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The Library Role in Knowledge Management. Linda Watson, MLS ( ) Director, Health Science Libraries University of Minnesota. Presentation to E-Applications Team – August 11, 2005. Linda Watson, MLS. Positions August 2005 Director of Health Science Libraries at U Minn

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the library role in knowledge management

The Library Role in Knowledge Management

Linda Watson, MLS (

Director, Health Science Libraries

University of Minnesota

Presentation to E-Applications Team – August 11, 2005

linda watson mls
Linda Watson, MLS
  • Positions
    • August 2005 Director of Health Science Libraries at U Minn
    • 1990-2005 Director of Health Sciences Library at U of Virginia
    • 1985-1990 Associate Director at Houston Academy of Medicine Texas Medical Center Library
    • 1975-1985 National Library of Medicine
  • Professional Service
    • Medical Library Association (President 2002-2003)
    • Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries
    • Institute of Medicine Rural Health Committee (2004)
    • National Library of Medicine advisory committees
  • Education
    • MLS Simmons College, Boston
    • BA University of Connecticut
challenges for the ahc
Challenges for the AHC
  • Competition, Costs and
  • Conserving Scarce Human Attention
    • “continuous partial attention” – involvement in a continuous flow of interaction and information in which you can only partially concentrate on each
  • Expanded Definition of “Knowledge”
    • Published knowledge such as books, journals, databases (explicit)
    • Organizational knowledge embedded in institutional processes and people (implicit)
  • Changing Library Roles
background documents
Background Documents
  • National Library of Medicine Long Range Plan, 2000-2005, 2000.
  • AAMC Next Generation IAIMS: Binding Knowledge to Effective Action, 2002.
  • Blue Ridge Academic Health Group: Into the 21st Century: Academic Health Centers as Knowledge Leaders, 2000.
background documents5
Background Documents
  • Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries: Building on Success, Charting the Future of Knowledge Management within the Academic Health Center, 2003
  • Watson and Fuller: Commentary on Managing and Leveraging Organizational Knowledge in The Academic Health Center: Leadership and Performance, Cambridge Univ Press, 2005
national library of medicine
National Library of Medicine
  • 2000-2005 plan envisioned the future (2010):
    • Healthcare: personal health records; information prescriptions
    • Education: simulation, virtual patients, interactive curricula, distance education
  • NLM Planning, 2006-2016
    • Strategic visioning session April 2005
    • First planning meeting Oct 31, 2005
aamc nlm iaims project
  • Next Generation IAIMS Report, 2002
    • IAIMS = Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems
    • Describes standard and leading edge practices in health care, education, research
  • Education:
    • Simulations, online tutorials integrated into practice setting systems; customized curricula with attention to learning preferences; online curriculum databases and evaluation data
    • Required informatics curricula
  • NLM IAIMS Grant Opportunities
blue ridge health group 2000
Blue Ridge Health Group, 2000
  • AHCs should explicitly manage their knowledge as an organizational asset to improve their performance and strengthen their ability to meet both the market and social needs of their immediate community and beyond.
  • AHCs should help current and future health professionals acquire the skills needed to use existing organizational and global knowledge and prepare for new demands associated with their professions in the digital era.
context for ahc learners
Context for AHC Learners
  • The role of “learner” applies to everyone; we are all learners
  • Learning can be explicit (formal)
  • Learning can implicit (informal)
  • Learning goes through stages
  • Learning is a means to an end; one end is performance, another is enrichment

Adapted from Jay Cross: Workflow Institute

Learner Lifecyle

Formal Learning (push)

Informal Learning (pull)






Test / Grades




Trial and error







Coaching / Teaching




usefulness equation
Usefulness Equation

Relevancy x Validity

Usefulness =


David Slawson MD, UVa

  • Orginal context is evaluating evidence based information (Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters)
  • Can also relate to how individuals gather and assess general information for learning
learner trends
Learner Trends
  • Recognition of unique learning styles / preferences; personalization
  • Generational differences
    • digital natives and digital immigrants (Marc Prensky),%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

  • Diverse and non-traditional students
  • Students in clinical rotations remote from campus resources
  • Knowledge management and information literacy (not just computer literacy)
  • Competency based learning (performance)
  • Interdisciplinary / Multidisciplinary
  • Life-long learning (different stages of expertise)
envisioning a learning environment
Envisioning a Learning Environment

Learning Objects

Learning Activities

Lectures, images, virtual patients, molecular models, books, journal articles, patient education, practice tests….

Classes, assignments, journal club, research experience, studying, presentations, practicing skills….

Learning Methods

Learning Environment

Lecture, pbl, lab, patient contact, simulation, vr, podcasts, collecting & analyzing data, conversations…

Learning Places

Classroom, lecture hall, barns & pastures, hospitals, clinics, community, library, home, coffee shop, hallways, transportation (commuting)….

Learning Participants

Students, clinicians, scientists, librarians, patients & families, staff, each other….

Learning Assessment

Tests, portfolios, observation, feedback….

managing a learning environment
Managing a Learning Environment
  • What if we could develop an intelligent knowledge repository that incorporated all the elements of the Learning Environment; tagged and indexed appropriately; linked to an individual’s personal profile; shared across the AHC and beyond
  • Build on work of Medbiquitous (standards), HEAL and MedEdPortal (repositories)
  • A curriculum database on steroids!
knowledge repository requirements
Knowledge Repository Requirements
  • Robust, secure and flexible technology, both central (servers, etc) plus local (the user’s preferred device)
  • People to design the system architecture, standards, policies, user interface(s) and tools
  • People to populate the system with shared content
  • People to use the system (as learners and as teachers)
library roles
Resources: published knowledge: books, journals, indexes, preservation and archives (print)

Design and management of access system

Study space – reading rooms

Resources: same (but increasingly electronic, some born digital, more locally developed)

Integrating multiple access systems

Study space – small group rooms, computer labs, wired and wireless

Library Roles

Traditional - 1990

Evolving - 2005

library roles17

Select resources

Organize resources

Preserve resources

Answer questions

Teach how to find information

Librarians same, plus

Develop/deploy tools (like blogs, wikis, pda services)

Teach in curriculum

Go on patient rounds

Partner on research teams

Partner in the community

Library Roles

Traditional - 1990

Evolving - 2005

partner in patient care
Partner in Patient Care
  • Clinical information systems linked with knowledge-based resources
  • Funded “clinical information specialists”
  • Librarians support patient education and facilitate “information prescriptions”
  • Research studies link library services with improved health outcomes
partner in the community
Partner in the Community
  • Increased information outreach to the underserved, including native populations
  • Librarians partner with public health networks, local health coalitions, health literacy efforts, and public libraries
  • Partnerships with business
  • National partnerships
library roles the future
Library Roles – the Future
  • Part of the system development team
    • Information organization, dissemination, and archiving expertise
    • Content from licensed resources (online books, journals, images, databases)
    • Local content (ie training modules on information management)
    • Development/deployment of tools for information customization (Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasts)
    • Training of faculty and students to maximize use of the knowledge repository
some challenges
Some Challenges
  • Understanding individual user preferences and information-seeking behaviors (an anthropological approach)
  • Integrating “just-in-time” learning in the clinical environment
    • How to connect the AHC’s Knowledge Repository with disparate clinical information systems and policies
some challenges22
Some Challenges
  • Even after building a Knowledge Respository for a Learning Environment…
  • How to provide knowledge access to ALL AHC constituents
    • the hospitals where students train
    • students and their mentors in community preceptorships
    • Patients and families; the community
  • Issues are technology, politics, restrictive license agreements