Who else, other than librarians, are knowledge brokers?

I think that the upshot of a discussion* on infomediaries (in agriculture and health) is that they are needed at every stage of information distribution – through research workers, practitioners to the general public.

I personally believe that researchers and practitioners need infomediaries as they do not have the time and expertise to do other than simple, uncomplicated searches on medline. But another interesting part of the discussion was on the part played by ‘translators’ or repackaging for different groups and especially the general public. It is in these areas that infomediaries are most needed.

Apparently the mobile phone market has reached 500 million subscribers in Africa and they are making imaginative use of this technology. There are masses of actual and potential schemes to provide people with the information they need to stay healthy and to update the people who care for them. The sort of repackaging that needs to be done (written, spoken, video) to meet the needs of different groups and communities is surely a wide open field for research and new practice for infomediaries.

* http://www.knowledgebrokersforum.org/

Jean Shaw


About jgreigshaw

I work with Partnerships in Health Information which promotes partnership between libraries in Africa and the UK with an emphasis in African leadership. I have visited Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Zambia though Phi has contacts in many more African countries.
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