Re-engineering our role: A case study of a corporate library at the cutting edge

ALIA Library

Sherwin, Kim

ALIA Information Online 2015 Conference, 2-5 February 2015, Sydney: at the edge.
Corporate librarians need to be relevant to the needs of the business in which they operate. In tough times, the corporate library is often the first to go, but how did this geographically disparate team get ahead of the game and become central to plans of the organisation? This paper will explore the journey that this team undertook, to be an integral part of the business, as well as developing their professional skills at the same time.
The paper will explore the methods undertaken to develop a cutting edge regional corporate library team and to develop highly skilled professionals, beyond what their training gave them. This will include providing an overview of the diverse business and the culture of the company. The paper will form a case study and focus on practical examples, including exposure and visibility as a form of marketing, business development research and current awareness, the design and delivery of a comprehensive regional training program, blurring of roles and moving into the corporate knowledge space and engagement with research as a means of innovation. It will also include how activity based working was trialled – to embed the team within the business, as well as having an input into the re-design of the physical space.
Diversification, investment from the leadership and a consultancy approach put the team on the road to success. This paper will look at the future of the information professional and library service in the corporate sector, as well as the new skills and approaches that every corporate librarian should consider to ensure relevancy and ultimately survival.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association