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Publication Title

Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research





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competency theory, competency definition, competency typology, librarianship, academic librarians, higher education librarians


Competency definitions continue to become more popular in Library and
Information Science (LIS) and are being used not only to describe library
positions but also as a means of assessment. This study investigates
competency in the LIS academic context using English language peer-reviewed
articles from the LIS journal literature for 2001‒2005, with findings tested by the
later inclusion of 2011 data. A quadripartite definition consisting of cognitive,
functional, behavioral, and meta-competence elements is used as a template
against which to explore definition creation and use. Results offer a template for
critical analysis of competency as found within the LIS journal literature. The
methodology used, one of coding, reveals a commonality to discussions of
competency within these articles, reflecting a more holistic understanding than
expected. But authors’ highlighted competency definitions tend not to parallel the
discussion in their respective articles, as shown by the lack of inclusion of
multiple elements from the same quadripartite definition.


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