Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 Hours. 10 x 1 hour
Seminars / Tutorials 5 Hours. 5 x 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment lasting between 15 and 20 minutes, to a selected audience on a topic of relevance to the module subject matter  Script and Tape or CD of a presentation:  70%
Semester Assessment of no more than 1,250 words  Critical Review:  30%

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:

  • outline sources relevant to library and book history;
  • discuss aspects of the growth of literacy in Great Britain;
  • outline the significance of the reading experience;
  • compare the reading habits of different social groups during this period;
  • describe and analyse the role of public libraries in providing access to reading materials for the "common reader";
  • describe and analyse the role of other, non-public libraries in providing access to reading materials for the "common reader";
  • outline the types of material made available in various libraries and what was borrowed

Brief description

The 19th century witnessed the near eradication of illiteracy in Great Britain, and, towards its end, the growth of a public library system, which helped consolidate gains in literacy by providing free access to books, newspapers and periodicals, to anyone who came through the doors. Affordable reading material of all sorts became widely available to the general public, and, increasingly, library facilities were extended to those members of the community especially the new industrial class or 'rommon reader?.
This module offers an introduction and familiarisation with the relevant sources. Literacy, the role of reading and the reading experience. Various reading audiences and their reading habits: case study of women as readers. Access by the general public to reading materials, via libraries, both public and non rate supported, such as Mechanics' Institute, Co-operative Society and Miners' Institute libraries.

Transferable skills

Skills addressed - either in teaching or via assessment, are:

  • independent project work;
  • IT and information handling;
  • writing in an academic context;
  • oral discussion/presentation;
  • self management


This module is at CQFW Level 6