As the Vable team look forward to an exciting new year of current awareness and premium news aggregation developments, we take a brief look back over our most popular 2018 blog posts. It was an exciting year when information awareness went mainstream from the GDPR implementation, as well as the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
We also attended various conferences to explore innovative and flexible approaches in the world of information work. With our own approaches to innovation and working with others, late last year we were proud to announce our MLex integration, as well as a partnership with Onelog. It’s been a busy year, so enjoy catching up on what we wrote about in 2018.
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1. What is the difference between Organisational Learning and Knowledge Management?
We work with information people at every stage of their career development, so it was no surprise that the most popular blogpost of 2018 was about getting to grips with terminology. Terms within knowledge management can be hard to define and differentiate so a good place to start is with some of the broader terms: Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning.
After outlining industry discussion about the two terms, we come to the conclusion that organisations need clarity. Information professionals need to be clear about how they can practically help an organisation meet its goals through the successful management of information. Only then can everyone in the business recognise the value of its information people.
2. What management skills do you need to run a library?
Practical management skills are essential for library and information managers; this is clear when you see which sessions are most popular at conferences such as BIALL. People enjoy hearing and reading about real life examples. This is why a blogpost featuring a personal account from a librarian at Nirma University was the second most read post of 2018.
Although management skills needed to run an information centre do not differ hugely from other organisations, there are subtle differences. This was why Vable created an e-book which brought together library and information management articles. The intended audience is broad, because we want to encourage the less experienced, but also engage and inspire current managers.
3. It’s time to recalculate your library’s ROI. Here's how:
At Vable we want you to make the most of your information service. Our guides help you determine the success of your current awareness service, and assess the investment costs, both time and financial. You might think that making a case for your continued existence is an insurmountable challenge, but with a change in perspective budget time can be turned into a positive experience.
Analyse how well your system currently works and reframe it in terms of impact rather than investment. As this popular blog post demonstrated, information people are keen to understand how to calculate their library’s ROI and demonstrate how much they contribute to the success of the business.
4. Librarians and privacy in the age of Cambridge Analytica
Information people are at the cutting edge of the news so we were horrified when the story about Facebook’s data breach broke. This post was popular because we all have a responsibility to ourselves and others when sharing information online. If private data becomes publicly available, then it can be a horrible experience - which is partly why tighter data protection laws were introduced last year.
Facebook has tried hard to remedy the situation, promising more investment in security, introducing new privacy options, and made targeted advertising more transparent. Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote in a Facebook post, “we’re a very different company today than we were in 2016, or even a year ago.” Time will tell, and information people will be watching carefully.
5. Ways you can improve your library induction training
It seems that everyone welcomes practical advice on library inductions. Library services are integral to the information wellbeing of the organisation so this investment in end-user training is vital. Your organisation should recognise your part in it. If people get actively involved in learning and collaborating with others, there is better retention of information.
Some comments queried how we could make inductions more inclusive. For instance, not everyone is comfortable processing information in an auditory way. This is why information people spend time writing easy to understand instructions for processes and databases, as well as designing infographics, so everyone has access to what they need. Recording training sessions so that they can be reviewed at a later date can also be helpful.
6. Is Agile Project Management right for your library?
There were two popular blog posts about agile working which reflect the changing nature of the workplace more generally. The first looked at the software development world and how their agile ways of working can be harnessed in other organisations, such as law firms. The second post looked at two cases studies, as discussed at the BIALL conference.
One firm encouraged the library and information services to be involved with implementation of agile working from the start. The other took a different approach, but demonstrated that if libraries cannot - or are not - included in the initial plans, it can still be a success. Librarians are naturally agile thinkers and always open to new challenges.
7. How do we combat Fake News? 3 simple steps before clicking 'share'
The final piece that made it into the top blogs of 2018 was how to identify fake news. As the year drew to a close it seemed that information people are part of the solution to avoid misinformation mayhem. We hope that future technological innovations will go a long way to helping us navigate the chaos but your library can be a key resource to help members of your organisation identify trustworthy sources.
Read more about fake news.