Module Identifier DSM7920  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Geraint I Evans  
Semester Available all semesters  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation 20 minutes accompanied by 1,500 word report  50%
Semester Assessment Report 2,500 words  50%

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you should be able to:

Brief description

This module is concerned with information sources and information services. It centres on some of the most important functions of libraries and information units: the effective use and exploitation of information sources, and the relevance of those sources to the design and delivery of modern, cost-effective information services.

All formal and informal ways of receiving information are valid. Nevertheless, for the purposes of this study we need to draw some lines to differentiate more clearly. On the surface, informal sources would appear to be outside the normal remit of an institution such as a library, whilst formal sources represent the very essence of library collections.
Our mandate in this module is to deal with information in a more formal and structured context. Therefore, when we talk about ''information sources'' we will be referring to discrete publications, databases, recordings or broadcasts and so on. In particular those which are designed and structured in such a way as to provide us with specific items of information - rather than merely to entertain or educate us. We will refer to such publications as dictionaries, encyclopaedias, many CD-ROM products and a whole variety of other electronic publications.

For the purposes of this module we shall regard ''information services'' as collections of information sources made available in such a way as to make them easier and more accessible for an information user to consult and interpret, or else the assistance that may be provided in their use.
As you progress throughout the module, you will learn about those who seek to mediate between the information user and the information sources, and the ways in which this is done. The module will inevitably focus upon those services that are provided by, and for, libraries and publicly funded information units such as The Citizens Advice Bureau, although this is only a tiny part of the overall picture of information seeking and use in everyday life. The module will also look at the more general categories of these services, providing you with the opportunity to investigate information services for one specific group of users in more detail in your course assessed work. We will also be considering how to assess user needs for information and how to evaluate information services.

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Grogan, Denis (1991) Practical Reference Work 2nd. London: Library Association Publishing
Lea, Peter. W. and Alan Day eds (1996) The Reference Sources Handbook London: Library Association Publishing
Rowley, Jennifer (1998) The Electronic Library 4th. London: Library Association Publishing


This module is at CQFW Level 7