Knowledge Work in the Library: Practices, Environments, and Competencies

Document Type



Manual Work involves the application of existing standards to routine work. Knowledge Work asks workers to bring their own knowledge to a task. While the former keeps a library's essential services functioning, the latter makes it resilient. Assuming all library staff conduct both Manual Work and Knowledge Work, this paper outlines five competencies for Knowledge Work in the library. Not only do Knowledge Workers themselves possess valuable knowledge in the form of skills, experiences, and beliefs, but they also are skilled in the knowledge processes of creation, evaluation, documentation, sharing, and application. Furthermore, they understand the complex social contexts within which this work occurs. These competencies are suggested as additions to existing LIS curriculum. Suggestions for future research are provided.

APA Citation

Freeburg, D. (2021). Knowledge work in the library: Practices, environments, and competencies.