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

Bodies of Knowledge

The Bodies of Knowledge (BoK) identify the different areas of competency for the Library and Information Profession. We've simplified the process by clustering the 11 BoKs into 6 manageable clusters, making the revalidation process less problematic for our members!

Familiarity and practice with each of the 6 clusters of 11 BoKs will ensure New Zealand library professionals have a broad knowledge base and skill set.

The BoKs are used to ensure comprehensive coverage in your revalidation journal, and help library and information professionals stay up to date with the changes in the sector

For an explanation of each of the 11 BoKs, click on an individual BoK cluster for more information:

BOK Cluster 1: Understanding the information environment

BOK Cluster 2: Understanding information needs, generations and access

BOK Cluster 3 : Understanding information resource and knowledge management

BOK Cluster 4: Understanding information and communication technologies

BOK Cluster 5 : Understanding management in information organisations

BOK Cluster 6 : Understanding Maori knowledge paradigms 

If you've been asked to map your experience against the BoKs for your Professional Registration application, simply go through each BoK and explain your understanding of it. Remember to use self-reflection and note how you put these skills into practice in your current role or past roles. 

BOK Mapping 101

When we ask you to map your career against the Body of Knowledge, the PR Board is looking for you to go through your study, career, and other experience, and find relevant examples that demonstrate your understanding of each area of the body of knowledge.  Generally we expect a maximum of 250 words against each BOK.

For example – under BOK 1 which is about the information environment, information policy, and ethics you could talk about working within the LIANZA or Te Rōpu Whakahau code  of conduct.  You could potentially go wider and talk about following the current TPP debate and your understanding of the implications of a change to legislation on our copyright environment.  Or you could perhaps discuss how you have supported organisations where you have worked to understand their obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

This then shows that you have experience in each area, and you also understand what each specific area of the Body of Knowledge is about. 

Here's an example of how you map your 11 BoKs against your career: 

BoK My Understanding Personal application

BoK 1

The information environment, information policy and ethics

This BoK considers the broad professional context that libraries sit it.

Over many years I have been following with interest changes to the publishing and distribution models, first with music, then newspapers and now books.  Copyright legislation and Free Trade agreements also have an impact on the information landscape.  One example of library ethics I find particularly inspiring is the librarians in the US who were the first to challenge a letter of seizure under the Patriot act.

Discussion about privacy legislation and public library responsibilities for keeping borrower data safe. 

Investigating the use of Creative Commons licence for locally generated content and implementing this with staff.

Treaty of Waitangi training.

BoK 2

Generating, communicating and using information

This BoK seeks to encourage the active creation of information for ourselves, our colleagues and our customers.

As web based tools have grown in number and sophistication there are now endless ways of creating and sharing information.  New information formats also increasingly available.  In print you now have graphic novels and zines to add to collections as well as a range of digital formats such as databases and e-books.  All of these appeal to different customers and meet different information needs.

Generating content for staff wiki using a variety of web2.0 tools.

Evaluation of databases and annual review of subscriptions.  Bringing together a cross-library team to be part of this work.

Introduction of e-books into the collections.

BoK 3

Information needs and design

This Bok covers the wide range of ways that information can be made available and matching those channels with different users.

Included in this is the physical environment that resources sit in.  Over time I have experienced the shift from libraries being ‘book warehouses’ to more and more space being dedicated to community use for reading, study and programmes.  The ‘librarian as gatekeeper’ no longer exists and collections, both physical and digital need to be much more DIY; intuitive and easy to use for all customers.  Programmes that are run are now much more customised to specific groups within the community.

Participating in out of hours library orientation for kaumātua.

Major reorganisation and weeding of non-fiction collection to improve the flow of the collection, reduce customer confusion and open up more study and reading space.

BoK 4

The information access process

This Bok acknowledges that everyone absorbs information differently and needs different things for their library.

For some a written guide works best and for others one to one attention and assistance is what is needed.  This is not only driven by ages and stages but different learning styles that need to be supported.

Departmental page on new Sharepoint intranet.

Creation of a staff wiki to replace the ‘reference folder’.

BoK 5

Organisation, retrieval, preservation and conservation

This Bok deals with the practical aspects of making information accessible.

My understanding is that this is a critical skill to any librarian.  Information is useless if you can’t find it so the ability to arrange, describe, store and preserve information is of central importance to what we do.  This may take many forms and different types of materials have different requirements.  Items that are born digital still need to be preserved and made accessible but this happens in quite a different way to a physical object.

The development of disaster recovery plans now need to take the digital environment into account as well as the physical.

Disaster recovery plan.  

Asset management database.

Contribute to the Business Continuity plan.

BoK 6

Research, analysis and interpretation of information

This Bok focuses on the gathering, analysis and implementation of information, the research process.

To me this is the process of accessing the knowledge of those who have gone before, collecting information from colleagues and known sources such as the APLM wiki and published sources and using that to inform my own understanding.

This information can also be used to support recommendations in a report , measure the effectiveness of a programme or service against others and becoming informed about a new area of work.

Gathering benchmarking data for council reviews and reports.

Contributing to the development of user surveys.

BoK 7

Application of information and communication technologies

This BoK encompasses the ever growing application of technology in a library environment.

In my experience the variety of technologies being used to enhance our services has and will only continue to increase.  Librarians have always been keen users of technologies that assist us to organise information and make it accessible.  The advent of the Internet created a whole new avenue for making information available directly to the public

Project manage LMS migration.

Installation of satellite connectivity on mobile libraries.

Introduction of tablet devices for staff use.. PA

Preparation of a report to council leadership on RFID.

BoK 8

Information resource management and knowledge management

This BoK considers both the practicalities and philosophies of information and knowledge management.

I understand information to be the ‘hard’ resources that we provide access to, their acquisition and management.

Knowledge is what is generated from the use of these resources and may take many forms such as conversations, shared online work spaces of a new understanding of how a piece of information can be applied.

Collection management policy.

Introduction of new acquisitions processes.

Annual review of database subscriptions.

Learning about Te Whare Tapa Whā model of understanding Māori knowledge.

BoK 9

Management in information organisations

This BoK covers the management and planning required to operate a library service.

Most libraries operate within some sort of corporate environment whether government, business or some other entity.  In all these environments planning is essential and needs to be carried out in accordance with the parent organisations goals and policies.

Develop and deliver staff induction and training manual.

Managing Collections budget.

Managing staff including recruitment and budgets.

Contribution to Annual Plan and LTP.

BoK 10

Assessing service effectiveness

This BoK seeks to articulate the ever changing physical and service centred environment that we work in. 

In order to remain central to our communities we need to be continually reviewing and changing our collections, spaces and services to meet the changing needs of our customers.

In my experience this needs to be done carefully so that changes are supported by a solid understanding of community need and build in flexibility and mobility for the future change.

Instituting collection maintenance (clearing lost, missing, etc) and weeding programmes. 

Reviewing public programmes and changing their frequency and timing to better meet the community’s needs.

BoK 11

Awareness of indigenous (Māori) knowledge paradigms

This BoK acknowledges that knowledge that exists and is created within an indigenous context is quite different from Western traditions.

In my own journey I have come to understand the foundational importance of Te Reo Māori and whakapapa in the generation and transmission of knowledge and the holistic nature of Te Ao Māori.

Attendance at Te Rōpū Whakahau Hui.

My personal journey to reconnect with my whakapapa.

Any questions? Contact the Office!

Share this on