Knowledge economy refers to the ever-increasing use and application of knowledge in all sectors of the economy. As outlined in Namibia’s Vision 2030 and NDP1, 2 & 3, the country should be a Knowledge -Based Economy by the year 2030. Therefore, there should be the development of viable, profitable and high value-added knowledge intensive industries.
Individuals and teams have goals. From these goals, we must learn using knowledge before, during and after drafting. Knowledge in people and networks must be captured and stored for usage in some matters. Leadership and our work environments must enable knowledge to take place.
The contribution of libraries to a Knowledge-Based Economy is providing access to targeted subject information which adds value to economic development activities. Knowledge centres concept focusing on indigenous or cultural knowledge should be created or established. Jay Liebowitz (2006: p. 16) say that, with the population”graying” and organizations facing potential knowledge drains, the advent and importance of KM and strategic human capital management play critical roles for society. A knoweldege-based economy (KBE) in Namibia can be achieved if knowledge audits and knowledge harvesting take place in organisations – both public and private.
The saying “knowledge is power” has often being mis-interpreted in many organisations. Some people think knowledge is power when they do not share what they know, with others. The reality is knowledge is power only when it is shared. If knowledge is not shared, however, it may become obsolete and outdated. But if we continue to share what we know, we increase or broaden our knowledge because we gain different ideas from others.
In the some African traditions, elders say that wisdom is acquired from others and that everybody learns from asking questions. It emerged two weeks ago when I was attending a workshop that most fresh graduates who are employed in government are seen as “intruders”. These graduates; when asking about anything at work; are often asked the question “what did you learn at university”? Some are told that “I learned that all by myself, so you must also learn on your own”.
This is definitely not the way knowledge management should be conducted. Rather, people should be encouraged to share knowledge and the receiver should acknowledge the source.
When books and other library materials are selected, they should meet the needs of the communities the libraries are serving. However, sometimes this is not the fact. Selectors of library materials try to get what they want to read and use. They therefore, are not interested in fulfilling and meeting the needs of their users.
We should then forge ahead to delivering materials suitable to our library users. In this way, every individual in Namibia will be able to get an education and knowledge. New skills will be developed and adapted through reading various materials with diverse ideas.
A librarian is more than a teacher, a parent, a lawyer and beyond an ordinary man’s imagination. The librarian gives more assistance to the reader as well as trying to teach them to rely upon themselves and become independent. The librarian’s mission is to further the education of the masses, from the individual’s school years and going beyond university to recreational.
The librarian is an educator who “creates and stimulates a desire for knowledge and who directs its use” (Green: 1876, p.80). In addition, the librarian stimulates public thought, moulds public opinion, and educating to all of the higher possibilities of human thought and action. He or she is on the mind of every citizen who needs to find an answer.