Patrick Lambe

Keynote – Thursday 4 July


People of the Book: Knowledge in Society and Our Role In It

Librarians, as with many other professions in a time of rapid change, have been attempting to redefine their role in society. The larger effect has been that we broaden the scope of our remit “information and knowledge professionals” while attempting to retain a core of competencies and professional education oriented around the publication and the collection. This can lead to a tension between how we are formed professionally, and what we find ourselves doing in practice. Do we even have a consistent and coherent professional identity any more? In this keynote, Patrick Lambe will take a step back and look at the library profession as one of several professions contributing to a knowledge society. Why are books and collections still important to us in a knowledge society? Where are the gaps and opportunities for a role that is built upon the “knowledge work” that books and libraries represent? How do we understand and adapt to the institutional forces that have revolutionised, improved and corrupted the ways in which knowledge is deployed and valued in society? What is the job that “people of the book” are equipped to do, and how should we be working with other knowledge professions and institutions for the common good? How do our values of human rights, equality, diversity, intellectual freedom, impartiality, inclusion, work out in concrete terms? How do the tasks we do in the midst of a humdrum day tally with our duty to the advancement of the public good, and preservation of continuity of access to knowledge? Patrick will illustrate his talk from the history of the development of librarianship and with examples from his own experience as a librarian and as a knowledge management professional.

Patrick Lambe, Straits Knowledge

Patrick is a globally recognised knowledge management practitioner, who was originally trained in Information and Library Science and worked in academic and special libraries in the UK before moving to Singapore in 1991. He arrived in KM via a second career in training and development, and currently divides his time between Singapore and Ireland. Patrick is the author of Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisation Effectiveness (Oxford: Chandos 2007), co-author with Nick Milton of The Knowledge Manager’s Handbook (London: Kogan Page 2016). He is currently working on a book about knowledge auditing. Patrick is Visiting Professor in the KIM PhD programme at Bangkok University, President of the International Society for Knowledge Organization Singapore Chapter and a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Knowledge ManagementKnowledge Management For Development Journal, and Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation. His 2011 paper on the history of knowledge management “The Unacknowledged Parentage of Knowledge Management” won a Highly Commended Award in the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2012. Patrick is a member of CILIP’s advisory board for the development of a chartership programme for knowledge managers.