Libraries as learning organisations: implications for knowledge management

Priti Jain (University of Botswana, Private Bag 0022, Gaborone, Botswana. (
Stephen Mutula (Department of Library and Information Science, University of Zululand, Kwadlangezwa, Kwa‐Zulu Natal, South Africa. (

Library Hi Tech News

ISSN: 0741-9058

Publication date: 19 September 2008



The purpose of thi s paper is to describe how libraries are under increasing pressure to become learning organisations for better knowledge management and to cultivate a culture of continuing learning to cope with both current and future changes in the organisations in which they exist.


Literature review and authors” experiences in academic libraries in east and southern Africa.


Learning organisations” role includes knowledge creation, sharing and dissemination and the ability to effectively operate in an increasingly digital environment.

Practical implications

Academic libraries are undergoing tremendous transformations due in part to new technologies, customer expectations, competitive pressures, evolving knowledge‐intensive organisations, and the changing roles of librarians. Academic libraries can be considered as learning organisations involved in intensive generation of knowledge and must operate competitively in order to satisfy customer needs and be able to deal with the challenges and opportunities of the digital environment.


Academic libraries have long been acknowledged as the heart of the institution in which they reside. As a result, they are confronted with challenges and opportunities in the digital environment which they must fully understand as learning organisations in order to redefine and effectively perform their roles.



Jain, P. and Mutula, S. (2008), "Libraries as learning organisations: implications for knowledge management", Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 10-14.

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