Information Consulting

Information Consulting

Guide to Good Practice

1st Edition - October 5, 2011

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  • Authors: Irene Wormell, Annie Olesen, Gábor Mikulás
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632858

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Information Consulting presents a closer look at what makes information consultants successful and how they develop a productive relationship with their clients. While most of the books on this subject area are providing the experiences of information consulting veterans on ‘how do you really do it?’, the aim of this book is focused on exploring the nature of information management consulting. This includes the task of the advice-and-guidance variety, such as helping clients to analyze and solve problems or to meet opportunities with the element of ‘What should I do?’. The authors have used their extensive international and professional networks to take the challenge of letting the clients speak about their experiences and expectations in hiring information consultants.

Key Features

  • Unique client perspective: managers and clients talk about their motivation, experiences and advice in the utilization of information consultants in recent case studies conducted by authors
  • Current information and guidance based on the authors’ wide-ranging practical experiences and empirical data (through interviews and questionnaires) collected from several countries
  • ‘top five’ list of consultants´ qualities is presented


Practitioners and students in LIS studies and MA programs at business schools, with reference to the new curricula of the academic institutions and the general business practices; Continuing Professional Education for various groups of professionals

Table of Contents

  • List of figure and tables


    About the authors

    Chapter 1: What is information consulting?


    An information professional: to be or not to be1

    The possible roles: the demands on which information consultants reflect

    Consulting encompasses a wide range of roles and activities

    Chapter 2: Advantages: why information consulting might appeal to you


    Sense of control over one’s time

    Sense of reward from helping clients

    Satisfaction from leveraging one’s experience

    Freedom from corporate politics

    Freedom to ‘pick and choose’

    No ceilings on your earnings

    Chapter 2 checklist

    Chapter 3: Challenges: realities to consider


    Uncertainty and anxiety

    Uneven workloads

    Need for flexibility and being available

    ‘Difficult’ clients

    Proposed location

    Finances: are the necessary resources in place?

    Can you tolerate a slow ramp-up? Should you work part time or subcontract?

    The degree is only the beginning

    Are you a consulting personality?

    Qualities that may trip you up

    Chapter 3 checklist

    Chapter 4: The starting point: make a business plan


    General company description

    Products and services, their features and benefits




    The outlook for the targeted business sector




    Distribution channels

    Sales forecast

    Identifying costs, funding and fees

    Start-up expenses

    Credit policies

    Chapter 4 checklist

    Chapter 5: The legal environment



    Intellectual property and copyright

    Ethics and quality

    Code of Professional Conduct for the Information Consultant

    Chapter 5 checklist

    Chapter 6: Building trust and marketing your services


    Understanding makes reputation and detects niches

    Your ‘business attire’: creating and maintaining image

    Professional visibility

    Word-of-mouth: happy clients do marketing for you

    Electronic promotional brochure

    Chapter 6 checklist

    Chapter 7: Client relations: the key to success


    The request for proposal (RFP): to bid or not to bid?

    Yes, I can help (informal inquiry)

    Preliminary discussions: what, exactly, are you selling this time?

    A preliminary memorandum

    Determining budget scope

    The formal proposal


    Helping the client’s decision

    Signature in hand: now the work begins

    The art of the client relationship

    Delivering the deliverables: report, presentation, discussion

    Handling invoice issues

    Wrap up … and setting up for the future

    Chapter 8: Advice from other information consultants


    ‘Just one more clarification’: agreeing to deliverables vs delivering in advance

    Keeping your integrity: what to do if you’re told what to do

    Maintaining poise and neutrality while getting people to open up

    Encountering concerns outside the official project scope

    The unforeseen circumstances

    Who said that? Protecting the trust client staff place in you

    Losing objectivity or being seen as taking sides

    Do you take the money and run when what the client requests disagrees with what you believe is needed?

    Working with clients in the same industry

    Can work be ‘recycled’?

    Coping with the disappointment of burning the midnight oil … only to see the report collecting dust

    You’re good, and don’t you forget it

    Pass it on

    Chapter 9: Take a leap from being a librarian to becoming an information consultant


    Doing things differently

    Assessing the demands for the information professional

    Culture makes the difference

    Expert practitioner ‘falls into’ consultancy

    Ways of repositioning the librarian profession and schools

    Chapter 9 checklist

    Chapter 10: The clients speak: from a client’s perspective


    The motivation to use an information consultant

    How to find the right consultant

    The ‘top five’ list of consultants’ qualities

    Clients’ advice for future consultants

    Chapter 11: Ahead

    Appendix: Case studies



Product details

  • No. of pages: 216
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Chandos Publishing 2011
  • Published: October 5, 2011
  • Imprint: Chandos Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9781780632858

About the Authors

Irene Wormell

Irene Wormell is a Professor of Information Management in Denmark and Sweden. She has undertaken research and consultancy with a wide range of organizations globally and is part of an extensive international professional network. During 1982-2008 she acted also as consultant in her own company Informatiker Konsult AB in Sweden. Currently she is working in association with the Danish trend analytical bureau Firstmove A/S in Copenhagen.

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent Consultant, Sweden

Annie Olesen

Annie Joan Olesen, is a Director at A9 Consulting in Denmark and leader of the Ability Europe Ltd., Denmark Branch. She is an experienced consultant with a track record of high quality research and deliverables in national, international and EU engagements. With a focus on preparation, presentation and management of numerous international, national and regional projects with a particular strength of accessing a core network of experts having an excellent knowledge of the PSI market across the EU.

Affiliations and Expertise

Ability Europe Ltd and A9 Consulting ApS, Denmark

Gábor Mikulás

Gábor Mikulás is a Director at GM Consulting in Hungary. He has many years experience in working as information broker and consultant. Mikulás is President of the Association of Hungarian Information Brokers (MIBE) and Publisher of the KIT Hírlevél (Library - Information - Society Newsletter), a free weekly electronic paper for information and library professionals.

Affiliations and Expertise

GM Consulting, Hungary

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