Here at the System, we are working on improving the effectiveness of our internal communication. One of the issues that has repeatedly come up, over and over, boils down to the difference between-

Those who are “in the know” and those who are not. This division can be looked at two ways as follows-

Based on one’s own mindset:

How much information do I need versus how much information do I want?

And from two prevailing perspectives-

You only need as much information as it takes to do “your job” effectively versus you need to know as much as possible in order to do “your job” effectively since your job is to move the entire organization forward.

I’m not going to go into the specifics as they pertain to us, which include various listservs and meetings that are not always inclusive when they could be–that is something that our Communications Pit Crew is working on. But I’m fairly certain that this dilemma will resonate with many of you.

We all know them–our coworkers who want to know everything that is going on and our coworkers who don’t want to be bothered with knowing anything that is going on outside of their specific job parameters. And those in between, of course.

But in looking at the two extremes, which way of thinking does library culture reward? Who helps the process and who hurts it? Is it better to ask questions to find out more even though you’ve not been made privy to certain information, or is it better to just not care and wait to be told when and if someone deems it pertinent to you?

Who should decide what you “need” to know? And perhaps most importantly, how much organizational information is enough to not only do your job effectively but to be valuable to the organization as a whole?

I’ll say right up front that I can’t work in a bubble. I like to know what’s going on around me so that I can contribute on many levels. I don’t want to know just for the sake of knowing. I want to know in case I find myself in a situation where I should have known something but didn’t. If someone doesn’t tell me; I’ll ask. I see that as a strength, not a weakness.

What say you?