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Focus on the Child: Libraries and Literature, Short Course

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University rank #401 (WUR) Online
Since the nineteenth century, library services to children and young people have constituted one of the most important branches of the public library profession. Collections and services have evolved to support the emerging social, cultural, educational and recreational needs of young people as well as the fundamental requirement for literacy.
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The promotion of reading and writing literacies has long been viewed as a fundamental tenet of the philosophy of children’s librarianship, and librarians must be apprised of the latest developments in education, reading and writing methodologies, as well as the reading habits of young people. In the past decade, as a consequence of the influence of the media and electronic publishing, especially e-books, and the emergence of social networking, significant electronic and virtual collections have been established, and access provided to networking systems and the Internet for young people.

Consequently, public libraries have had to revaluate their understanding of the term ‘literacy’, and they are establishing broader definitions to include, among others, media and computer literacies; even our definition of ‘reading’ has been widened to embrace hypertext. In the twenty-first century, library collections and services are being shaped by these new literacies, and the development of electronic collection of formats, such as e-books, present the librarian with new and highly complex management and promotional challenges – all of which this short course aims to introduce and explore.

The programme

This short course is designed to give an understanding of the child and the child's world, and will provide a critical appreciation of the wide range of library collections available to the young. The contribution which public libraries make to the development of literacy amongst the young will be demonstrated and an insight offered into the range of services provided by libraries and other organisations for the young.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

After completing this short course you should be able to:

  • identify the major influences in the world of the child
  • explain the meaning, forms and value of literacy
  • outline the major types of national and regional literacy projects currently in place in the UK
  • analyse the issues surrounding the reading habits of young people
  • critically analyse the influence which the media and electronic publishing have had on the development of the child, children’s print and electronic book publishing, and library provision
  • review the structure and role of the British children’s public library service in supporting the social, educational and cultural needs of the young
  • outline some of the pressing professional and political issues facing children’s librarianship

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

General Requirements

Students taking this short course should have a keen interest and/or working in school and young people’s librarianship or related fields.

Tuition Fee


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