MLIS E-Portfolio Competencies List

A. Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that profession.

As a field of study, Library and Information Science (LIS) can be operationally defined as a science concerned with human recorded information, focused on the aspects of human behavior in communication, organization, and retrieval of information (Bawden & Robinson, 2012). Yet information is a shared concept across all disciplines and it is given varying treatments to how it is conceptualized. LIS has a unique perspective on the information landscape… [Go to Competency A]

B. Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.

Information professionals have specialized competencies that help users navigate a progressively dense information-driven world, grown from a strong desire to connect people with information using a strong customer service ethic (Fraser-Arnott, 2015a). The organizations where today’s information professionals work today may not necessarily be the “traditional” settings of libraries or archives... [Go to Competency B]

C. Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.

Information professionals work in organizations that serve diverse populations and are staffed by diverse employees. Conceptually, diversity can be understood in three ways: the level of heterogeneity in the composition of an organization and its clientele, the exploration of various characteristics of specific groups and their needs, and the genuine interest in supporting efforts to increase awareness and inclusion of historically and currently marginalized groups due to exclusion, prejudice, and discrimination (Wong & Figueroa, 2015)... [Go to Competency C]

D. Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.

In our current information age, information professionals and organizations now compete for attention from their users. Successful information professionals know how to navigate an ever-changing information landscape of societal and technological trends to provide for the information needs of various user groups. Yet marketing this strength of the information professional is difficult in an age of supposed “one-stop-shop” searches using Google... [Go to Competency D]

E. Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems.

The work of information professionals always leads to some level of interaction with information retrieval (IR) systems, whether they are traditional commercial research databases, internal organization intranet systems, or even web search engines like Google. Information professionals are trained to understand a database’s possibilities, based on its backend structure, user interface (UI), and intended purpose in terms of subject matter, which in turn influences the degree of precision in search results and the results themselves (Bell, 2015)... [Go to Competency E]

F. Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.

Information takes on many forms, from physical works such as books, archived manuscripts, and audiovisual media, to today’s born-digital equivalents of e-books, images, and video files. Information professionals are tasked to organize such materials in accessible ways for their users, which can involve deliberate decision making processes that manage the lifecycle of these items, in terms of curation, preservation, and conservation (Skinner, 2015)... [Go to Competency F]

G. Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.

To serve their patrons and clients effectively, information professionals need to understand how information is organized across a variety of systems that use a variety of methods for indexing, storage, and retrieval of records and the documents they represent. The very action of organization promotes the ability to location information from the compilation and maintenance of human readable and retrievable records (Hall-Ellis, 2015)... [Go to Competency G]

H. Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.

The continuous stream of technological advances has impacted how people access, consume, and create information, redefined what it means to communicate, and impacted how information professionals and their organizations view themselves, the profession, and the ways in how they serve their communities. Information professionals are re-establishing themselves as providers of technological access in their communities... [Go to Competency H]

I. Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.

Information professionals strive to provide easy and efficient access to relevant information to their users, for “connecting people with information is at the heart of [their] work” (Simmons, 2105, p. 130). They are now in an essential position to intermediate between users and their information needs, which entails being able to conceptualize and teach information literacy (IL) skills through effective IL instruction (ILI; Cunningham & Rosenblatt, 2015). The rise of the notion of information intermediation comes with advances in information and communication technologies (ICTs)... [Go to Competency I]

J. Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.

Describing information-seeking behaviors begins with understanding what constitutes as an “information need.” Though this concept has no universally accepted definition, it can be said that information needs involve the recognition that some “gap” in knowledge exists between what one knows and what one wants to know, resulting in a desire and various behaviors to bridge that gap (Bawden & Robinson, 2012)... [Go to Competency J]

K. Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories.

An information professional is always involved in some form of instruction, across all kinds of information organizations. Information professionals connect users to the information that they seek, as well as impart skills and relevant content that develop users’ information literacy (IL) and technological literacy... [Go to Competency K]

L. Demonstrate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the ability to design a research project, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize research literature.

Research can be defined as the “creation of new knowledge” derived and communicated from objective information and built upon prior established knowledge (Bawden & Robinson, 2012, p. 304). It is based on data, observable information or direct experience of the world to answer research questions (Punch, 2009). The data generated informs the kind of research... [Go to Competency L]

M. Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.

Strong interpersonal communication is a necessary skill that applies across all work contexts, both in-person and virtual (online). An information professional’s overall competence is contingent on the effectiveness of the method and quality of their communication. Also, information professionals do not work alone, collaborating in teams... [Go to Competency M]

N. Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.

Information professionals are involved in facilitating a variety of programs and services in their information organizations. Yet it is not enough to stay functional with the same programming and the same way of conducting service in one’s organization. This runs the risk of the organization becoming stagnant and irrelevant in ever-changing internal and external environments. It is the responsibility of information professionals to demonstrate the value of their work... [Go to Competency N]

O. Identify ways in which information professionals can contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities.

The profession of Library and Information Science (LIS) is in transition, as technological advances facilitate connection and information access on a global scale. Information creation and consumption is growing on a massive scale, along with the widening audience for that information spanning continents... [Go to Competency O]