There are a number of big challenges ahead if the UK is to thrive in the knowledge-driven economy.
Four stand out for CILIP:
- The transition from manufacturing to a knowledge driven economy will see the value of intangible assets such as intellectual property rise.
- Increased mobility within the workforce means the ability to telecommute is more attainable than ever. This brings with it an increased threat of competition, especially from overseas, as digital economic activity reduces dependency on location/proximity to clients and colleagues.
- Recognising the “I” for information in ICT. Information needs managing well and the skills and expertise of information managers need acknowledging as they will be an essential component to future success in a knowledge driven economy. This includes important areas such as information governance (e.g. freedom of information, data protection, copyright), data assurance and security and more recently the use of big data
- Ensuring a digitally and information literate population able to participate in all aspects of human life whether as consumer, employee, learner or citizen.
Libraries, especially public libraries and those serving educational institutions, are important in addressing the literacies necessary for life.
Libraries should be a partner within all local digital skills partnerships. They have a presence in most local communities; they are trusted institutions; and they have skilled staff.