Comparing the knowledge management practices in selected European higher education libraries

Núria Balagué, Petra Düren, Jarmo Saarti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – Knowledge Management (KM) in libraries refers to the systematic management and control of knowledge as an important resource when producing high-quality library and information services. If one wishes to make the optimal use and dissemination of organizational and other work life related knowledge, then one needs to acquire appropriate KM tools and to adopt a systematic procedure for KM throughout the organization. This can exert an energizing effect on the lifelong learning of the libraries’ staff which is essential in today’s rapidly changing scientific information environment. The purpose of this paper is to analyze KM practices is selected higher education libraries. Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative research conducted in three academic libraries – IZUS/Universitätsbibliothek Stuttgart, Germany; Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Library Barcelona, Spain; and University of Eastern Finland (UEF) Library, Finland – makes a comparison of the KM processes being implemented in each of the institutions to ensure the continuous learning of the libraries’ staff. Findings – This comparative study revealed several key reasons and best practices for implementing KM procedures in the selected university libraries. They are collected under three main issues: KM advantages; KM technological opportunities; and KM organizational culture. Research limitations/implications – Based on three cases and thus are mainly examples of the KM implementation. Practical implications – Paper gives tools for libraries and their management on the KM system implementation. Social implications – Based on the paper’s findings the KM implementation in all the selected libraries led to better management and better staff inclusion into the library service development. Originality/value – KM implementation studies are still rare among the libraries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)182-194
    JournalLibrary Management
    Issue number4-5
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2016


    • Academic libraries
    • Knowledge management
    • Knowledge management tool
    • Library management
    • Lifelong learning
    • Staff development


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