Postgraduate taught 

Information Management & Preservation MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Evaluating Archive and Library Services INFOST5013

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce participants to the fundamentals of evaluating the impact and effectiveness of archive and library services, including the exploration of political, social, and theoretical concepts that inform the development of a "culture of assessment" in archives and libraries. Students will learn how to apply assessment practices 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), either as a computer lab, or facilitated discussion, or evaluative activity.

Excluded Courses





Essay (5,000 words) = 100%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to:

■ Explore the relevance of evaluation, assessment 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 practitioner studies in order to understand best practice in evaluation and asessment;

■ Learn about the ethical and technical challenges of assessing library and archival services;

■ Understand the role of "cultures of assessment" 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 assessment can contribute to professional practices;

■ Apply appropriate methods for evaluating library and archival services;

■ Design effective evaluation and assessment strategies for varied professional contexts;

■ Compare existing evaluation and assessment 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.