Using Knowledge Management to Build a Smarter Library

Knowledge Management (KM) is the work done by an organization to collect, create, and organize the knowledge used by its employees. Engaging in KM and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) can improve the efficiency of both your organization and your day-to-day work. 

In this four-week eCourse, library tech expert Robin Hastings will introduce you to KM and PKM, which extends KM to the personal realm. You’ll learn practical applications for these concepts and how they can help you improve your work in areas like staff training, library marketing, using patron data to drive decisions, library instruction, and much more. 

This course will give you an introduction to concepts and specific technologies that will help you share and organize information and help your library work smarter, not harder. Hastings will cover several apps and software, both open source and proprietary, that can help you get started at both the personal and organizational level.

After participating in this course, you will:

  • Be able to discuss the knowledge management (KM) environment, with a special emphasis on open-source solutions
  • Have a working knowledge of KM software and apps, both proprietary and open source, and resources for finding more
  • Be able to evaluate KM applications and solutions for suitability for your library
  • Be able to use PKM applications to help create knowledge from notes such as those taken at conferences, webinars, or when reading

Course Outline

Week 1

  • Introduction to Knowledge Management concepts of collecting, organizing, and using information in the library
  • File management vs. Tagging
  • Introduction of some useful KM apps
  • Discussion of the need for more emphasis on the "use" part of the KM definition

Week 2

  • Deeper look at the KM apps
  • The ILS as a KM solution
  • Web content management for KM
  • Wordpress, Drupal, and Solutions
  • Project Management tools for KM
  • Asana, ProjectLibre, Kanban, Trello, etc.

Week 3

  • Other kinds of KM
  • Contact management, document management, learning management
  • Open source vs. commercial options
  • Review of open source options for each kind of KM

Week 4

  • Personal KM
  • Traditional notes
  • Linked notes
  • Mind mapping
  • Using the notes/nodes in your KM solution across time as well as across locations

Robin Hastings is a librarian with the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS) in Lawrence, KS. She's written and presented on many library and technology related topics, most recently on Knowledge Management for librarians. She has 23 years of experience in library technologies and is currently thinking about knowledge management, change management and project management in libraries.

If you have questions or requests regarding accessibility, contact us at ce@ala.org or at 312-280-5100.