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1 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions © FAO 2005 IMARK Investing in Information for Development Information Access Management Interventions.

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Presentation on theme: "1 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions © FAO 2005 IMARK Investing in Information for Development Information Access Management Interventions."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions © FAO 2005 IMARK Investing in Information for Development Information Access Management Interventions

2 2 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Learning Objectives At the end of this lesson you will: define possible management interventions to make information access more efficient and cost-effective.

3 3 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions An Information Access Plan must take three considerations into account: the special features of information as a commodity; the sources of external information; and the mobilization and maintenance of internal information. What are the management options for improving the information access activities related to these issues? Introduction

4 4 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Two actions Options usually fall into two broad categories: Assessing information needs, in order to set clear acquisition and mobilization priorities. Encouraging effective and efficient information use.

5 5 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Encouraging information use Four examples of steps to encourage information use: Require staff to cite current information in their project proposals and results reporting. Introduce facilities and procedures to make Internet access as widespread as resources permit. Encourage and reward internal information champions and innovators. Enhance the status and responsibilities of librarians

6 6 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Assessing needs and setting priorities Encouraging information use should be coupled with decisions about resource allocation. How can an organization best spend the money that it has available for information access? The resource allocation process has two parts: Assessment of information needs within the organization. Based on these needs, agreement on priorities as to what information to acquire and what not to acquire.

7 7 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Assessing needs and setting priorities As an example, lets take the case Yelena, a young director of research in an agricultural organization based in Brazil. She wants to do an information needs assessment within her organization. But how? She decides to send a questionnaire to staff members. It will include a list of potential acquisitions, and will ask people to indicate which ones they are most interested in.

8 8 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Assessing needs and setting priorities But the questionnaire is only a first step, and there can be other potential inputs to her needs assessment: We can ask scientists, teachers, and authors to tell us what information sources they use most often. We can also use the list our library has kept of requests that we could not meet, as well of a list of sources that we did not have available…

9 9 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Assessing needs and setting priorities To summarize, Yelena has identified three methods for assessing the information needs of her audiences: 1. a questionnaire, which has to be carefully designed to elicit useful and accurate answers; 2. an analysis of information sources that staff use most often; and 3.an analysis of requests made to the library that could not be met.

10 10 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Assessing needs and setting priorities Yelena realizes that her needs assessment is only half the equation. The other half is available resources. How to balance needs and resources? Yelena needs criteria for setting priorities and for making investment decisions.

11 11 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Assessing needs and setting priorities Frequency of use Number of interested users Currency of information Here are some of Yelenas ideas for establishing acquisition criteria:

12 12 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Acquisition criteria Yelena also wonders if it may be useful to set different acquisition goals for different types of material. In any technical organization, there are likely to be three broad categories of material accessed: GENERAL SCIENCE CORE SCIENCE PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE

13 13 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Acquisition criteria Finally, how should decisions regarding information acquisition be taken? 3. Acquisitions to be made from non-library budgets can remain under the control of individual project managers. 2. Acquisitions financed from the core budget of the organization should be made on the recommendations of groups of subject-matter specialists (perhaps representing departments or faculties). 1. One person should manage the process. 4. The process manager will defer to the recommendations of subject- matter specialists and project managers, but in the event of disagreement, his/her decisions will take precedence.

14 14 of 14 Information Access Management Interventions Summary How to improve information access when resources are scarce? (1) Encourage information use. (2) Assess information needs, and then set clear acquisition and mobilization priorities. How to encourage information use: (1) Require staff to cite current information in their project proposals. (2) Introduce facilities and procedures to make Internet access as widespread as possible. (3) Encourage and reward internal information champions and innovators. (4) Enhance the status and responsibilities of librarians. How to assess information needs. (1) A questionnaire. (2) An analysis of information sources that staff use most often. (3) An analysis of requests made to the library that could not be met. Three criteria for information acquisition. (1) Materials that are used most frequently. (2) Materials that contain up-to-date information. (3) Materials that strike a balance between general science, core science, and professional performance.


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