Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Local Studies Services
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ONE ESSAY (2,500 - 3,000 WORDS)  One essay (2,500-3,000 words), from a selection of four essay titles:? *Describe, with examples, the various approaches that have been taken to realise the concept of a `local studies centre?. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages that such centres might have for users, staff and funding authorities.? *Discuss the importance of marketing, promotion and public relations in the provision of a local studies service. *Discuss the importance of a local studies collection management policy. Outline and comment on the main elements it might contain and some of the collection policy issues it seeks to resolve.? *Outline the current and potential impact of information and communications technology for the provision of a local studies service.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

*give an account of the development of local history and local studies

*describe the national and local picture as regards resource providers for local studies (principally libraries, archives and museums) and discuss the context (social, political, etc) in which that provision takes place

*identify the range of sources within a local studies collections and their potential use

*demonstrate the need for the sound management of a local studies service, as reflected in appropriate plans, policies and practices.

*identify and discuss the issues relating to the various aspects of access to the collection, e.g. cataloguing, indexing and satisfactory physical facilities

*discuss various ways in which use of the collection can be marketed, promoted and facilitated

Brief description

The Library Association's Local Studies Libraries Guidelines (2002) state that: `The local studies service exists to enable members of local communities to define their identity in terms of their own particular situation - family, home, community, region?. This module explains how this objective can be brought about through the collections and services provided by public library local studies departments. It will also keep students acquire the necessary understanding, knowledge and skills that library and information works need to function successfully in this specialist area. These include management, information retrieval and marketing skills.The Guidelines say also that: `The service should form an integral part of the local information network, providing a clearly signposted point of entry to a wide range of local resources? and students will be given an understanding of this local information network. This network will include archives, museums, art galleries, etc, for, as the Guidelines indicate: `The [public library local studies] collections should complement those of other local services'.


Unit headings with some indicative sub-headings
1 The development of local studies
  • The description of Britain
  • Victoria County History
  • Oral historians
  • Family and local history
  • From local history to local studies
2 Resource providers

  • Public and other libraries
  • Archives
  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Cooperation
3 The range of sources

  • Books, pamphlets
  • Directories
  • Local newspapers
  • Ephemera
  • Interpreting sources
4 Management of the local studies service

  • Policies and planning
  • Staff organisation and training
  • Collection management
  • Finance
  • Performance evaluation
5 Providing access to the collection

  • Accommodation and space planning
  • Cataloguing and classification
  • Use of ICT
  • Enquiry and research services
6 Marketing the local studies service

  • Services to individuals, groups and organisations
  • Publications and products
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Exhibitions and displays

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number None.
Information Technology To complete the module, learners will need computer conferencing skills for online module discussion groups, and internet searching skills. They will also need to develop effective use of a range of electronic resources e.g. journals, databases catalogues and archives. To complete an assignment, lea
Personal Development and Career planning Provides both an academic context and a practical grounding to work in a specialist field in information and library services.
Problem solving Learners will develop the ability to identify and interpret problems through the appropriate distillation of their chosen essay question. Through the development of a cogent, reasoned argument in support of the essay, learners will be able to evaluate and critically analyse factors which might infle
Research skills Learners will develop a range of research skills through gathering relevant evidence in support of their assignment. The ability to interpret and evaluate secondary research material and judge its relevance will also develop an understanding of a range of research methods, procedures and designs.
Subject Specific Skills The skill to deal with local studies enquiries at library and information service points.
Team work There is no face-to-face group/team work for this particular distance learning module. However, as outlined above there will be opportunities for group discussion about topics and issues related to the module via online computer conferencing.


This module is at CQFW Level 7