This came as a surprise as there was no announcement that this had been completed. In March 2011 LIANZA indicated that a review of the Bodies of Knowledge (pdf) would occur and after a search of the LIANZA website I am unable to find any further information on the process or progress. Regardless, it has happened and overall I think the BoKs are now much more clearer and easier to identify.
Here’s a summary of what I’ve noticed:
- The titles of the BoKs are much clearer, especially BoK10 which was called ‘Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation’ and is now called ‘Assessing Service Effectiveness‘.
- Previously the wording of each BoK and the examples suggested were open to numerous interpretations. For those completing their revalidation journal this has sometimes proved troublesome and frustrating because there were ‘too many options’. Now there is less overlap between BoKs. However I think it has swayed to the other extreme and has become too prescriptive. But revalidation is personal, so you may think otherwise.
- Each BoK now includes how it can be applied in a Māori context. An improvement to be applauded. I liken this to libraries recognising that Māori language titles shouldn’t be lumped into the 499.4’s because of the language they are written in, but should instead be catalogued based on their actual subject matter.
- The BoKs now seem to emphasise current national practice, sometimes to the detriment of international trends or future thinking. For example the changes that are occuring at Harvard University or the Obama budget announcement for libraries will impact on future directions in New Zealand libraries and they used to fit nicely into BoK1. They probably still fit into BoK1 given the scope includes “The legal, policy, economic and ethical issues that are relevant to the wider information sector” but none of the examples include international developments.
- There also seems to be little emphasis on outreach marketing. For example if your library were to offer an event such as this, I’m not sure which BoK it would fit into now. Previously it’s most obvious fit would have been BoK3 (Assessment of information needs and design of responsive services) which includes: understand the nature of the customer base and information needs of different user groups. In the refined BoKs there are numerous examples of events directly relating to the collection but no indications where the best fit for an event not directly related to the collection. In my view the BoKs don’t acknowledge activities that focus on utilising the library as a space.
- I also think the BoK examples show a shift towards an internal focus at the cost of customer and stakeholder relationships. For example the Book Discussion Scheme loans books and discussion notes to book groups in New Zealand. Some libraries may think it a great opportunity to work more closely with this group for the benefit of local communities. But as far as I can see the BoKs don’t emphasise this kind of relationship building in the examples. (It most likely fits in BoK9 which is the only one that mentions stakeholders or relationships of this nature).
All in all, the refinements may cause confusion for those in the midst of their revalidation journals but I think overall they are beneficial. The Daily News will reflect these changes tomorrow.
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