by Michael Enyart, Wisconsin Chapter, Business & Finance Division
After a number of years in the profession, I have become a believer in the concept that most information is delivered through your social contacts. In the era of print resources it was the library with the librarian as the social connection that distributed information from those print resources.
Now we are in the time of electronic information and much of it is available to everyone. It is my belief that the librarian is still the social connection to much of what is on the internet. One of the roles that I see for Special Librarians is to be the repository for corporate knowledge. There is an article in the most recent McKinsey Quarterly that talks about companies using the big data that they now have to make decisions. One of the big challenges is that much of this data exists in departments about which there is little awareness of the richness of the data outside of that department. Making sure that everyone has awareness and access to this type of information is in the core competencies of librarians.
What I would suggest is that with the social media and the internet there is still a great need for the librarian, but perhaps not as great a need for the library.
Michael Enyart has been the Director of the Business Library, University of Wisconsin – Madison since 1989.