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The Guichet du Savoir: A service for knowledge sharing and a driving force for change

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to intoduce the Guichet du Savoir, an online information service proposed by the Lyon Municipal Library. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A description of its originality is provided, which is based on three principles: any kind of question is accepted, any question and its answer are immediately published and later archived in a knowledge database easily accessible online; the entire library staff cooperates in providing the answers. Findings ‐ The Guichet du Savoir is therefore a means of exchange with the public, a dynamic encyclopaedia, as well as a means for managing and emphasizing librarian skills. Since its opening, in March 2004, this service has published more than 13,000 answers and represents one of the main driving forces for the library's modernization. Originality/value ‐ Of value to librarians who will see how the Guichet du Savoir comes within the scope of a self-asserting strategy for the library itself, which is no longer perceived as a book sanctuary only, but also as an intermediating force for the circulation and the sharing of knowledge in the information society.
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Keywords: France; Information retrieval; Information services; Libraries; Online databases; Reader services

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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