UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Reconfiguring Knowledge Ecosystems : Librarians and adult literacy educators in knowledge exchange work O'Brien, Heather, 1977-; De Forest, Heather; McCauley, Aleha; Sinnamon, Luanne; Smythe, Suzanne


Knowledge exchange, also called knowledge translation, mobilization, or transfer, increasingly factors in university strategic plans and funding agency mandates. The growing emphasis on research that includes community engagement and making research knowledge more accessible and useful for nonacademic constituents often brings in knowledge brokers, whose activities promote sharing of research knowledge among different actors. In this article, we consider how librarians and adult literacy educators engage in this work as professionals uniquely positioned to advance knowledge exchange initiatives. Three initiatives in British Columbia, Canada, involve academic librarians and adult literacy educators engaging in knowledge exchange work in transformative ways. We describe how they are reconfiguring knowledge making, sharing, and use with constituents and bridging nonacademic and university communities. This approach disrupts traditional notions of who produces and consumes knowledge and who is an expert while acknowledging how place-based approaches are essential for advancing knowledge exchange initiatives.

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