KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND LIBRARY DIGITALIZATION IN THE 21st CENTURY: DOCUMENTAL OVERVIEW
The purpose of this study was to review literature related to knowledge management and library digitization. The study used exploratory research designs. Specifically, the study reviewed literature related to the development of knowledge management in connection with library digitization, the dynamic role played by the librarians in utilizing knowledge management in library digitization and the benefits and limitations of library digitization. Digitization of libraries has been witnessed globally due to the impact of technological growth and the demand of users that keep changing due to their needs and interests. Today’s modern libraries depend mostly on electronic resources that are highly diversified in terms of products and services that they offer. The concept of knowledge management has been adapted in modern libraries worldwide because of the need to manage library resources in digital forms that need special scientific attention. Knowledge management has increasingly become vital for the libraries to address the increased demand of the users. Technological changes have altered the way people read and how they use information by revolutionizing the concept of libraries. Unlike the conventional library system, digital library usage has intensified with the help of information communication and technology through the use of computers and web technologies to address the needs of the users. The modern digital libraries serve as knowledge dissemination centers allowing easy access to resources and information that would not be easy to find in physical form. Modern digital libraries are acting as a platform where knowledge management is leveraging the intellectual assets and as well as facilitating knowledge creation. But, their success sorely depends on the ability to acquire, create, store, share and utilize that kind of knowledge. The success further depends on the digital librarian’s ability to search for information, select, acquire, organize, preserve and disseminate such useful information to the right user at the right time. Knowledge management is a process that is applied in the collection of information and it governs the creation, dissemination, and utilization of the documented knowledge to the end-users by utilizing digital knowledge. Knowledge management has given modern libraries a new role by becoming a leading player in managing knowledge. Acquisitions of knowledge management tools are however vital for effective library management activities. Digital libraries have thus implemented the use of computers, databases and library software so as to facilitate improved library activities. The utilization of these systematized electronic tools enhances the effectiveness and performance of librarians to serve the information users in the digital environment of the modern library setup. Key benefits have been documented regarding digital libraries like; Round the clock availability, accessibility by multiple users and quick information retrieval by users who are remotely located. However, digital libraries have some key bottlenecks that continue to bother librarians. Such may include, the effect of changing technology which requires constant technology updates, security issues related to unauthorized access and virus attack, copyright, and data migration issues and lack of skilled manpower on the part of librarians.
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