Knowledge management as a mechanism for technological and organizational change management in Israeli universities

This journal article looks at the impact that technology has had on higher education on two fronts, firstly how it is the main cause of change and in turn how it is the main tool for dealing with change. In order to deal with this change, knowledge management is looked at as a possible way of fully utilising technology in the education sector. In order for universities to fully incorporate an ever changing digital world it needs clear guidance so that organizational and inter-organizational processes for managing innovation and change in the long run have a stable foundation. Thereby shaping the university into an organization that learns and manages knowledge. An interesting topic that is brought up is that of “Communities of practice” and how they are an integral part of KM. The journal provides a framework of extensive research detailing potential models in an effort to create a suitable model for universities. By looking at a system which is alternative to a business or non-profit organisation this study provides a different prospective but reaches many of the same conclusions. By doing so it strengthens the importance of knowledge management in the digital age. This study highlights the importance of sharing information when striving to improve what has gone before it.

Shoham, S., Perry, M. (2009) “Knowledge management as a mechanism for technological and organizational change management in Israeli universities.” (Electronic Version) Higher Education, Vol. 57 Issue: 2, pp. 227-246.


The Question of Preservation

The idea of preservation is a difficult one. Something that does not seem to be touched on in the readings I have done so far is what should be preserved. There seems to be a push to preserve everything that is produced nowadays or at least that’s the way the readings lay it out. I am not going to try answer that question but I don’t think for example preserving old websites is important and I’m sure I could cut a lot more if pushed. Considering I’m a bit of a hoarder that says a lot. As a side note I would like to acknowledge it is difficult to say what seems unimportant today may be considered crucially important tomorrow.

I’m going get away from what should be and what shouldn’t be and to focus solely on how difficult it is to preserve things. Digitisation of items is a huge leap forward and gives the possibility of not only storing things but the possibility of dissemination as well. The “White Paper” ran through the different processes of doing this but also showed the limitations of this. With technology speeding along and changing quicker than most can keep up it is difficult to design a system to store items that will still be functional in even a reasonably short period of time. I touched on the dissemination of items being crucial. Obviously some items scream out with importance that they need to be preserved but the older they are the harder it is for people to get their hands on them.
Crowd sourcing as discussed in Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land by Patricia Cohen is a great idea, while the obvious restrictions are obvious to see, it can be hugely beneficial. Opening up items to be seen online for people to have access too can be hugely beneficial. I have seen this first hand through Reddit when people have a question, the online community will be able to solve any problem. It is truly remarkable. Of course in the context of transcribing it can, as pointed out lead to more work fixing mistakes in the long run.

The diary of Mary Martin is an amazing Website that has been executed remarkable. While I don’t have very much personal interest in the subject matter I can only imagine if I did how excited I would be to have it. It sets a very high benchmark for digital preservation. I think information professionals will have to work alongside computer scientists closely if the two are to understand where the other is coming from in order to create a truly worthwhile preservation system. People like me may be a bit gun-ho when it comes to what to keep and what not. While librarians may be over sensitive and it is important to find a middle ground.

As I briefly mentioned earlier we can’t possible tell today what will be useful tomorrow which is exemplified by the Patricia Cohen piece Scholars Recruit Public for Project. Which showed us what would seem like insignificant data of typography and weather conditions of long ago are actually hugely important for piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of historical importance. As important as it is to store things, the system in place is as important so people are able to discover and get access to what they need. That would be of most interest to me rather then what is and what isn’t stored.

Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land By Patricia Cohen

Scholars Recruit Public for Project By Patricia Cohen

The Diary of Mary Martin

White Paper: The Long Term Preservation of Digital Information

Advocates & Change Agents

I didn’t enjoy my first reading of the week. Even though it was short it left a taste of desperation. The most provoking message I picked up in the readings was Librarians don’t know who they are. The Bernard-Barrett short article to me sounded like someone complaining they should be treated as equal just because what they do is a professional vocation. With any line of work it’s what you do and how you do it that gets respect and in this article it sounded like a dead horse was being flogged. If librarians want to get rid of the stigma that hangs over them, they need to be the first to drop it. The second reading got to the bones of a real issue. I am not denying the fact there is a stigma that follows librarians and it will be hard to shift. Until they deal with health care cuts services like health libraries, unfortunately they will be some of the first to go. Librarians will have to fight for every inch just to survive in an economy like the one we are stuck in at the moment.

In the HSLG SHeLLI Report it was touched upon how in America there had been some success stories and in their words it was not all doom and gloom. While this was obviously focused on the health sector libraries it is clear all sectors are suffering due to cut backs. I wonder how many Irish agencies are going outside their front door and abroad to look for possible solutions. I know from my study into South Dublin County Libraries last year they have adopted their strategic plan form Australia and in fact it has been a great success. I would be interested in seeing what is actually being done or is it a case like the first reading of moan, moan, and moan.
While the Bernard-Barrett reading obviously got under my skin because of how it portrayed the message, it isn’t completely lost on me. They have to show their skills and what they can do. I think last week’ “Helping people to manage and share their digital information” is a perfect example of that. I don’t think people know what it is exactly librarians do. I think a great way to get that message across is through the children that inevitable go to libraries either with school or parents encouraging children to read. I know from last year SDCL offer father/son activities. Once you have the attention of people whether it’s through their kids or whatever avenue, it is important to grab it. Another important point is librarians are no longer working as librarians. They have branched out in to a wealth of different fields such as C.I.O’ or Knowledge managers etc and this is a side I would like to explore more.

I think what has been emphasised is the message from the readings done back at the start of term on growing your PLN. Quite often it is a case of who you know and not what you know which might be extremely relevant to librarians. It’s important for them to weave their ways into the foundation of organisations and to become tangled within it. I do wonder if some librarians themselves know where they want to go or they want to do. While ideas can be big and wonderful, they will still remain on paper unless there is a definitive plan


Bernard Barrett- Brief Talk Description and Article