As an information officer you’ll manage and develop information to make it easily accessible to others. You’ll work with electronic information, especially online databases, content management systems, open access and digital resources, as well as traditional library materials.
Information officers aren’t only responsible for storing, categorizing and maintaining databases; they’re also responsible for identifying and procuring information which would be especially valuable for their organization.
Job titles vary so you need to look beyond the title to the actual work you’d be doing. For example you could be called:
- information adviser;
- information manager;
- information scientist;
- information specialist.
Employers of Information Officers
- commercial organizations, including banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies, advertising agencies, media companies and management consultancies;
- professional practices, including architects, law firms, accountants and trade and research institutions;
- professional associations and learned societies;
- schools, further education colleges and universities;
- third sector and voluntary organizations including charities, pressure groups, political parties and church organizations;
- industrial organizations, including manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies;
- government departments and agencies;
- healthcare organizations.
- select, manage and source information resources – both hard copy and electronic – to meet your employer’s or your client’s needs;
- classify, collate and store information, usually using special computer applications, for easy access and retrieval;
- create and search databases;
- catalogue and index materials;
- scan and abstract materials;
- conduct information audits;
- develop and manage electronic resources using, for example, online databases and content management systems;
- write and edit reports, publications and website content;
- develop and manage internal information resources and networks via intranet sites;
- design for the web;
- oversee the development of new information systems;
- respond to enquirers’ requests using electronic and printed resources;
- run effective enquiry and current awareness or ‘alerting’ services and develop communications strategies;
- provide user education via leaflets, websites and tours of the library or information room;
- publicize and market services, through publicity material, demonstrations, presentations and/or social media;
- provide training and advice to colleagues, and sometimes clients, on the use of electronic information services.
You can begin a career as an information officer with an undergraduate degree in any discipline. However, a relevant degree in information management, information science, archive administration or library and information qualification can really boost your chances of securing an entry-level position.
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills;
- IT skills in order to create and search databases, design for the web, manage the web content and intranets, etc;
- well-developed research skills;
- attention to detail;
- flexibility to take on a variety of tasks ranging from managing a unit by yourself to opening the post or unpacking boxes;
- organization and time management skills – to organize resources as well as your own time and, as you progress professionally, the time of others;
- initiative and a creative approach to problem solving;
- customer service skills and commercial awareness;
- confidence and assertiveness;
- team-working skills;
- a willingness to keep up to date with advances in technology and social media.