Friday, July 3, 2009

A TraLIS? What's that?

Diagram: Graeme Siddle. Click to enlarge.
It is a library and information service which serves the needs of people who work at all levels of international trade. This is what it looks like diagrammatically. It may be located in a company, a government organisation or an educational institution.
Central to its success is a person with qualifications and experience in librarianship or information and knowledge management. A trade library and information service staffed by a suitably qualified and expereinced person is able to match a person's information need with appropriate resources in the format that delivers the best result. This may be a book, image or academic peer-reveiwed journal in electronic format.
A TraLIS ideally would include an information portal which presents gateways to evaluated sources of trade information, but a website or information portal alone is not a TraLIS.
It would also include a catalogue which recorded available resources particularly but not exclusively in digital formats. The catalogue software used would make it possible for the TraLIS manager to fully exploit information sources with subject headings, tags and analytical entries. - the New Zealand School of Export Library catalogue using Koha software is an example of how this can be done.
A Trade Library Information Service would also be embedded within an organisation which includes experts such as practitioners in all aspects of international trade, or teaching staff and adjunct faculty. They are living information sources which the enquirer can tap into through links made by the TraLIS manager.

Can you add or expand, critique this explanation?

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