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Special interactive course before SLA tomorrow: new KM techniques

If you feel like you're hitting a wall when it comes to your KM strategy, like you have challenges you just don't know how to overcome, then tomorrow's pre-SLA course from Nerida Hart and Karen Huffman is a must-attend. You can attend whether you are going to the SLA conference or not.

You might recall Nerida from our podcast with her a few months back. She's Chair of SLA's KM division for 2009. And Karen Huffman is the Chair Elect of the KM Division this year.

The ladies have put together a special interactive course called "The Heart of the Story: Qualitative Evaluation of Library Services Using Narrative Techniques." They'll introduce a new way of thinking about the services that libraries and librarians provide, and how they can add more value to their organizations. It takes place at the Washington Convention Center.

We wanted to learn more about the course, so we did an e-mail interview with Nerida and Karen to get the scoop. Read on below for their responses to find out if you should be attending and what you can gain from it.

*** NOTE: If you want to attend, it's important to act quickly. Registration ends today at the close of business. You can sign up on SLA's Web site or in person at the Washington Convention Center's SLA registration desk. ***

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Who should attend your course?


Anyone who is interested in how you can both evaluate the information service as well as tangibly demonstrate ROI for the service.

What will you be covering in your course? What are some of the particularly interesting points you'll touch upon, or issues you'll provide insight into?

It will cover the issues of information management vs. knowledge management, how to demonstrate ROI for management of the services provided, how to harness management support for the services, and how to use narrative for evaluation, as well as some traditional evaluation techniques, such as surveys.

What type of course will it be?

The course is a combination of lecture style, iterative, and experiential learning. Course participants will not only learn new techniques, but also take part in them, so they get a more effective learning experience.

What do you hope attendees will gain/learn from taking your course?

They will learn new techniques for evaluation and strategy development, as well as tangible experiences which cannot be gained from lecture style learning.

What unique information will you be providing that show attendees won't be able to get from other presentations/events at SLA this year?

How to conduct evaluations using narrative, plus access to the training support materials which could not be delivered using traditional techniques.

How did you pull together the information you'll be presenting? Will you be presenting research you've been doing?

Much of the material has been developed as part of an Australian knowledge management project, which has been delivered across the natural resource management sector in Australia and combined with a series of evaluations conducted in the Australian Government library sector. It won a series of knowledge management awards in 2003 and 2005.

Why did you decide to put this course together?

Because of our commitment to KM and the need for information professionals to look outside their traditional roles and implement new and innovative techniques which can be used right across organizations, not just information services.

What is the date, time, and location of your course?

Saturday, June 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center, room 204B.

How can people register? Is there a cap on attendance?

There is a cap of 50 attendees and registration would need to be completed by COB Friday the 12th. It is $299 for SLA members and $399 for non-members, and they can register on the SLA Web site or in person at the DC Convention Center's SLA registration desk.

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