Evaluating Archive and Library Services INFOSTUD5028

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce participants to the fundamentals of evaluating the impact and effectiveness of archive and library services. In it, we will examine foundational concepts that inform the development of a "culture of evaluation," including: the differences between information behaviour, information seeking behaviour, and user experience; methods for evaluating physical and online services; models for evaluating usage and impact; and the ethical and technical contexts for undertaking evaluation. Students will learn how to apply evaluative approaches that can support their own professional practices, and will explore how evaluation and impact analysis have been presented in Information Studies. They will be encouraged to think about the link between theory and practice, in order to reflect upon the role of service evaluation in their own continuing professional development.


1 x weekly lecture (1 hour), 1 x weekly seminar (2 hours), as either a computer lab, or facilitated discussion, or evaluative activity.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





Essay (5,000 words) = 100%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Explore the relevance of evaluating and impact analysis to their professional practice;

■ Understand various models for understanding user behaviour, information behaviour, and user experience in person and online.

■ Critically appraise various evaluative studies in order to understand best practice in evaluation;

■ Learn about the ethical and technical challenges of implementing evaluative studies;

■ Understand the role of "cultures of evaluation" in Information Studies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Explain the basics of information behaviour as it relates to library and archival services;

■ Describe how a culture of evaluation can contribute to professional practices;

■ Apply appropriate methods for evaluating library and archival services;

■ Design effective evaluation strategies for varied professional contexts;

■ Compare existing evaluation strategies, in order to assess their effectiveness.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.