About the Knowledge Management Section


The growing interest in KM by the IFLA community was confirmed by the approval of Knowledge Management as IFLA Section in December 2003. The KM Section is a unit in IFLA's Division III (Library Services).

With this growing interest in the implementation of Knowledge Management through out the library and information environment, LIS professionals have expressed a need for a deeper understanding of KM's many dimensions and its relevance to their work. The IFLA KM section endeavours to facilitate the application of KM in libraries by developing a program of activities that supports information professionals implement KM in their own organizations.

Working definition of knowledge management

KM is a process of creating, storing, sharing, applying and re-using organisational knowledge to enable an organisation to achieve its goals and objectives. KM is extending the concept of "knowledge" beyond existing concepts like "memory", "storage", and "information". The term covers such areas as tacit knowledge (expertise), implicit knowledge, explicit knowledge and procedural knowledge.


KM encompasses many dimensions of organisational management and the activities of the Section are intended to reflect this by providing a broad platform of integrated activities, through working co-operatively with other IFLA sections and divisions, and appropriate professional organisations.

The objectives of the Section are to:

  • support the implementation of KM culture in libraries and information environments
  • provide an international platform for professional communication and understanding of the significance of KM for librarians and their institutions
  • follow the developments in KM and promote its practical implementation within the IFLA community

To meet the demand of librarians to enhance their skills in an ever changing work environment, the Section seeks to provide theoretical and practical knowledge in areas of KM such as:

  • knowledge sharing
  • improved measures of performance
  • being value-oriented rather than just service-oriented
  • explore the "pros and Cons" of KM implementation
  • utilize interactive communication in information settings to enhance knowledge sharing
  • using IT for converting knowledge into information for use
  • knowledge retention and preservation


  1. The KM Section aims to work collaboratively with other sections to develop sessions and programmes that focus on various aspects of KM and explore areas of mutual interest e.g., education and training; professional development; LIS theories and methodologies; intercultural communication; organisational development; IT and media.
  2. To share "best practice" examples and case studies to make KM applicable to a wide range of information professionals in libraries and information centres, worldwide.
  3. Investigate how professional associations influence and support the implementation of KM in libraries and information environments.
  4. Maintaining a KM Section website as a repository of KM information, KM list-serve for communication and distribution of information relevant to section members and publishing a twice yearly newsletter.


We welcome everybody to contribute to the work of the KM Section and to support us with creative ideas and suggestions that will develop this subject area within LIS.

All new members need to submit an application form to IFLA Headquarters. Application forms and membership information are available on the IFLA website or by request from IFLA HQ.

Mailing List

The Knowledge Management Discussion List is an open list for librarians and others interested in discussing the issues of the "new" field of knowledge management, particularly with regard to setting up such a function in their libraries or organizations.The List will also provide an opportunity for discussion about the activities of the IFLA Knowledge Management Discussion Group.

NOTE: KMDG-L is open for the public

Recommended readings

Knowledge Management

Last update: 24 May 2019