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The Library: Knowledge Centre of the Past, Present and Future


Admission requirements

This course is accessible only to BDMS students and BDMS exchange students.


This multi-faceted course will survey the full range of the library’s tasks today. Through its historical transformations the library has always remained a crucial centre for the collection, storage and dissemination of knowledge. Topics will be treated by experts in the field and, depending on availability of speakers, may include the theory and practice of collection development, storage, access and (financial) management; information services; the history of libraries; library materials (from manuscripts to printed and electronic documents); the digital back office; research and development; digitization; and copyright and licensing issues.

Course objectives

  • To gain an overview of the changing role of libraries in the information age;

  • To develop a critical understanding of the development of libraries in the past, present and future with regard to their mandate and holdings;

  • To obtain a familiarity with the "digital back office";

  • To become acquainted with topical issues in library studies, such as digitisation, and open science;

  • To understand the four main tasks of a library, namely acquisition, cataloguing, preservation and provision of access.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Weekly two-hour lecture.

Assessment method


Mid-term assignment: 30%
Course paper (portfolio of three short essays): 70%


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the assessment components.


Resit: only for the final paper.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Literature will be specified during the course.


Enrollment trough uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, email:

General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal


Not applicable.