Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

General BoK Discussion Group

TELSIG Journal Discussion Groups meet on a monthly basis to discuss articles relevant to tertiary institutions. Each article is connected to a LIANZA Body of Knowledge (BoK).

There are four groups:

  • Manukau: meets on the third Wednesday of the month at the Manukau Institute of Technology Library at 5.30 pm.
  • Auckland CBD: meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6 pm at Galbraiths.
  • Wellington: meets on the last Monday of the month at 5.30 pm at Avida.
  • Virtual group: meets on the last Thursday of the month at 5 pm.

To join a group, please contact Melanie Brebner.

We also have a TELSIG Journal Discussion Group Facebook forum.

(You do not have to be a registered librarian to participate in a TELSIG Journal Discussion Group).


Monthly Journal Articles

January 2019 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Gaston, N. M., Fields, A., Calvert, P., and Spencer, L. (2016). Raranga te kete aronui: Weaving social and cultural inclusion into New Zealand Library and Information Science education. Advances in Librarianship, 41, 373-399. doi: 10.1108/S0065-283020160000041031

Discussion questions:

  • What does your organisation do to ensure that indigenous perspectives and non-Western worldviews are integrated into service delivery?
  • How effective do you think documents such as Te Whariki (page 380) have been in effecting change for Māori in New Zealand?
  • Do you agree that the requirement of LIS professionals to demonstrate their learning and understanding of mātauranga Māori will lead towards achieving higher levels of social consciousness in this area? (See page 390). What suggestions do you have to engender improvement in this area?
  • If you are professionally registered, discuss how the inclusion of BoK 11: Understanding Māori Knowledge Paradigms has raised your level of consciousness. How has this impacted your service delivery?
  • Do you think the LIS sector in New Zealand is doing enough to effectively contribute to enabling Māori success?
  • “The new LIS professionals graduating from Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, Victoria University of [Wellington] and Te Wānanga o Raukawa have social justice embedded in their education, and are given the tools and knowledge to provide LIS service within this context”. (Page 395). How well do you think modern LIS education in New Zealand emphasizes indigenous knowledge, non-Western cultures, and non-Western worldviews throughout the curricula? How do you think this could be improved?
  • As a result of reading this article, what will you do differently?


November 2018 - BoK Cluster 5: Understanding Management in Information Organisations

Coates, H. L., Carlson, J., Clement, R., Henderson, M., Johnston, L. R., & Shorish, Y. (2018). How are we measuring up? Evaluating research data services in academic libraries. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6(1), eP2226. doi:10.7710/2162-3309.2226

Discussion questions:

  • Has your workplace carried out any evaluation or assessment of a research support/research data service?
  • What evaluation and assessment approaches were used?
  • Share your experience of the types of methods you have used to assess or evaluate a library service or your own practice.
  • After reading and discussing this article, do you think your library or organisation could do anything differently when assessing a library service?

October 2018 - BoK Cluster 4: Understanding Information and Communication Technologies

Rothera, H. (2015). Picking up the cool tools: Working with strategic students to get bite-sized information literacy tutorials created, promoted, embedded, remembered and used. Journal of Information Literacy, 9(2), 37-61.

Discussion questions:

  • “[D]espite having been taught these skills in Library-based IL sessions, and shown the various paper and online reminder guides, many students were confused about both locating specific known journal articles and researching articles on a given topic, as well as struggling with technical hurdles of login and access to e-resources” (Page 41). Discuss this statement with regard to empirical or anecdotal evidence from your organisation or elsewhere.
  • Does your organisation use “bite-sized” sessions or drop-ins to teach information literacy skills? How effective are these?
  • Has your organisation collaborated with students to produce information literacy materials? If so, how successful was this? Would you recommend this approach to others?
  • What research has your organisation undertaken to ascertain what information literacy resources students need or want? Were there any surprises?
  • How easy is it for students to find your organisation’s information literacy resources? What other channels do you think could be utilised?
  • What, if anything, would you do differently as a result of reading this article?

September 2018 - BoK Cluster 3: Information Resource Management and Knowledge Management

Hicks, A. (2015). LibGuides: Pedagogy to oppress?. Hybrid Pedagogy. Retrieved from

Discussion questions:

  • Does your library use LibGuides? Have you noticed trends in their use? If you can, what caused them?
  • How valid is the author's argument that “when we design LibGuides around the key search tools in a field, we isolate research from reading and writing processes.”? In what ways could this be avoided?
  • Here are examples of less conventional uses of LibGuides: LibGuides as Virtual Library Tour:  LibGuide as library’s homepage. LibGuides within LibGuides. What are your thoughts?
  • How might your library change their use of LibGuides as a result of reading this article?

August 2018 - BoK Cluster 2: Understanding Information Needs, Generation, and Access

Mart. S. N. (2018). Results may vary in legal research databases. ABA Journal, 104(3). Retrieved from 

Discussion questions:

  • Thinking about  databases you use, what search functions do you primarily use, and why (e.g. natural language, Boolean searching, etc)?
  • In terms of the algorithms used by different databases, what do you think of the variability of percentages of relevant results returned in the study (from 39.7% to 67% (figure at top of page 3))?
  • How much do you trust the algorithms to deliver results ranked by relevance?
  • Do you think we should demand greater algorithmic accountability from publishers?
  • What is your experience with relevance-ranked results?
  • Think of an experience you’ve had with searches delivering the wrong results. What effect do you think it had on the research?
  • How (if at all) would you improve the search functions that you use to refine relevance rankings in results?
  • What do you think about the bias/viewpoint discrimination of publishers discussed near the end of the article?
  • What are the implications for user education, e.g. in terms of training?

July 2018 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Uncles, M. D. (2018). Directions in higher education: A marketing perspective. Australasian Marketing Journal26(2), 187-193.

Discussion questions:

  • What evidence, if any, do you see of the industrialisation of the tertiary education sector in New Zealand?
  • Who do you think should bear the cost of having a well-educated workforce? The government/taxpayers/society? Employers? Individuals?
  • Do you think New Zealand has acheived a good balance between private benefit and public gain when it comes to tertiary education?
  • If not, what do you think needs to happen to achieve this? 
  • How has your tertiary institution responded to these challenges?
  • How is your library responding?
  • Are you heartened or fearful of the changes in today's education system?

June 2018 - BoK Cluster 6: Understanding Māori Knowledge Paradigms

Sciascia, A. (2017). Māori learner success in tertiary education: Highlights from Ako Aotearoa supported projects.  Retrieved from

Discussion questions:

  • Which of the projects interests you most and why?
  • What projects/ initiatives in this area is your organisation currently collaborating on?
  • What is one thing that you, as an individual, can do to support Māori learner success?
  • Who is a role model for you in the area of creating doorways for Māori students? 

May 2018 - BoK Cluster 5: Understanding Management in Information Organisations

Farrell, M. (2013). Leadership mistakes. Journal of Library Administration53, 439-450. doi: 10.1080/01930826.2013.882198

Discussion questions:

  • Do you agree with Moropa (page 440) that “leaders tend to blame others or circumstances for their failure instead of focusing on the real causes of failure and dealing with them”?
  • Think about the best and/or the worst boss you have ever worked for. What were their qualities?
  • Of all the leadership mistakes listed in the article, what are the 2 or 3 that resonate most with you? Can you think of any that are not listed?
  • Do you agree with Cervone (page 445) that “when hard choices need to be made, leaders must consider the end-user needs over the preferences of staff”?


April 2018 - BoK Cluster 4: Understanding Information and Cummunication Technologies

Deakin University: Deakin Genie (video 5:14)

Watson@Deakin University: Phase 1 (video 5:18)

Developing the Genie AI using Watson question-answering software.AI in education: The Genie of Deakin University (from the Medium blog)

Further reading

Wikipedia article about Watson

Discussion questions:

  • A key feature of Genie is that it uses natural language. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this?
  • What is Genie’s source of information? How accurate and up to date is it?
  • Does this app devalue the expertise of librarians?
  • Will AI enhance or replace traditional library services?
  • How do you get institutional buy-in for this type of tool?

March 2018 - BoK Cluster 3: Understanding Information Resource and Knowledge Management

Singley, E., & Natches, J. (2007). Finding the gaps: A survey of electronic resource management in Alma, Sierra, and WMS. Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 29(2), 71-83.

Discussion questions:

  • In their literature review, the authors quote Blake and Collins (2010), who compare electronic resource management to “a sequence from a Kafka novel”. Do you agree with this statement?
  • Which of the three groups of resource management tasks from TERMS (Techniques for Electronic Management) does your present library system cover best?
  • What tools does your library use for electronic resource management in addition to your ILMS?
  • Do you believe library systems can evolve to the point where they can be used to manage the whole electronic resources workflow?


February 2018 - BoK Cluster 2: Understanding Information Needs, Generation, and Access

Szunejko, M.,  & Foran, K. (August 2017) Linking up Australia and New Zealand: Trans-Tasman collaboration and the evolving resource sharing ecosystem : IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2017, Wroclaw, Poland, August 19-25, 2017 : Proceedings. Retrieved from

Discussion questions:

  • Is regional cooperation and resources sharing still important?
  • Has the changing publishing environment (e.g. the expansion of e) impacted on resource sharing?
  • How aware are your patrons of ILL?
  • What do you think is the future of resource sharing?

January 2018 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Ferguson, S., Thornley, C., & Gibb, F. (2016). Beyond codes of ethics: How library and information professionals navigate ethical dilemmas in a complex and dynamic information environment. International Journal of Information Management, 36, 543-556. 

Discussion questions:

  • What ethical dilemmas have you faced throughout your career in the LIS sector?
  • Do you agree that "ethical conflicts and ethical dilemmas appear wherever information is generated, organized, stored, distributed and consumed"? (p. 544, citing Valtoon Preisig, Rösch, & Stükelberger (2004, p. 12)) Why or why not?
  • "[W]hile the technologies have changed, the dilemmas faced by information professionals are not significantly different". (p. 545, citing Buchanan (2008)). Discuss this statement.
  • Is there any evidence suggesting that new technologies have made an appreciable difference to ethical dilemmas faced in your organisation?
  • In what ways do you think your approach to ethical dilemmas may alter as a result of reading and discussing this article? 

December 2017 - BoK Cluster 6: Understanding Māori Knowledge Paradigms

Māori Tertiary Reference Group. (2003). Māori Tertiary education framework: A report by the Māori Tertiary Reference Group. Wellington, New Zealand: Māori Tertiary Education, Ministry of Education.

Retrieved from website:

Discussion questions:

  • “The framework is intended to be a treaty-based model established on partnership.” (See page 5). What is your understanding of this? Can you give examples of where true partnership with Māori is evident in Aotearoa New Zealand?
  •  Has your library or organisation used this framework to inform initiatives to date?
  • To what extent are the guiding principles evident in your library or organisation? How do you think this could be achieved?
  • Which of the priority areas are evident in your library or organisation and in what way?
  • Which of these objectives and/or action points do you think it would be possible and appropriate to implement in your library or organisation?
  • Has your library or organisation ever conducted a cultural audit to assess the extent to which it is meeting the framework objectives?
  • To what extent do your library’s or organisation’s learning environments reflect the ways of learning preferred by Māori students and support Māori learners? (See page 28)
  • Page 31 refers to “redefining literacy in Aotearoa as a Treaty-based concept of biliteracy, based in te reo Māori and the English Language”. How do you think this can be achieved?
  • What role do you think libraries could/should play in supporting the teaching and assessment of Māori knowledge in accordance with protocols and boundaries set by is original holders and kaitiaki? What is your library or organisation doing to achieve this at present?
  • What can you implement in your library or organisation as a result of reading and discussing this report?

November 2017 - BoK Cluster 5: Understanding Management in Information Organisations

Woods, H. B. (2013). EBLIP and active learning: A case study. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 8(4), 93-109.

Discussion questions:

  • Have you had any formal preparation for any teaching or presentation aspects of your role?
  • Do you consciously apply evidence to such teaching practice?
  • What kinds of evidence do you apply?
  • Is your work environment supportive of the ongoing development of your teaching practice based on evidence? If so, how?
  • Are there ways in which we could incorporate active learning techniques into our journal club sessions to make them (even) more effective?

October 2017 - BoK Cluster 4: Understanding Information and Communication Technologies

University of Central Florida. (2017). infolit: Badges [Student page]. Retrieved from

University of Central Florida. (2017). infolit: Badges [Faculty page]. Retrieved from

Discussion questions:

  • Are digital badges a gimmick or something more?
  • What do you see as positive aspects of using digital badges for information literacy in libraries?
  • What do you see as the drawbacks?
  • How might you use this in your libraries?

September 2017 - BoK Cluster 3: Understanding Information Resource and Knowledge Management

Walters, W. H. (2016). Evaluating online resources for college and university libraries: Assessing value and cost based on academic needs. Serials Review, 42(1), 10-17. doi: 10.1080/00987913.2015.1131519

Discussion questions:

  • Who is responsible for collection development and selection of online resources in your library? What pressure points can arise between faculty, reference or subject librarians, and acquisitions staff in this process?
  • How valid is the author's argument for quality over quantity in your library context?
  • "Our job is not to help students complete their assignments more easily, but to learn through the process of completing their assignments". Do you believe that collection development can help meet this goal?
  • To what extent do you agree with the author's five guidelines for the selection of online resources and his framework for measuring cost-effectiveness?

August 2017 - BoK Cluster 2: Understanding Information Needs, Generation, and Access

Schaub, G., Cadena, C., Bravender, P., & Kierkus, C. (2017). The language of information literacy: Do students understand?. College & Research Libraries, 78(3), 283-296.

Discussion questions:

  • What examples do you have of language in library and information work that creates a barrier for staff or students?
  • How do you assess what level and kind of language to use when working with students? 
  • What are the differences in communicating online rather than face-to-face and how do you deal with these?

July 2017 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Discussion questions:

  • MBIE states that “copyright seeks to incentivise the creation and dissemination of original works”. The Australian Productivity Commission refers to the balance between copyright owners and consumers and intermediate users. Do you think the current New Zealand legislation is achieving a good balance between copyright owners and consumers and intermediate users?
  • What is your understanding of the difference between the “fair dealing” exceptions in our current legislation and “fair use”?
  • How would adoption a fair use approach affect your patrons?
  • Do you think New Zealand should follow Australia in adopting a fair use approach?
  • What other aspects of the current New Zealand legislation do you think need to be addressed in the current review?

June 2017 - BoK Cluster 6: Understanding Māori Knowledge Paradigms

Jacob, B. (2014). Pre-literate Māori knowledge frameworks as post-literacy strategies. New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal, (52)4, 7-10.
Link to article:

Discussion questions:
  • Do you agree that the “printing press and subsequent mass production of text was an anomaly in the history of human civilisation” (page 7)?
  • To what extent to you think the digital age is heralding the beginning of a “secondary orality or post-Gutenberg parenthesis” (page 8)?
  • What place do you think Māori knowledge will have in a second orality or post-Gutenberg parenthesis?
  • How much do you know about the use of “the marae and the carved meeting house as a metaphor for conceptual constructs of information structures” (page 8), kaupapa Māori and mātauranga Māori as Māori information frameworks? To what extent are they incorporated into teaching, learning and research at your organisation? Where do you send students who want to know more about these information frameworks?
  • Do you think whakapapa and waiata could “be used to explain and communicate the multi-modal nature of important information skills”? Can you think of ways this might already be happening in your organisation or elsewhere? How do you think this does/would affect Māori students?

May 2017 - BoK Cluster 5: Understanding Management in Information Organisations

Asher, A. & Miller, S. “So You Want to Do Anthropology in Your Library? A Practical Guide to Ethnographic Research in Academic Libraries” (The ERIAL Project). 
Link to article:

Discussion questions:

  • What type of research does your library predominantly conduct – qualitative or quantitative? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages that might result from changing your approach in the future?
  • Discuss any projects in your library that you think would benefit from an ethnographic study.
  • How do you currently select participants for your research? What has worked well for you? What has not worked?
  • Which of the ethnographic research methods outlined on pages 13 and 14 would you like to try in your library?
  • Discuss any research your library has conducted that has generated a service change.

April 2017 - BoK Cluster 4: Understanding Information and Communication Technologies

Tumbleson, B. E. (2016). Collaborating in research: Embedded librarianship in the Learning Management System. The Reference Librarian, 57(3), 224-234, DOI: 10.1080/02763877.2015.1134376

Discussion questions:

  • Does your institution have a Learning Management System (LMS)? If yes, which LMS is used?
  • What, if any, are the main barriers to having a library presence within the LMS?
  • What involvement do librarians have in the LMS (e.g. putting material online for students to use or involvement in teaching and assessment or support via live chat)?
  • Can you get library-related data from the LMS, e.g., usage of readings or page views of library website material?
  • Does your library provide online materials or teaching support that don’t use the LMS?   

March 2017 - BoK Cluster 3: Understanding Information Resource and Knowledge Management

Schmidt, J. (2016). Developing a library collection today: revisiting “Collection evaluation, the Conspectus and chimeras in library cooperation”. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 47(4), 190-195. doi: 10.1080/00048623.2016.1250598

Discussion questions:

  • How has your library collection changed in the last five years?
  • What tools does your library use to evaluate your collections?
  • What measures or criteria most influence changes in your approach to collection management?
  • How do you except library cooperation and collaboration to change in the future?
  • When collection access not ownership is the primary focus, how much can we “manage” our collections?

February 2017 - BoK Cluster 2: Understanding Information Needs, Generation, and Access

Cullen, R., & Chawner, B., (2010). Institutional repositories: assessing their value to the academic community. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 11(2), 131-147.

Discussion questions:

  • Does your institution have an IR? If yes, what were the main considerations in favour of establishing an IR? If no, what have been the main considerations against or obstacles preventing establishment of an IR?
  • What do you think are the benefits and disadvantages of an IR?  If your institution has an IR, has it realised the anticipated benefits?If your institution has an IR how well used is it? What proportion of your institution’s research output is captured by the IR? Does your IR focus mostly on student research, such as theses and dissertations, or on staff research? Where do your faculty members publish their research, if not in the IR?
  • Do you use your institution’s IR, or any other IR, as an information source?
  • If you were planning to make your own research available in an open access repository, would you prefer to use an IR or a subject repository? Which do you think your faculty members would prefer?
  • Do you think that current methods for evaluating research outputs for tertiary institutions encourages publication in closed access sources e.g. academic journals?

January 2017 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Greenland, K. (2013). Negotiating self-presentation, identity, ethics, readership and privacy in the LIS blogosphere: a review of the literature. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 44(4), 217-225.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you write a blog?  If so, why? What about? Is it private or public? Is it personal or for your job?
  • Do you read blogs? If so, why? What are they? How do they help you professionally?  If not, why not?
  • Can you maintain your privacy if you write publically?
  • Are you, as blog author, accountable for the comments on your blog entries? Should they be mediated by you to ensure you control the content?
  • Do you agree that publically blogging as a librarian, means you potentially are representative of all (or a subset of) librarians as a result of your writing? If so, how might this affect what you write?

December 2016 - BoK Cluster 6: Understanding Māori Knowledge Paradigms

Whaanga, H., Bainbridge, D., Anderson, M., Scrivener, K., Cader, P., Roa, T., & Keegan, T. T. (2015). He Matapihi Mā Mua, Mō Muri: The ethics, processes, and procedures associated with the digitization of indigenous knowledge—The Pei Jones Collection. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 53(5-6), 520-547.

Discussion questions:

  • What are the key ethical considerations when collecting and digitising taonga?
  • Have you experienced similar projects?  Share with the group what you did or learned.
  • Are there any challenges with applying the guiding principles for digitising as described on page 534?
  • At the top of page 534, the authors mention crowd-sourcing  to develop and enhance content.  Are you aware of this approach in other digital projects? Has it been successful?

November 2016 - BoK Cluster 5: Understanding Management in Information Organisations

Luca, E. & Narayan, B. (2016). Signage by design: A design-thinking approach to library user experience. Journal Of Library User Experience, 1(5). DOI:

Discussion questions:

  • Does your library/libraries’ signage help in using the library confidently and effectively? How would you know? Have you ever tried to find out?
  • Has your library ever conducted a signage audit? If so, what did you find?
  • Do Schmidt & Etches five 2014 signage classifications – directional, identification, instructional, regulatory, and informational – used by the authors apply equally well to your library signage? Are they missing anything?
  • What about Luca and Narayan’s sixth category of fun and delightful; do you see a value for such signage in your library? What “personality” do you think your library signage conveys? Is it accessible? Bilingual? Playful? Professional?
  • Luca and Narayan used ethnographic techniques such as observation, shadowing and interviewing users of their library followed up with prototyping and usability testing. Do you see a value for these techniques in your library organisation and if so, are there other aspects of your spaces and services these could be applied to?

October 2016 - BoK Cluster 4: Understanding Information and Communications Technology

Mirriahi, N., & Alonzo, D. (2015). Shedding light on students' technology preferences: Implications for academic development. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice 12(1) Retrieved from

  • Are there any surprises in these findings?  Do they equate with other research that you have done or read? 
  • How could you use these findings to improve access to library online resources?
  • How is your institution addressing the need to integrate library resources into online learning spaces?
  • What kind of support do you offer students with limited IT knowledge or access?

September 2016 - BoK Cluster 3: Understanding Information Resource and Knowledge Management

Kattau. M. (2012). Re-presenting the library collections: A story of principles, pathways and partnerships. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 43(1), 17-31. DOI: 10.1080/00048623.2012.10700620 

Discussion questions:

  • What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of a multi-disciplinary approach to collection development?
  • At Macquarie University Library, 75% of the annual acquisitions budget is spent on the licensing of access to electronic resources (see page 19). How does this compare with your library?
  • How likely do you think it is that your library would move to an ASRS? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • Basic principles for the open (browsable) collection are listed on pages 19 and 20. How do these compare with your library’s broader collection development policies?
  • Does the 80/20 rule of collection usage (see page 20) apply to your library?
  • What do you think of the parameters mentioned on page 20 for automated retrieval collection? How do you think it would differ for your library and why?
  • What sort of discipline profiling and consultation does your library use to inform your collection development?


August 2016 - BoK Cluster 2: Understanding Information Needs, Generation, and Access

Bunnett, B., Boehme, A., Hardin, S., Arvin, S., Evans, K., Huey, P., & LaBella, K. (2016). Where did the reference desk go? Transforming staff and space to meet user needs. Journal of Access Services, 13(2), 66-79.

Discussion questions:

  • What is your current service desk model?
  • Do your statistics show a similar decline in reference transactions as experienced at Indiana State University?
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of creating a single service point.
  • Do you think the reference desk is an outdated model of service? (See page 69).
  • What are your thoughts on the importance of information literacy compared to reference services?
  • Discuss any improvements you think could be made to your current service model.

July 2016 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Ferguson, S., Thornley, C., & Forbes, G. (2016). Beyond codes of ethics: how library and information professionals navigate ethical dilemmas in a complex and dynamic information environment. International Journal of Information Management, 36, 543-556.

Discussion questions:

  • What ethical dilemmas or situations have arisen in your workplace? What happened? How were they dealt with, etc?
  • Do you think new technologies raise ethical issues for LIS professionals? How? Why?
  • Have you had any experience of this?
  • What resources are you aware of that could assist you in dealing with ethical dilemmas? What would be the ideal?

June 2016 - BoK Cluster 6: Understanding Māori Knowledge Paradigms

Naepi, S. (2016). Navigating the currents of Kaupapa Māori and pan-Pacific research methodologies in Aotearoa New Zealand. Mai Journal 4(1), 71-84.

Discussion questions:

  • The author discusses the tuakana-teina relationship between Māori and Pasifika peoples (page 73). Have you noticed examples of this relationship in your organisation?  How does it work in practice? Or does your organisation tend to treat Māori and Pasifika people as one group?
  • What was your response to the idea that when undertaking kaupapa Māori based research “there is a Māori presence in the research team who has equal rights to the principal investigator”? (page 74) and that “Māori involved in the research (as participants, researchers, consultants and so forth) have the right and ability to interact with the research at the same level as the principal investigator” (page76). Is this something that European methodologies could also embrace?
  • What happens in your institution to ensure that the research outcomes are reported back to research participants? Is it different for Māori research compared to Pākehā?
  • What is the disadvantage that the author identifies in regards to research participants who have dual identities? How might this be overcome?
  • The article focuses on research, but what learning from this article could you carry over into other aspects of your work?

May 2016 - BoK Cluster 5: Understanding Management in Information Organisations

Murdoch, C., & Hearne, S. (2014). Becoming user-centric: implementing a user focus and usability testing for an academic library website. Paper presented at LIANZA Conference 2014: Pou Whakairo - Connect & Thrive, Auckland, NZ.

Discussion questions:

  • Has your library’s website been redesigned? Which research approach was used in the redesign?
  • Web design often makes use of personas. Do you think personas provide an accurate picture of all your users or is there another approach to identifying your audience?
  • AUT used heatmapping to provide quantitative data for website usage. What other services could usage data be used to inform change?
  • This paper focuses on the advantages of user focused research in developing services and resources. Are there disadvantages also? If so, what would these be?
  • Usability testing is often associated with website design and development. Could usability testing be used to evaluate and inform the development of other services?
  • Does your library have a social media presence? If so, was this based on researching the demand for this?

April 2016 - BoK Cluster 4: Understanding Information and Communication Technologies

Tritt, D., & Kendrick, K.D. (2014). Impact of cloud computing on librarians at small and rural academic libraries. The Southeastern Librarian, 62(3) Article 2, 2-11.

Discussion questions:

  • Does your library/institution use cloud-based services?
  • What services do you have access to?
  • What cloud services do you use personally, if any?
  • Why did your library start using cloud-based services, eg, to bypass ICT restrictions?
  • How has using cloud-based services helped you or your library or institution?
  • What benefits would a cloud-based library system give?

March 2016 - BoK Cluster 3: Understanding Information Resource and Knowledge Management

Wells, D., & Sallenbach, A. (2015). Books and ebooks in an academic library. Australian Library Journal, 64(3), 168-179. doi:10.1080/00049670.2015.1041216

Discussion questions:

February 2016 - BoK Cluster 2: Understanding Information Needs, Generation, and Access

Claire Regnault. (2015, October). The Berry Boys: The little project that could. Paper presented at the National Digital Forum Conference 2015, Wellington, New Zealand.

Discussion questions:

  • How does this project demonstrate the willingness of the public to be involved and share information?
  • How do the points noted in the Agile Manifesto compare or contrast to your own work environment?
  • How did connectivity across time, geography and media encourage participation and further use of resources?
  • In what ways did this project encourage the development of the customer’s literacies for accessing and using information?
  • In what ways was the collection documentation enhanced?
  • Does your library have a collection which could benefit from the “lessons learnt’ as noted in this presentation?

January 2016 - BoK Cluster 1: Understanding the Information Environment

Sarah Houghton. (2015, November). Library ethics in the 21st century. Paper presented at LIANZA Conference 2015, Wellington, New Zealand.

Keynote slides:

Documents referenced in the keynote:

Discussion questions:

  • Does your library use client information for any legitimate use, other than day-to-day operations, for example, profiling to aid in collection management or for marketing uses?
  • Has your library ever been pressured into releasing client information internally / externally?
  • Does your library retain physical borrowing records? if so, for how long? What about digital borrowing records?
  • Is privacy really possible in the digital library environment?
  • Can we really guarantee either of these principles for digital products where overseas vendors could monitor individual user behaviour? Should we inform our users specifically about this?

November 2015 - BoK 11: Awareness of indigenous knowledge paradigms, which in NZ context refers to Māori

Mead, H. M. (2003). Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori values. Wellington: Huia Publishers.

Please read Chapter 3 (Ngā Pūtake o te Tikanga: Underlying Principles and Values) and Chapter 7 (Te Pōhiri: Welcome Ceremonies).

Discussion questions:

  • Discuss your experiences of any pōwhiri/pōhiri you have been to.

  • Have any of your ideas about or feelings towards some of the protocols surrounding pōwhiri/pōhiri changed since reading the extracts?

  • Are there any Māori words in the extracts that are new to you or that you had only a limited or misconceived knowledge of?

  • “Tapu … is present in people, in places, in buildings, in things, words, and in all tikanga” (Page 51 of the ebook version). To what extent do you think the concept of ‘tapu’ exists for non-Māori? For example, do you think tapu is present in libraries?

  • “Most tangata whenua appreciate a good effort being made to engage in the dynamics of the pōhiri ceremony” (Page 169 of the ebook version). Discuss ways of making a good effort to engage in the dynamics of the pōwhiri/pōhiri ceremony. Whose responsibility do you think it is to inform participants of the protocols and procedures involved? How well do you think your library or institution does this?

  • If you have time, you might like to listen to the LIANZA waiata, or another waiata that is relevant to you.


October 2015 - BoK 10: Quantitative and qualitative evaluation

Fagan, J. C. (2014). The suitability of web analytics key performance indicators in the academic library environment. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(1), 25. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.06.005

Discussion questions:

  • Which, if any, of the types of analytics discussed in the article (commerce, content, support/self-service) are available in your library?

  • Do the staff entrusted with designing/maintaining specific areas of online library content/services (subject guides, special collections, for example) have access to these measures?

  • What value would there be in the academic library environment in selecting key performance indicators for specific library staff based on web metrics? What is your reasoning for your answer?

  • What would need to happen before you would be willing to take on a key performance indicator that was based on web analytics? Do you already have one in your job description?

  • Would it be useful to be able to benchmark and compare across academic libraries?

September 2015 - BoK 9: Management of information agencies

Kennan, M. A., Corrall, S., & Afzal, W. (2014). “Making space” in practice and education: Research support services in academic libraries. Library Management, 35(8/9), 666-683. doi:10.1108/LM-03-2014-0037

Versions are available at:


Discussion questions:

  • Are the changes to supporting research indicated in the article similar to what is happening at your library?  What are the changes you are experiencing?
  • What are the challenges in managing the development of the new and increased research support services being undertaken by academic libraries?
  • How do we ‘make space’ for not only changing support for research services but other demands on academic libraries? As alluded to on page 680, what, if anything, can be dropped from LIS education or the professional services academic libraries offer to staff, students and institution?
  • What skills do Librarians need to reflect the emerging trends in research support now and in future?

August 2015 - BoK 8: Information resource management and knowledge management

Lehman, K. A. (2014). Collection Development and Management. Library Resources & Technical Services, 58(3), 169-177.

Discussion questions:

  • Demand-driven acquisitions (DDA) mean that “Rather than purchasing what librarians anticipate patrons want, libraries are purchasing the resources at the point at which it is used or requested by the patron… a shift from the just in case model  to just in time, with the focus moving from collections to usage and the decision  moving from librarians to patrons” (page170). What are your thoughts on this statement?
  • There is a shifting balance of print and digital resources. What do you think are some of the challenges with this shift?
  • Open Access (OA) is becoming a consideration in e-resources collection management, such as journal articles, available freely online. How does your library identify suitable “OA” resources and add them to the library collection?
  • Thinking of the last section "Tending to the Collection: Weeding", how does the weeding programme work in your library?
  • This article was published in 2014, and examined the collection development and management literature of 2011 and 2012. Do you think there has been much change in the trends identified by Kathleen Lehman since then?

July 2015 - BoK 7: Application of Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Bishop, C. (2015, Winter). There's an app for that: Wearable technology & Google Glass: The next big thing? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 15. doi:10.5062/F4Q23X7R

Discussion questions:

  • Have you thought that Google Glass could have an academic application?
  • Does your institution use any Google products? What are they?
  • What is the latest new technology introduced in your library?
  • How did you feel about it and why?
  • What new technologies would you like to introduce in your library?

June 2015 - BoK 6: Research analysis

Koufogiannakis, D. (2015). Determinants of evidence use in academic librarian decision making. College & Research Libraries, 76(1), 100-114. doi:10.5860/crl.76.1.100

Discussion questions:

  • Do you think librarianship has a research-practice gap?
  • How much do you use evidence in your practice?
  • What factors best enable you to make evidence-based decisions?
  • Have you achieved better outcomes by using evidence?

May 2015 - BoK 5: Organisation, retrieval, preservation and conservation

Gonzales, B. (2014). Linking libraries to the web: Linked data and the future of the bibliographic record. Information Technology & Libraries, 33(4), 10-22.

Discussion questions:

  • What is a URI?
  • Do you think the benefits of linked data outweigh the challenges?
  • Can there be too much sharing?
  • Do you think linked data, as depicted in the article, will happen?

April 2015 - BoK 4: Information access process

Towlson, K., & Rush, N. (2013). Carving the information literacy niche within graduate employability. New Review of Academic Librarianship,19, 300-315.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you think a graduate skills licence (Information Literacy) similar to that developed at De Montford University would work in your institution, or do you have a similar programme already?
  • Do you agree that the Information literacy skills identified in Table 3 (page 306) are relevant and extensive enough for a “graduate skill licence (information literacy)”.  Are there any other skills that you think should be included?
  • How can our respective institutions allocate the staff time to develop and implement the skills evaluations?
  • How do you think academics in your institution view a graduate skills licence (information literacy)?
  • When implementing a graduate skills licence, collaboration is important. How does your institution build partnerships with academics, student services, employers, career services and the student union?
  • Do you think employers in New Zealand recognise the value of a skills licence (information literacy)?

March 2015 - BoK 3: Information needs and design

Greenberg, R., & Bar-Ilan, J. (2014). Information needs of students in Israel: A case study of a multicultural society. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(2), 185-191. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2013.10.002

Discussion questions:

  • Greenberg and Bar-Ilan state in their closing recommendations (page 190) that “Due to the multicultural differences of the student population, special services should be offered to the different native language student groups; from intermediary services for search strategies, information use and retrieval, to special instruction, given in their own native languages.” Do you already offer any of these services? If so, do you think they are effective for students? If not, do you think they would benefit students?
  • What is your experience of Māori Subject Headings (Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku)? On their website, it states, “The purpose is to provide a structured path to subjects that Māori customers can relate to and use to find material in libraries”. If you use them, have you found them to be useful for Māori students? If you do not, do you think they would benefit Māori students looking for resources?
  • Which single library service do you think could provide the most value to speakers of different languages?

February - BoK 2: Generation, communication and use of information

Linlin, Z. (2014). Riding the wave of open access: Providing library research support for scholarly publishing literacy. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 45(1), 3-18. doi:10.1080/00048623.2014.882873

Discussion questions:

  • Have staff in your institution reported experiences similar to Alex’s in the scenario on page 3-4?  If so, how has the library dealt with it?
  • How is your library responding to the changes in access to online articles?
  • “Open access is welcomed by many as a social movement and solution to the traditional, unsustainable publishing system.” (Page 6).   What is your view on open access?
  • What understanding do staff in your institution have of scholarly publishing literacy?

January 2015 - BoK 1: Information environment, information policy and ethics

Section G: Academic Libraries (Pages 93-116) in Demers, P., Beaudry, G., Bjornson, P., Carroll, M., Couture, C., Gray, C., ... Roberts, K. (2014). The future now: Canada's libraries, archives, and public memory. Ottawa: Royal Society of Canada.

Discussion questions:

  • The report mentions on page 96 that in the rush to go digital, librarians have raised concerns about preservation of Canada’s “print patrimony”, and on page 98 that print collections are in jeopardy for various reasons. This has led to recommendations (page 99) to share print collections. Has your library considered this? Do you think we have forgotten about print as a profession? Should we do this at a national level?
  • On page 103 the authors talk about new ways to search and explore digital collections, like video game environments perhaps. Is this third spatial interaction with digital collections something your library has considered?
  • There is also discussion about the intersection of museum, archive and library collections. Is this a direction that you think libraries in New Zealand should/could take?
  • How much of Gabrielle’s scenario on page 114 do you think we could achieve in New Zealand academic libraries in the next five years?

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