nl en

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


Admission requirements

Only accessible for MA students Book & Digtal Media. Others may contact the course coordinator.


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 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, library finances, copyright and licensing principles;

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


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Weekly two-hour lecture.

Assessment method


  • Midterm paper

  • Final take-home examination with essay questions


  • Midterm paper (25%)

  • Final take-home examination with essay questions (75%)

The final mark is established by determining the weighted average of these two assessments.


In case of an insufficient result, the resit consists of the same parts as the first opportunity; students therefore only take the resits for those parts that were insufficient.

Inspection and feedback

Not applicable.

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:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. I. O'Daly

Coordinator of Studies Media Studies


Participation in all sessions of this course is compulsory. Upon prior consultation, the course coordinator can permit absence at one session for compelling reasons. Students who are absent twice in a semester course (13 weeks) will be given an complementary assignment by the lecturer. Absence on three sessions in this course will lead to exclusion from it.