Information Studies


Libraries in Britain: Summer School 2021

24th May - 4th June 2021

Are you interested in the treasures of British libraries? Do you want to know more about the impact of the digital shift on library collections in the UK? Do you really know what goes on behind the scenes in music and art libraries in Britain? This Annual Summer School, run jointly by UNC School of Information and Library Science and UCL Department of Information Studies enters its 10th year faced by the storm of Covid-19 and the uncertainly of the Brexit moment. Today’s Britain is a dynamic, fluctuating, unpredictable space – and the digital alternatives imposed due to lockdown have accelerated the digital shift across the library and information professions. The Summer School responds to this environment by moving entirely online in order to give library students in the US an opportunity to look into the heart and soul of British libraries and directly ask professionals and academic staff, “What’s going on in British libraries?”

Every day for two weeks, the Summer School will explore current issues within the rich diversity of libraries and archives across the UK. Each session will focus on a different sector (including national and legal deposit libraries, archives, academic, public, school, health libraries and special collections). Online lectures, workshops and panels of experts in the field will discuss the development, current issues and future possibilities of each sector. Students will have the opportunity to speak to practitioners and academics and learn about the development and state of library, archive, and information work. Virtual visits will reveal behind-the-scenes activities in leading institutions including national libraries and other legal deposit collections, academic libraries, schools, hospitals, and numerous special collections in London and beyond.

The aim of the Summer School is to provide learners with an understanding of the development and current context of libraries and archives in the UK. By the end of the module, learners will be able to identify institutional and professional differences in a range of sectors in the UK; identify, analyse and discuss current issues and challenges; and select and evaluate a focused topic of interest. There will be solo and group learning activities, which will be facilitated by UCL’s expert academic staff. There is the option of an assignment. Online classes will run from 10am – 2pm (EST). 

2021 Participants will be accompanied by SILS Professor and Librarian, Rebecca Vargha. Rebecca B. Vargha is a Librarian with the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has held that position since 2001 and is also a faculty member at SILS. Prior to her tenure at SILS, Rebecca Vargha held several positions at large corporations and organizations in North Carolina. Additionally, she is a long-standing member of SLA (Special Libraries Association), holding various leadership posts including SLA President and is a regular international conference speaker sharing her knowledge and expertise with diverse audiences in the field of library and information science. She is also very active in IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions). Her areas of teaching include special libraries, global information work, knowledge management and collection development.

Registration details are available here, via the UNC website

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