Knowledge Management and Libraries

Saturday, November 2, 2013, 10:30am

Knowledge Management and Social Media: A Case Study of Two Public Libraries in Canada

Eric Forcier, Dinesh Rathi and Lisa M. Given


It is important for all types of organizations including non-profit organizations (NPOs) to manage knowledge for effective and efficient utilization of resources. Technology is considered as one of the key enablers of knowledge management (KM) practices but it can be costly to develop and implement in an organization. With the advent of social media, NPOs such as public libraries have the opportunity to harness the power of technology for KM purposes as it is considered a low cost medium. A study was conducted, using an exploratory qualitative interview technique, in two contrasting public libraries: one is a large urban public library, and the other is a small rural public library. The data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach informed by a social constructionist theoretical framework. This paper presents comparative findings from these case examples on their understanding of KM as a concept and their use of social media in management of knowledge. Results show that social media are valuable KM tools in public libraries, not only when directed externally for the purpose of promotion, but also to foster engagement with the public and collaborative work within the organization. 

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