Friday, May 16, 2014

Information Culture in the Agency

Another speaker at the 2014 FEDLINK Spring Exposition at the Library of Congress was Rob C. Thomas, Deputy CIO, FEMA.  Here's a summary of his remarks.

Talk about Big Data often misses the essential connection between those seeking knowledge and the information.  The human factor is the key.  Librarians and information professionals make the difference.
Every federal agency has an obligation to leverage information.  We need to leverage information to serve the core mission of the agency.

Information is a strategic asset.  It is dynamic and it needs to remain agile.
Strategies evolve to meet the changing environment.

  • We must collaborate with others and increase participation and engage the whole community to leverage and make use of the data.
  • We need to have participation by all stake-holders.  Collaborate to improve effectiveness across the agency.
  • Transparency is needed to promote accountability.
  • Release information on a regular, on-going basis.
The culture of an agency is the source of its action or its apathy. 

Obtaining the knowledge needed will make the difference.
If the Information Culture in an agency isn’t fed and grown, it will stifle.

Information that is shared is the ripple in the pond.  It will stir the waters and help make things happen.
It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.  – Mahatma Gandhi (citation needed.)

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