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.
Recently some students came from UNAM, auditing knowledge at the National Library of Namibia and the Archives. I was one of the people audited. It is interesting to see that Namibia is recognising the importance that knowledge can have on the development of the country. However, it is only a few institutions that are aware of the importance of knowledge. Therefore all organisations should shift traditional approaches to knowledge-based approaches of making things happen.
On Friday, 9 May 2008, I was in a meeting at work that lasted for about five hours. At this meeting, a co-worker raised an issue that I will not forget in my career. She said, “the little knowledge that we (reference desk personnel) have can expire if we do not get training” to enhance the skills required to serve the users more effectively at the National Library of Namibia. Given that I am studying at the University of Namibia and carrying out a research on “The training needs for teacher-librarians in the Khomas region”, I was convinced that surely every employee has training needs in order to fill the gaps that they see as stumbling blocks in their careers. But the fact is that knowledge does not expire, except if it is not shared and used. Thus the saying “knowledge shared is knowledge multiplied”. It is my advice that as librarians we should share our expertise, insights, and knowledge of what we know.
Libraries in Namibia can utilise on the use of Web 2.0 in many ways. In terms of improving information services to the users, libraries in Namibia can give satisfaction to users. This is because today’s generation is a generation of technology and so the users want to experiment using new technology. In addition, Librarians and other library and information professionals can be able share and communicate information very quickly. They can contribute to the content that is sent to them and vice versa.