School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Department of Information Studies
University College London


May 18 - May 31, 2014




Barbara Wildemuth, 919-962-8072,


This course is a two-week summer seminar which provides an intensive introduction for library science students and professionals to all aspects of librarianship in Great Britain. The course features lectures and tours in London, Cambridge and Oxford. Students will become familiar with libraries of many types, including public, academic, and special, and will also visit archives and museums relating to librarianship.

This seminar is provided in partnership with the faculty of the Department of Information Studies (DIS) at University College London. DIS is the top-ranked library school in the UK and is home to a number of important research centers such as The Centre for Digital Humanities, the Centre for Publishing, and ICARUS.

The seminar, which has been offered at UCL since 2010, is available for academic credit through the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Participants may earn three hours of graduate credit for attending and completing all class requirements. This course has been organized by faculty at UNC working collaboratively with Andy Dawson and Vanda Broughton of DIS and with teaching input from senior staff of DIS and senior UK professionals in the field. All presentations, whether at UCL or on visits, will leave time for questions and interaction. The ambience will be informal but at the same time conducive to a serious learning experience.

Details in seminar announcement

Schedule Highlights

May 18: Pre-school walking tour of Bloomsbury, followed by social gathering in the Marlborough Arms, Torrington Place

May 19: Formal welcome and introduction to the summerschool (Dawson); Introduction to the UCL libraries; Lecture on LIS sectors in the UK (Broughton); Welcome reception

May 20: Lectures on Libraries in the UK: History, development and resources (Trowles & McKitterick); Guided tour of the British Library (optional readings)

May 21: Visit to Cambridge (optional readings): tours of the English Faculty Library, the Judge Business School Library, and the Wren Library in Trinity College

May 22: Lecture on Digitisation issues (Findlay, Inskip, & Mahony); Visit to London Metropolitan Archives (optional readings)

May 23: Lecture on Changing roles in LIS (Broughton, Batt, & Edmonds); Visit to the Idea Store (optional readings)

May 26: Bank holiday

May 27: Visit to Oxford (optional readings): tours of the Bodleian Library and the Oxford University Press (optional readings)

May 28: Tours of the Wellcome Trust Library & Collections (optional readings) and the Royal College of Surgeons

May 29: Tours of the National Archives (optional readings) and the Royal Botanical Gardens Library & Archive (optional readings)

May 30: Visit to the Natural History Museum (optional readings) and other Kensington museums; Farewell dinner and end-of-school presentations

Details of the schedule are available on the UCL site

Course Objectives

The objectives of the class are to enable the students to:

  1. Understand the rich history and structure of British librarianship,
  2. Comprehend the impact that the long history of libraries has had on the provision of information in conemporary Great Britain,
  3. Learn about the education of librarians in Great Britain, and
  4. Become aware of both the similarities and differences of information agencies in Great Britain and in the US.

Course Requirements

The class will be conducted as a seminar. The active participation of all class members is expected. Each student will be expected to attend all lectures and tours. In addition, each student will independently study some aspect of British librarianship in depth and will write a seminar paper which will be graded by the UNC instructor. Guidance in writing this paper will be provided by the UNC instructor, the faculty at University College London, and/or seminar lecturers. The seminar paper should be between 15 and 20 (double-spaced) pages in length with the topic to be selected according to the student’s interest, with the approval of the UNC instructor.  The paper should not be purely descriptive but  should be analytical and discuss and explain the topic, address controversies in the area, and reach normative conclusions and/or make recommendations about the topic under discussion.  The paper should reflect familiarity with the important literature in the area, an understanding of the various sides to the issue or problem under consideration and the development of defensible conclusions and/or recommendations. 

The seminar will also be supported by a Sakai course site. All registered students and seminar participants will have access to the resources (including communication tools and a wiki) available in the site.


Grades will be assigned according to the grading system of the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The grades used are:

H        High Pass
P        Pass
L        Low Pass
F        Fail

Honor Code

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-administered honor system and judicial system for over 100 years. Because academic honesty and the development and nurturing of trust and trustworthiness are important to all of us as individuals, and are encouraged and promoted by the honor system, this is a most significant University tradition. The system is the responsibility of students and is regulated and governed by them, but faculty members share the responsibility and readily recommit themselves to its ideals. If students in this class have questions about their responsibility under the honor code, please bring them to the instructor or consult with the Office of the Dean of Students or the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. This document contains all policies and procedures pertaining to the student honor system. Your full participation and observance of this important aspect of the University is encouraged and expected.

Creative Commons License The INLS 890-975 website, UNC-CH, 2014, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Address all comments and questions to Barbara M. Wildemuth at

This page was last modified on April 28, 2014, by Barbara M. Wildemuth.