The Information Environment

Course code LIS501

  Course is not currently open for enrolment

This course will enable you to understand the variety of organisations that create, record, store and provide access to information, and the changing role they play in Aotearoa New Zealand and the global society.

This includes the types and diversity of libraries, archives, records and information centres and museums, and the types and diversity of information professionals and professional associations working in them.

This course also outlines both the history and the future of library and information organisations and the foundational beliefs and values that frame practice, including a commitment to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

For more information watch the course introduction video below.

How to enrol

Before enrolling in this course you need to:

  • Choose the qualification you will study the course under. See the Work towards tab below for qualification options.
  • Check the order that courses in the qualification should be studied in the Qualification Structure table. This is in the Choose courses tab on the qualification page.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to

  • Describe the concepts of information and the issues surrounding information in society in Aoteaora New Zealand, and globally.
  • Explain, compare and contrast the roles of information organisations (such as libraries, archives and records centres), and of information professionals (such as librarians, archivists and records managers).
  • Discuss and recognise the way professional ethics, values and foundational principles influences how library and information organisations and professionals function in society.

Course content

What is information?

  • Defining and identifying ‘information’ 
  • The information society
  • Who creates information?

Library and information organisations in society

  • The development of libraries, archives and recordkeeping through time, globally
  • The development of libraries, archives and recordkeeping in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Different types of libraries and library services (including public libraries, school libraries and children’s services in public libraries, tertiary libraries, special libraries, national libraries)
  • Different types of archives, records and information services (including national archives, collecting and in-house archives, community archives, records centres and museums)

Library and Information organisations and professionals in society, in local, national and global contexts

  • Operating in a bicultural environment
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi 
  • Operating in a culturally diverse context
  • Operating within legal, economic and political contexts
  • Operating within an evolving technological context
  • Professional Associations
  • Professionalism, codes of conduct and ethics
  • Continuing professional development and transferable skills
  • Future directions: challenges and opportunities


100% internally assessed


No textbooks are required for this course

Other requirements

Your course is delivered 100% online. To complete this course you will need access to a computer or device, broadband internet and a data plan able to support online learning such as streaming of videos (including YouTube), downloading content and submitting online assessments. If you are unsure if your current computer/device or internet access allows you to complete your online learning with us, please contact us before applying to enrol. 

Lecturer / Tutor