Create and build an accessible library - 3 types of content relevant to members

Library: access and share relevant documents in your online group

Online groups in Knowledge Hub have a wide range of collaborative functionality at their disposal to work together and share information with like-minded colleagues. We often find that the group forum and library are the tools that members use most frequently. We talked about the forum in our last blog post: 5 types of discussions that you will find in an active online group. This time, we’re taking a closer look at the library...

The library provides an accessible place for all members to share documents for other group members to download, use, and put into practice. Posting documents in the library avoids having to send multiple emails with attached documents, which can lead to overloaded inboxes and people working from out of date versions.

Whether the group is new and just getting started, or has been up and running for some time, the library is the go to place for members to create a helpful and organised document store. Library items can be shared within folders to help members find the relevant content more easily, and you can like and comment on documents to highlight the most useful content.

When you join any active online group, you’ll notice that there are three types of content in the library.

1. Institutional content is content created by a governing body, lead organisation or subject matter experts.

It normally includes items such as toolkits, research and white papers. This official content is typically readily available on corporate websites, and the community will bring it all together in one place, to make it easy for members to find and use.

2. User-generated content is content that members have created and contributed to the group.

The content usually includes templates, how-to-guides and presentations. These are items that are not easily found through a Google search, and can save group members considerable time through reuse and adaptation.

3. Community narrative content is content about the group and its members.

This type of content is often created when an online group has been established for a longer period of time. It includes interviews with members, achievements the members have made with the support of the group, or in some cases when the group has responded as a whole to influence a decision or direct a way of working.

You’ll often find that each type of library document is found at a different stage of the group’s lifecycle. Institutional content is usually seen in the early stages, whereas you’re more likely to find user-generated and community narrative content in groups that have been up and running for longer.

If you’re a group facilitator, you might want to consider where your group library currently is and what sort of additional content will help encourage your members to connect with each other and share knowledge and information. If you’re a member of a group, you might wish to consider whether there are any documents you could upload to your group library that would help other members in their work.

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Alex Goddard 3 Years Ago
Now, if only people adding documents to the library put more meaningful document titles it'd be perfect!