The role of Namibian ministerial librarians in knowledge management
MetadataShow full item record
The core traditional functions of the library namely collecting, processing, disseminating, storing and the utilization of documented information in order to supply information services and resources, have changed. In the information / knowledge society era, the library manages both external and internal knowledge of the host organization. This can be achieved through the process of collection of relevant information, processing, organizing and dissemination to ensure that information / knowledge contents housed in the library are retrievable and accessible to the targeted audience, using various dissemination channels. Librarians ensure that the targeted audiences are equipped with the skills to locate, evaluate, and use available and useful information / knowledge effectively, by providing information literacy training to them. Studies have found the visibility of librarians in the knowledge management environment to be very low and the utilization of their skills to be minimal. Therefore, this study investigated the practice of knowledge management by ministerial librarians in Namibia. The study relied on the Bukowitz and Williams Knowledge Management (KM) framework (2000). This framework is appropriate to the study because it consists of different stages (GET, USE, LEARN, CONTRIBUTE, ASSESS, BUILD / SUSTAIN, AND DIVEST) that address the themes of the focus of the study,thus making it relevant to effective and efficient knowledge management in an enterprise such as the government ministries.The method of data collection and analysis employed was qualitative, with semi structured interviews. The results of the study revealed that few ministerial librarians are practicing knowledge management by ensuring that they are identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing the ministry’s knowledge/information assets, for it to add value and improve the performance of employees as they contribute to the strategic missions of the ministries. Viewed from that perspective, the findings reveal some barriers which prohibit ministerial librarians to effectively practice knowledge management, which among of them include: inadequate training; limited resources for ICT infrastructure adaption and purchasing of resources meeting the needs of the ministry; staffing shortage, bureaucratic system, and others. Based on the findings, the researcher therefore recommends that certain measures need to be put in place to address the short comings to effective knowledge management so that ministerial librarians are able to render services to their users for them to become independent lifelong learners.