger then Encyclopedia Britannica10 times larger then Encyclopedia Britannica
LinuxLinux – open-source operating system developed by– open-source operating system developed by
thousands of programmers around the worldthousands of programmers around the world
GoldCorpGoldCorp – released geological data in an open– released geological data in an open
contest to find gold; increased reserves by factor of 4.contest to find gold; increased reserves by factor of 4.
Procter & GambleProcter & Gamble – uses network of 90,000 external– uses network of 90,000 external
scientists to leverage internal research capacity.scientists to leverage internal research capacity.
LeggoLeggo – uses imagination and creativity of worldwide– uses imagination and creativity of worldwide
toy owners to create new products.toy owners to create new products.
Natural Resources Canada WikiNatural Resources Canada Wiki
Capturing ValueCapturing Value
Bring it inside the organization
Stabilize it; make it work
Knowledge As a CommonsKnowledge As a Commons
Virtual (digitized, on an Internet server)
Economic (no cost to user; who pays cost?)
Legal (flexible copyright, license restrictions)
Primacy of authors
Facilitate (digitize, metadata, administration)
Remove disincentives (prepublication, no reward)
Create incentives (OA recognition, prestige)
Constrictive (excludes imitation, restricts entry)
Facilitating (protects disclosure, dissemination)
Irrelevant (not air tight, grey areas)
(Hess and Ostrom, 2007)
Knowledge Commons PrinciplesKnowledge Commons Principles
An open, collective, and self-governed knowledgeAn open, collective, and self-governed knowledge
ecosystem is more sustainable than restrictedecosystem is more sustainable than restricted
knowledge held as a resource and property.knowledge held as a resource and property.
Imitation is important for transmitting social and culturalImitation is important for transmitting social and cultural
Markets are important for organizing a knowledgeMarkets are important for organizing a knowledge
commons, but need to be well regulated to maintaincommons, but need to be well regulated to maintain
open access.open access.
Open systems of recording and preserving knowledgeOpen systems of recording and preserving knowledge
are important to democratic societies.are important to democratic societies.
Hess and Ostrom (2007)
A final thought…A final thought…
“The Internet allows users to become their
own librarians, able to research, study,
and investigate anything with nothing
more than a mouse and a keyboard.”
The Death of Distance (1997)