IFLA Knowledge Management Standing Committee Annual Report 2015-2016


It’s a pleasure to report on the exciting time spent together in Columbus for the 82nd IFLA Conference. It was a very busy time: a satellite meeting in Cincinnati, our own open session, a joint session with Academic and Research Libraries Section, the traditional Knowledge Café organized in cooperation with Library and Research Services for Parliaments and Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning, the presentation of the volume issued in December, Knowledge management in libraries and organizations: theory, techniques and case studies . All our programs were very successful: the open session on social media (“Using social media at work: How to share knowledge, improve collaboration and create a mutual savoir-faire?”), even if the very last session of the Conference, was held in a really packed room. The statistics from IFLA show that it was among the 10 most successful sessions, being the first one among those without simultaneous interpretation. I want to thank the organizing committee for the great work done, and especially the chair, Julien Sempéré, who was so strongly committed.


  • The joint session with ARL on the provocative theme Brave new world – the future of collections in digital times: services without content OR content in context?” (Session 94) had an outstanding parterre of presenters. Steffen Wawra, chair of the program, made excellent choices and he offered us and to the over two hundred attendees a really stimulating panorama of best practices. The large number of questions from the floor confirmed how fruitful the session was.
  • Monica Ertel, who represented the KM Section in the joint organizing committee for the Knowledge Café on “Continuous learning in libraries & their communities, did an excellent report immediately after the conference that you can find on our blog . The discussions around the tables (all full) were amazing, as usual, and very pleasant, too. The conversation can continue on the blog, expressing opinions on the issues, the proposals, and the best practices described there.Knowledge Cafe 2016 Columbus, Ohio USA
  • The satellite meeting was hosted by the University of Cincinnati, thanks to the Dean of University Libraries, Xuemao Wang, former chair of the KM Standing Committee. The meeting concretely demonstrated how conversations drive knowledge sharing and give birth to new ideas. Starting with excellent presentations on the theme “Sharing Practices and Actions for Making Best Use of Organizational Knowledge in Libraries”, all the attendees contributed – describing their experiences, successes and missteps. You can find all the presentations on the KM wiki. I want to thank Spencer Acadia for the great work he did, chairing and organizing the conference and all those who collaborated with him. A special thanks goes to the University of Cincinnati Libraries, which hosted us and to IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology), which generously provided us with lunch and support materials. We are very grateful to them. We hope to do even better next year, so we are already working on the IFLA Conference 2017 and the Satellite Meeting that will be held in Wrocław on the theme “New Directions in Knowledge Management”.
  • In the past months the SC opened a wide discussion on how to really be “The Voice of Global KM” as we aim to involve as many professionals as possible in the activities of the Section and how to better spread information about those activities. The result was a Communication Plan, which is now accessible on the KM section of IFLA website. The Communication Plan integrates communication activities as a necessary part of each KM Section program and requires all the members of the Standing Committee to be actively involved. Our efforts in this direction are encouraged by IFLA PC, which, while assigning the Communication Award to Public Libraries Section and New Professional Special Interest Group, recognized that Knowledge Management Section “has made an effort to use different tools to strengthen the knowledge base of their professional sector and reach out to experts from outside the IFLA community through a wiki-style portal which they plan to develop and a completely renewed newsletter. We’ll be watching progress with this.”
  • Our Section is sponsoring the establishment of a new SIG: IFLA Digital Humanities (DH)/Digital Scholarship (DS) Special Interest Group. The proposal was approved in March 2015 and a successful exploratory meeting was held at WLIC 2016 in Columbus. We believe that DH/DS is a crucial issue for IFLA mission, therefore I hope that you all will follow and support the work of Xuemao Wang, proposed Convener of the SIG, to succeed in this feat.
  • The KM Section brochures in the IFLA official languages are available on the web site as a tool to promote and spread our common work and KM in general among librarians and information workers from all over the world.
  • The IFLA Knowledge Management Newsletter offers a twice yearly review of our work, as well as other articles on knowledge management and interviews with those involved in KM. Published in June as a pre-conference issue and in November as a post-conference issue, it serves as a reference point and index to the various KM activities and makes for an easy retrieval guide over time. You can follow current work on the activities of the KM Standing Committee through the IFLA website and our social media accounts: our blogIFLA KM wikiLinkedInFacebook, and the hashtag #IFLAKM on Twitter (Twitter account @IFLA_KM), and Flickr.

You can have a more complete idea of our achievements in the past months by reviewing our Annual Report 2015-2016 and Action Plan 2016-2017 for further details about our activities.