01/12/2012 Leave a comment
One of the panel discussions at the Online Information Conference 2012 was about influence and leadership. The key question posed was “where is our profession heading and what does it mean we must do now?”
Inevitably, there were some different views from the panelists and audience as to the precise nature and shape of the profession concerned e.g. information professionals; knowledge professionals; library professionals etc and the extent to which ‘it’ was/is a recognised (by industry and business) as a profession in the same way as, for example, Accountancy or Marketing. For me, the discussion and Q&A session got a little muddled between the concepts of ‘the profession’ and ‘being a professional’ – the latter term being applied to the host of organisational employees who, one way or the other, are involved in information and knowledge management.
Interestingly, the ‘profession’, in the guise of journalists, media, and information management experts formed a key part of a talk given at TFPL Connect on 29 November 2012 by Jonathon Charles, Director, Communications EBRD. In his talk Jonathon questioned what information we should trust, given that there are ever-increasing amounts of it available. Put another way – if there is no definitive version of the truth, and every piece of information is a version of the truth; then in what information should we trust?
His next point reminded me of the panel discussion at Online and of what it means to be a ‘knowledge/information professional’. To quote Jonathon “trusted guides hold the key to the digital age”.
In the same way that we need trusted guides to help us navigate a difficult path or route, we also need trusted guides to help us navigate through the knowledge and information sources/overload we often find ourselves drowning in, and to help steer us toward knowledge and information that we can trust and act on.
I wonder how long it will be before we see someone in ‘the profession’ with the job title of Trusted Guide?
Photo from Indiana Public Media’s photostream on Flickr