Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other An introductory seminar/workshop provided at the beginning of the course to introduce the topic, and open learning materials. This will be followd by regular interaction with the module authors/tutors via the VLE. In addition the local module coordinator will provide two further group sessions to complement the open learning materials, and will be available otherwise for consultation.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment A recorded audio presentation and transcript (10-15 minutes)  70%
Semester Assessment Report (1250 words)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Submission of supplementary coursework for failed course elements in line with the learning outcomes of the original assignments (failed component(s) only). 

Learning Outcomes

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

* critically evaluate the purpose and nature of music libraries;

  • discuss and critically analyse the processes of creating and distributing music and how this affects libraries;

* assess and address the needs of particular users groups in the music library;

* analyse the main information retrieval problems music causes and outline some basic solutions;

  • consult and critically evaluate music catalogues and indexes to find information about music;

* identify and perform a critical analysis of the issues affecting the management of music collections in a library or information service.

Brief description

This module describes the common problems of music librarianship and identifies potential solutions. It also examines the place of music libraries in the wider library world. It is aimed at those who may find themselves having some responsibility for music in a broader management context.


The module will cover the acquisition (unit 4), bibliography, cataloguing and classification (unit 3), circulation and other aspects of music library work (unit 5), and will examine the particular nature of music services within academic, public and 'special' libraries including Music Information Centres and music publishers' hire libraries (unit 1). It will pay particular attention to the management of music collections (unit 5), since music library work requires special training in such areas as, for example, cataloguing and conservation (unit 2, unit 3), and in catering for a wide variety of different user groups (unit 4).
Unit 1: Music Libraries: the 'whys' and 'wherefores'
Unit 2: The nature of the product
Unit 3: Information retrieval: an introduction
Unit 4: Supply and demand
Unit 5: Managing the music library: staff, stock, finance

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Via both assignments, where marks will be given for clear and logical presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Both the assignments should help develop students' knowledge. The module handbook also contains a logical introduction to music library work, and this should help in the learning process.
Information Technology Students will be expected to use both print and electronic resources in researching their assignments, particularly the second.
Personal Development and Career planning Once the students have been through the course they should easily be able to work out whether or not music library work is right for them.
Problem solving Assignment 2 in particular requires students critically to evaluate an information service, and to propose workable ways in which it can be improved.
Research skills Via both assignments.
Subject Specific Skills Understanding of music's many formats (scores, recordings, books on, electronic resources), and the peculiar elements of music acquisition, cataloging, copyright/performing rights, classification and conservation work will come from doing this course.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6