Information is the foundation of our society: we couldn’t function without the access to relevant information. From transportation to healthcare, information is one of the driving forces that sustains human existence. Information… “is what we often talk about, it appears frequently in the media, it’s often labelled our most important asset” (Bawden & Robinson, 2012, p. 24). Hence, it is of vital importance that government agencies organize, manage, and collect information in the most efficient and effective manner. The information environment of government agencies is focused on providing information to top government decision-makers for developing public policy. Furthermore, the information professional employed in this special library/information environment provides staff, and sometimes the general public, with information when requested. Moreover, public and private organizations must strategically leverage Knowledge Management, Information Access and Retrieval, and Information Architecture in order to achieve optimal performance and fulfill its mission. In fact, these three concepts implemented in concert are more effective for improving information management.
Knowledge Management – Knowledge management as an organizational strategy concept is a relatively recent discipline. Nonetheless, a sound knowledge management strategy helps guide decision-making in both public and private organizations. According to O’Dell and Hubert (2011) knowledge management is a systematic effort, through which information and knowledge can grow and flow; thus adding value and enhancing organization performance. In the artifacts km whitepaper and modern history of urban mass transportation project I reveal the importance of knowledge management to decision-making in a real world information environment within the United States Government. So then, the artifacts demonstrate the importance of merging strategic planning and knowledge management; and employing digital and multimedia technology to improve information flow, data integrity, retain institutional knowledge, and enhance organization performance.
Information Access and Retrieval – An organization’s ability to access relevant information and use it to achieve their goals is probably one its most important functions. However, there are elements surrounding the access of information that are important for the information professional to understand. Some of these elements include: 1) information literacy and behavior; 2) Ethics awareness and engagement; 3) Information services and tools; and 4) Information evaluation. The access and retrieval of quality information must encompass a thorough understanding of each of these elements to succeed in locating information that will meet the needs of the user. The social sciences question set demonstrates how the information professional can assist the user with finding relevant, current, and substantial information in the humanities and social sciences.
Information Architecture – Frank Lloyd Wright was one of America’s foremost architects. In 1889 Wright began designing some of the most iconic homes and public buildings in the world. As we consider the concept of information architecture, it’s important to realize the principles of information architecture, as applied to website and information retrieval systems, have the same complexities as a well-designed Frank Lloyd Wright creation. The website redesign project artifact highlights the importance of information architectural design to achieve the following: the website is usable; contains excellent content; has good navigation; has appropriate links; and includes information that is understandable and easy to find.
Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2012). Introduction to information science. Chicago, IL: Neal-Schuman.
O’Dell, C. & Hubert, C. (2011). The New Age in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management is Changing the Way We Do Business. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.