The transformation in knowledge services (KS) over the past several years has been fast and the future is not gearing down. The terms used to describe today’s information professionals, their areas of responsibility and their positions are as varied as the organizations for which they work. The one constant in these expanding roles and duties is that the supporting organization’s own mission and business goals govern every corporate information center.
The skills required for information professionals are less traditional today. Desired qualifications have more to do with communication and behavioral skills than organizing and retrieving information. Those core skills are still necessary but organizations are seeking the able individual who can communicate with and relate to his or her clients. In-depth information technology ability is another area of great importance for the new generation librarian. Expanded roles result in new or extended services such as embedded librarians, who are co-located with their internal clients.
Technology evolution is the general influencing factor in every information professional’s life. Information professionals will continue to develop their technical skills and rely on their knowledge and understanding of information structure to help organizations choose the right online tools to meet the information needs of their customers. It most will include cloud applications and ever-expanding Web technologies. Traditional information vendors use new technology to improve the offerings for information consumers and the librarian will be the one taking charge of knowing what’s available and how to use it.