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‘Creating an information
literate Scotland’ Community
Knowledge Management Officer
What is a community of practice?
• what it is about – joint enterprise as
understood and continually renegotiated by its
• how it functions – mutual engagement that
bind members together into a social entity
• what capability it has produced – shared
repertoire of communal resources that
members have developed over time
Wenger, E. (1998) 'Communities of Practice. Learning as a social system', Systems Thinker,
http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/cop/lss.shtml. Accessed September 10 2009.
Communities of practice (CoP)
• like-minded colleagues and
• share your experiences and
learn from others
• collaborate and achieve
• accelerates learning
• validates and builds on existing
knowledge and good practice
• innovate and create new ideas
groups of people
who share a
concern or a
do and learn how
to do it better as
Types of CoP
• helping communities - forum for community members
to help each other with everyday work needs
• best practice communities - develop and disseminate
best practices, guidelines, and procedures for their
• knowledge stewarding communities - organise,
manage, and steward a body of knowledge from which
community members can draw
• innovation communities - create breakthrough ideas,
new knowledge, and new practices
connect up practitioners in
a range of sectors who
are all working towards the
common goal of creating an
General CoP success factors
clear purpose – what will it be used to do?
creating a safe and trusted environment
committed core group of active
knowing the needs of participants
blending face-to-face and online activities
What’s worked for us?
• not too formal
• asking questions
I'll confess to being a serial lurker on this forum (more
reactive than proactive) and tend not to contribute (new
year's resolution is to contribute more!) but I wouldn't be
without my regular CoP e-mails.
It has been excellent in enabling me to discover
who else (both organisations and individuals) that
are thinking about Information Literacy and
discovering what they are doing practically to
address the many issues faced.
I am an avid reader of the CoP, but feel a tad guilty about my lack of
contribution. So, I am resolved to frequently update my blog and to
contribute more to the range of interesting conversations happening in
I was totally unfamiliar with the concept but have
found it easy to use - and very useful. I've also
recently had the opportunity to compare it to
alternative methods of communication, and I think it
stands up well.
On the down side - the fact that it is a closed
space means that you often need to post outside
the space as well. Double the work.
On the plus side - it's a great space for sharing information and ideas with a
wide range of people from different organisations. It's also great that it is
provided and supported by the Scottish Government.
• encourage greater participation
• measuring success
• community charter
• hotseat/online conference
• face to face event