Whether or not a MBA degree Is necessary It Is universally common that someone who wants to work In an academic or a public library has to hold a Master of Library Science (MILS) or Master of Library and Information Science (MILS) from an ALA-accredited school, even though some Job descriptions do specify that an equivalent degree is also acceptable. However, this Is not the situation for corporate librarianship. You don’t have to hold a MILS or MILS to be a business librarian or an information specialist in a corporate library.
Some library school graduates, in order to justify what they think as business knowledge, hose to get a second master’s degree, MBA in particular. Is that a part of the requirements, or Just a bonus? A survey conducted In 1995 of 103 senior managers revealed that communication skills and speed were valued by them the most, with business and technical knowledge only the third [The value of corporate libraries: Findings from a 1995 Survey of Senior Management].
Although an MBA degree can get someone with knowledge of accounting, financial, marketing, and a better understanding of the overall business environment In which a company operates, It does not turn out to be the case, from the perspective of senior management, for antedates in progress of pursing corporate librarianship or those who are already in their way. It Is traditionally believed that information specialists need to know everything. The truth of matter, nevertheless, Is that knowing where and when to stop is much more important.
Amelia Easel [Value-Added Deliverables], the president of a firm specializing in worldwide business information, provided a more pragmatic viewpoints. She pointed out that results supplied by the library was not the only sources from which final decisions would be made by clients or customers. Ho usually had their own internal team of experts with more in-depth knowledge of market size and corresponding issues. Therefore, whether one should get a MBA degree is more like an Issue of psychological superiority he or she have In order to work equally with colleagues from other departments wealth a corporation.
In fact, there are a number of library schools which offer targeted curriculums for those who may want to work in a corporate library setting, which can be complemented by either related internship opportunities, or independent study, or both [Transitioning to Corporate Librarianship]. Electronic services & Technological expertise Continuing from the above, when asked what is missing from the Library “Took Kit” in a survey described above, only 11% of the managers perceived a lack of business knowledge to be missing from the skill set.
On the contrary, electronic services and technological expertise were cited as a problem by 23% and 21% of these managers, respectively, only following 29% of the respondents who could not name a thing. Unsurprising, electronic services entail technological expertise. They come along together side by side. Then, a question rises as to how important technological expertise and/or partnership with IT department is for someone to be a business librarian and for Incumbents already in such a setting.
Innovative service trends and myriad existing service delivery models in library and information services in the government and corporate arenas were identified in a study based on results of I OFF perceived symbiosis with information technology (IT) department members to be indispensable to move their technology strategies forward [Assess innovation]. Actually, IT departments struggle to offer electronic services without the aid of corporate libraries.
For example, during the whole business cycle of e-book service delivery, relevance of e-books to be procured with business areas of interest, license negotiation with vendors, compatibility with existing systems, ease of integration of e- books into existing workflow, and etc. , need to be resolved by collaboration between two departments, both functions conscious of the fact that they need each other to deliver content and services. [Ebooks in Corporate/Special Libraries]. And in reality, most libraries do partner with the IT department.
Incorporation of one department onto another might work, and there will be a matrix of responsibilities of a leader of the combined department. The separation of two departments is doomed to fail. By no mean does that mean that corporate librarians don’t have to learn about technology at all. Today is the era of technology, which plays a pivotal role in business. No one would afford to ignore how much technology solutions can do even for multinationals, which have facilities and employees in diverse countries, serve many national markets, and thus demand Intranet in order to realize more efficiencies.
Also, it is common see titles such as CIO (Chief Information Officer) or COT (Chief Technology Officer) in these firms. I cannot conjure up a situation where a business librarian-without knowledge of technology – is able to communicate effectively and efficiently with colleagues from the IT department. Taking these into consideration, either School of Information Science or School of Library and Information Science offers courses ranging from hardware to software, from programming to interface design, from social network to user experience, and etc.
In addition to partnership with the IT department, libraries in private sectors also evolve working relationship with other departments within the same parent organization. Librarians in Wright Water Engineers (WE) collaborated with engineering and marketing personnel to produce public Web sites [The Electronic Resources Librarian and Special/Corporate Libraries]. Based on that, they finally built a public portal of engineering best practices documents, which served as a marketing device where prospective clients could see the high-quality work and special services that the company offered.
Librarians also worked together with writers in Coors Brewing Company, leading to the creation of CAMS (Coors Quality Management System), an internal institutional repository which could be used to digitally deliver the standards and specifications that defined the quality of the product and its packaging vital to the company’s image and fiscal bottom-line. Challenges of corporate libraries Training sessions Someone would argue that offering training sessions for other employees should be a part of business librarian’s duties.
The assumption for this point of view is threefold. The first one is that business librarians would have enough time to provide his kind of service. Given the situation that they are assuming more responsibilities and in the process of transitioning to supplying high-value added product and services, I find it unrealistic to agree, especially in a financial institute where there is who would like to come into such additional services provided by librarians. Almost no one would recharge himself or herself in a manner that would waste his or her time.
That is not to say that such sessions are not practical. But in such a fierce and fast-pacing environment, who would bother to things out of his or her schedules by asking risk of losing Jobs unless there is a reason over there, like a certificate that could be used to promote oneself. The third assumption underpinning the statement is that the senior management would admit or even admire the endeavors librarians have done to contribute to leveraging a corporation’s knowledge management.
The biggest problem here lies in the difficulty of devising an evaluation metrics to Justify the budgetary issues. If a library is already mired in such a problem, that would definitely not get it out of trouble. In this sense, if this has been the one of the acquirement of the Job, corporate librarians had better minimize their time and effort for this seemingly attractive service. Internally created documents Is there a policy which specify who owns the copyright of these documents?
What is the policy of using these documents, for example, for providing reference services? And more specifically, how many pages or proportions of a single document can be scanned at most? What if there is or will be a digitization project? Then, how can corporate librarians decide which documents they should digitize should not there be any set criteria? Ways of navigating and finding information
The emergence of powerful search engines such as Google impacts operations of corporate libraries and schedules of corporate librarians, by making it easier to find information through these Internet portals, and thus bringing about the abandonment of general reference services in favor of more specialized ones. Even though content management systems have been launched for colleagues to use, they are already accustomed to goggling everything while librarians still cannot figure out why. What should librarians do to at least protect them from being left behind? And what else should they do to hone their skills?
Conclusion Business librarians are either trying to meet the senior management’s expectations or are compelled to play such a role due to reengineering and reorganization of corporate libraries for the sake of aligning the resources, services, and operations with the overall strategic directions of the parent organizations. Also, unlike traditional librarians who may have a comparatively vague understanding of ROI to the whole community, business librarians ought to pay more attention to themselves as a unit within an organization which does place a relatively significant emphasis on the ratio of output to input.