The Business of Information

A Workshop for Information Professionals

This workshop addresses the need to approach the provision of a library and information service as a business, and will cover three major issues facing information professionals.

Firstly, an effective library and information service must continually be aware of the business in which it operates and it is essential to undertake research in order to understand the customer and the market as well as the products or services that are offered.

Secondly, information professionals by now know that they have to change their approach to providing a service (especially relating to the Web 2.0 environment).  One of the areas where they have been reluctant to address is that of marketing themselves and their services.

Finally, not only in marketing activities but also in many other aspects of the business, the topic of cultural change arises.  The inability to effect behavioural change can be an enormous barrier but has to be addressed successfully before any improvements can take place.

Who should attend:

This workshop is aimed at all levels of the information profession but will be especially valuable to those directly responsible for user services and for those with managerial responsibility.

Where, When and How Long?

The workshop lasts for one day, typically from 9:30am to 4:30pm, and can usually be given at your own premises.  Shorter or longer workshops can be organised depending on your specific requirements.

How to book:

Contact Shaida Dorabjee to arrange a suitable date and venue.

This workshop will cover:

  • Investigating the information service through a SWOT analysis - an exercise in identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  • Specific issues identified will be discussed with the aim of addressing ways in which the weaknesses and threats can be turned into strengths and opportunities.
  • Understanding the market through a PEST analysis - identifying political, economic, strategic and technical influences. A look at the broader business environment enables the information service to be examined in this context.
  • Researching the customer through an Information Audit: What is it; why undertake an audit; different types; different methods.
  • The role of the information professional in a Web 2.0 environment - Handling electronic information and the increase of collaborative technologies.
  • Information asset lists and mapping exercises: what are they and why do we need them.
  • Marketing: why a library and information service needs a marketing arm, and how do we do it without a budget.
  • Raising your profile - addressing the image, perceptions and expectations of an information service.  Role play exercises in order to get delegates used to selling themselves and their products.
  • Cultural change: why do we need to change the way we work, or indeed think.
  • Practical solutions for effecting successful change. The toothbrush test.


The workshop covers practical ways in which to investigate the product, the market and the customer, and then focuses on marketing the service and changing the culture.

The workshop will comprise presentations, discussions and some role play if required.  Real issues which the delegates want to discuss will be addressed and the workshop will be highly participative.  The workshop will focus on practical outcomes and will enable delegates to produce of clear and achievable objectives for themselves, which can be acted upon straight away.