At the 2012 SLA conference, ProQuest brought together a powerful panel of information industry practitioners and thought leaders to discuss information issues. The panelists' answers to the question about how information professionals can redefine their service offerings and their value proposition yielded a wealth of advice. Make it useful, make it convenient, be proactive, and stay relevant. Mary Ellen Bates, president and founder of Bates Info Services Inc, began by pointing out that information is a commodity; it's no longer scarce. Communication emerged as a recurring theme as the panelists answered the question about redefining information services. Roger Summit, founder of Dialog, identified customer relationships as another opportunity. Based on observations of info pros conversing with customers about an information request, Summit sees the need for empathy with the customer.
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