Central Knowledge Base: Expanding the Definition

November 4, 2015

Innovative Central KnowledgeBase

In the world of library tech, the term knowledge base (KB) has developed a specialized meaning relating to the management and discovery of e-content. I’m an advocate for defining the KB as broadly as possible. Why shouldn’t it include all things within the domain or available through the library? Traditional thinking about a KB focuses on print and electronic subscriptions, theses, dissertations, and maybe even self-published works.

But what about tools, curriculum builders, blogs, and subject-matter experts? Consider this: Each of these objects has (or has the potential to have) associated metadata. Each is, in a real way, a resource that the library is managing or could manage. Furthermore, each has some value to members of your community and beyond.

The team here at Innovative has put our assumptions aside and taken the opportunity for a fresh look at what a library KB might include. We’re very excited about creating a robust, real-time central KB that empowers library staff and users by more closely and completely integrating knowledge about holdings locally and across entire library systems.

In developing the new Innovative Central KnowledgeBase, we have added some new dimensions to the KB concept. Building on great work done previously by groups like EBSCO Information Services, ProQuest, and Knowledge Base+, we are creating a system as inclusive as possible in terms of content, which also adds new elements such as high-quality bibliographic data and real-time updates, plus open APIs to support automated workflows across multiple systems.

The Innovative Central KnowledgeBase will go beyond e-content and reflect holdings for all areas of a shared system as well as local discovery and local staff views. Automated integration will ensure that accurate holdings are reflected in real time, which eliminates the need to sync across systems. Updated coverage data—combined with automatic catalog updates—will support real-time discovery and access for library users, reports and analytics that librarians can rely on, and the collaborative collection development that occurs in a consortium. Plus the Innovative Central KnowledgeBase will provide high-quality bibliographic data for any title, including MARC, RDA, and Linked Data, so libraries can save money on third-party MARC record services and eliminate time spent on copy-cataloging.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what a central KB should be and how it can help your library succeed. You can contact me at tauger@iii.com.


ALA President Sari Feldman (right) talks with fourth- and fifth-graders in the Thomson Elementary School library classroom.

Seeing How Libraries Transform
Across D.C.

ALA’s campaign includes community outreach and a four-library tour

Mobile Beacon, which provides mobile Wi-Fi devices (pictured above) and grants to libraries and other organizations for Wi-Fi lending programs, is one of the nonprofits that has filed a lawsuit against Sprint over a contract dispute. Photo: Mobile Beacon

Temporary Injunction Keeps Affordable Internet Access at Libraries

Nonprofits that filed lawsuit against Sprint over contract dispute have 90 days to migrate users