The Ballad of the Knowledge Café*

*With apologies to Carson McCullers for the shameless title pun.

We were all social butterflies last week at SHR, following hot on the heels of the TFPL Connect event, I hot footed it over to Norton Rose on the Wednesday night for the SLA Europe Knowledge Café in conjunction with AKISS and hosted by Allan Foster and David Gurteen. Having never been to a Knowledge Café event I had no idea what to expect (aside from coffee, and I was right about that) and was pleasantly surprised to find that the question we’d be discussing was “how do you convince sceptical senior management that the information & research service department is worth investing in?” A question that has been putting in a regular appearance at our SHR Networking Breakfasts over the last few years!

SLA Knowledge cafeFor those of you not familiar with the Knowledge Café format, the idea is to stimulate  networking and interesting discussions by giving attendees a short presentation (5-10 mins) and a question to discuss then breaking them up into groups of 3-5 to get down to the serious business of putting the world to rights. You’re encouraged to switch groups every 10 mins or so and join in a roundtable discussion/summary session at the end to compare notes. I found it a refreshing change from the usual presentation followed by Q+A session and would recommend that you pop along next time the Knowledge Café rolls into town.

After all that – I just had time for a quick catch up with the ASLIB team ahead of the AKISS conference on Thursday and Friday…


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