LIBR 200-07
Information and Society
Spring 2009 Greensheet

bontenbal image Kevin Bontenbal


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Course Requirements
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The access code for this course for ANGEL will be sent to those enrolled in the class via the MySJSU messaging system a few days prior to start of the semester. The course will be open for self-enrollment at the time the access code is sent.

Course Description

Explores the complex social, economic, historical, and technological developments that influence the impact of information on society. The mission, values and ethics of information professionals are also analyzed.

Course Objectives

At the completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the role of information from historical, current, and future perspectives;
  • Identify the various information sectors;
  • Describe and evaluate issues involved in creating and disseminating information in society, with particular attention paid to information literacy;
  • Understand the role of libraries and their relationship to other information providers;
  • Identify and discuss the major values and codes of ethics associated with the information professions;
  • Describe the impact of cultural diversity on the provision of user services by librarians and other information professionals;
  • Describe and discuss important economic and policy issues related to the creation and dissemination of information;
  • Understand and have experience with different forms and genres of professional writing.

Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Know the foundations and structure of the information profession;
  • Locate, evaluate, and utilize scholarly and professional literature;
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of major issues in library and information science.

LIBR 200 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  • compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups.

Course Requirements

Complete LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including ANGEL, Elluminate and Second Life. This course must be completed by all new SLIS students within the first 4 weeks of their first semester. If you have questions about this course, e-mail Debbie Faires or Dale David.

For more information, see

Required Home Computing Environment
Please see the School’s “Home Computing Requirements” at

This course will be conducted entirely online using ANGEL. Lectures, assignments, and most communications, including discussions and announcements, will be conducted via ANGEL.

Please see the ANGEL Tutorials on how to enroll in a ANGEL course at To self-enroll in the ANGEL site for this course you must:

  1. Be registered for the course FIRST.
  2. The access code for the ANGEL site will be sent to those enrolled in the class via the messaging system a day or two prior to the beginning of the course.

You must be extremely organized, disciplined and self-motivated in order to complete an online course successfully. Though you can access the course materials online anytime, plan to set aside time each day to complete the readings and assignments. It’s too easy to get behind quickly.

Here is an overview of the assignments for this course:

  1. Readings
    Each week there will be:
    • an online “lecture” provided by the instructor via ANGEL;
    • readings from the textbook;
    • article readings regarding information and society, and;
    • other readings as assigned, including vendor information and web sites.
  2. Online Discussions
    Every other week a discussion topic/question based on the lectures, the textbook reading, and/or the other readings will be posted to the class discussion board. Each student will be expected respond to these discussion topics/questions and to participate in the discussion with other students in class.
  3. Reflective Essays
    Students will be asked to write TWO reflective essays on any topic covered in the syllabus. Each essay should be a minimum of two pages, double-spaced.
  4. Professional Journal Review/Analysis
    This assignment involves the review of a library and information science journal. You can select any of the journals from Rubin's book (Appendix A) for review or one that is related to library and information science. This review/analysis should be at least two pages, double-spaced.
  5. Review/Analysis of a Professional Association
    This assignment involves a written report about a library and information science association. You can select any of the associations from Rubin's book (Appendix B) or one that is related to library and information science. This review/analysis should be at least two pages, double-spaced.
  6. Research Paper
    Write a formal research paper in which you analyze a significant issue confronting the information professional today. Paper topics may be selected from the areas covered in class or you may choose an issue of more personal interest that is relevant to the goals and objectives of this course (as long as the topic is approved by the instructor). The text of your paper should be 15 to 20 pages in length; the reference list should include at least 20 citations. A bibliography is required of the sources both cited and consulted for background information and context. You will be graded on the extent of your research, your description and critical analysis of the topic, the evidence you provide in support of your argument, and the clarity and quality of your writing. Your references and formatting should adhere to the rules established in the APA Publication Manual.

Total Possible Points is 200:

Discussions Topic Responses (5 points each) 40 points
Reflective Essays (25 points each) 50 points
Professional Journal Review/Analysis 15 points
Review/Analysis of a Professional Association 15 points
Research Paper 80 points

Course Calendar

Week One Libraries and Society
Explore the history of libraries, information services and information technology. Examine the role of libraries and their relationship to other information providers. Look at the provision of library and information services in the information society.

Get acquainted with the class web site, each other, and acquire necessary materials.
Week Two Characteristics of Information
Introduction to the concepts of information in a free society and a historical perspective on the need to provide equal access to information in order to maintain a democratic society.
Week Three Information and Society
Discuss the concept of the "Information Society" and its place in political, historical, and sociological perspective. Considers the role of technology in society and how it relates to social change.
Week Four Libraries, Information, and Technology
Reviews the social, political, and technical changes caused by technology in the information workplace.
Week Five The Profession of Librarianship
Explores the socially constructed role of the library and information professions.
Week Six Ethics of the Profession
Examines the ethical basis for professional activities.
Week Seven The Information Professional
Assesses the economic and social value added by the work of information professionals.
Week Eight The Information User
Examines theories and methodologies for determining user information needs and helping expand information literacy skills.
Week Nine Special Populations, Multiculturalism and Values
Examines the multicultural mission of information workers and information institutions to serve a variety of special populations.
Week Ten Spring Recess
No Class
Week Eleven Professional Associations
Explores the mission and activities of professional organizations.
Week Twelve Information Economics
Examines the economic issues related to information access and ownership.
Week Thirteen Information Policy
Reviews major policy issues related to information with special emphasis on information policy in a democratic society.
Week Fourteen Intellectual Property and Freedom
Explores issues relating to information ownership and intellectual freedom.
Week Fifteen The Future of Information
Examines critical issues and predictions for the future of the information society.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism
Sources must be properly cited in papers as specified in class. I take this very seriously. The San José State University regulations governing plagiarism will be enforced.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Rubin, R. E. (2004). Foundations of Library and Information Science. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555705189. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1557987912. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Eberhart, G. M. (2006). The whole library handbook 4. ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838909159. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain


This course satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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