IFLA 2017 Knowledge Management Section Report

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Knowledge Management Section organized a rich program during the 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Wrocław, Poland.

IFLA Knowledge Management Section 2017 satellite preconference attendees

IFLA Knowledge Management Section satellite preconference attendees, Wrocław University of Economics, 18 August 2017. Photo courtesy of Emilio Sim.

On Friday 18 August 2017 the IFLA Knowledge Management (KM) Section organized a satellite preconference titled "New directions in knowledge management" at the Library of the Wrocław University of Economics. Forty attendees from 12 countries participated. The satellite preconference was coordinated by Elisabeth Freyre and Eva Semertzaki (members of the KM Standing Committee), under the leadership of Leda Bultrini (section chair). The keynote speaker, Dr. Joanna Paliszkiewicz, presented the future of knowledge management. Eight speakers shared their ideas with the audience who participated in the lively discussion after each session. The topics varied from theory to practice, from best practice examples to technological innovations (robots in libraries). In all papers the belief was expressed that knowledge management continues to be of interest to information and knowledge management centers. The sponsor of the day was Springer Nature China. All papers from the satellite preconference are available online at IFLA Library.

The IFLA KM Section held its open session (Session 230) on 24 August 2017. The topic was "How does knowledge management inform change agency?" 237 people attended the session, which was co-chaired by Liz Turner (a member of the KM Standing Committee) and Leda Bultrini (section chair). The keynote speaker, Andreas Degkwitz, talked on the "Future knowledge management: The library as a virtual makerspace." The six presentations showcased examples of knowledge management at work preparing, facilitating and augmenting change. The session program team engaged the audience with a social media Q&A to create a lasting conversation with the speakers.

The Section worked with the Academic and Research Libraries Section, the Library and Research Services for Parliaments Section, and the Continuous Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section in the execution of the Knowledge Café (Session 200) on 23 August 2017. The Knowledge Café, the fourth to be held, was chaired by Monica Ertel (a member of the KM Standing Committee). The topic was "New librarians for new times: Continuous learning to become change agents in a changing world." The Café was attended by 183 people. Using 12 round tables and facilitators, each round table facilitated an interactive discussion on a given topic. The session focused on the changing role of librarians in the ever-evolving information world. The contributor of this article served as rapporteur at the second round table, focusing on the topic "Stimulating collaboration and social interaction: Best uses of library spaces."

The KM Section sponsors the new Digital Humanities – Digital Scholarship Special Interest Group, which held its kick-off session (082) on 20 August 2017. The topic of the SIG was "The global digital humanities and digital scholarship best practices: What is the role of IFLA and the DH/DS SIG? Lightning talks and interactive conversations." The SIG’s convener, Dr. Xuemao Wang, chaired the session. Four speakers, representing four continents, talked about libraries that have taken courageous steps to re-articulate their value propositions, re-define their roles, re-configure their workplace to re-assess their operational models, and re-purpose their spaces. The session was attended by 196 delegates.

Portrait of outgoing and incoming IFLA Knowledge Management Section chairs

The KM Section were awarded joint-winners of the 2017 IFLA Professional Unit Communication Award at the closing ceremony of the IFLA WLIC 2017. The award recipient was Wilda Newman (information coordinator of the KM Section). The Section was selected for its comprehensive communication plan and the use of various communication tools, such as the Newsletter and the section leaflet in several languages.

The KM Section held two business meetings to report on the activities of the 2017 conference and to plan the activities for next year. The first version of the advocacy paper for knowledge management was presented to the Standing Committee, prepared by Leda Bultrini (pictured left) and Eva Semertzaki (pictured right). It will be used as a basis to write an advocacy paper to be used by the Standing Committee members and knowledge managers to advocate knowledge management in organizations. During the second business meeting new officers were elected: Eva Semertzaki as Chair, Julien Sempere as Secretary, and Jane K. Burpee as Information Coordinator.

Submitted by Eva Semertzaki