This week, SLA Europe hosted its first event in Manchester, around the theme of future readiness of corporate information services. Allan Foster took us through some of the key findings of his recent survey of information managers for Business Information Review, and how these findings could be applied to info pros in all sectors. The evening was a great success – despite a double booking at the venue meaning Allan had to deliver his presentation in the beer garden!

There was a wide range of sectors represented – at the SLA Blogger’s table, there were government, health,  law and academic librarians, plus a few library school students. It was notable from the case study used as a talking point, and the results from Allan’s survey that despite the corporate focus of both, all present recognised the issues raised as being pertinent within their own sectors. It was a great reminder that despite the differences in working practices between sectors, ultimately librarians in all sectors are working towards the same goals.

Some of the key issues that came out of the discussions included the need for information services to raise their visibility; work with senior management to understand the importance of LIS; and work with vendors to maximise the value of paid-for services. Efficient communication – both within teams and within the organisation as a whole – was highlighted as being particularly important, as was ensuring that the information services is aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals.

Many thanks to Allan for such a thought-provoking and entertaining evening – and well done for coping with the unusual setting! Thanks also to everyone who came along, many to their first ever SLA Europe event, and helped make the evening such a success.

The results of Allan’s survey will be published in a future issue of Business Information Review. Allan has also written about this topic for SLA’s Future Ready 365 blog.

One of the attendees has also written about this event on her personal blog:

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2 comments on “Is your information service Future Ready?”

  1. Allan Foster

    Thanks for the complimentary comments SLA Blogger! I enjoyed the evening, particularly as it was the first event held in Manchester, such a major city in the history of industry and business and enjoying a healthy present with developments like Media City.

    Whilst the venue was unorthadox(!), the participants were excellent, many with lots of very relevant experience to share. We must develop such a local network for future themes and discussion!

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