INFO 263-10
Materials for Children
Spring 2022 Syllabus

Elizabeth (Beth) Wrenn-Estes, Full-Time Lecturer
Cell Phone: 510-410-1959
Office Hours: By Appointment

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning Wednesday, January 26th at 6:00 am unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Survey of materials in a variety of formats including nonfiction, beginning chapter books, fictional genres, paperback series and electronic resources, and how they can help meet developmental needs. Collection development tools and techniques for this material will also be included.

Note: This course will also cover "toy" books, flap books, board books, picture books, juvenile literature various media and technology appropriate for the age groups
0-8 years, and how they can meet the developmental needs of those ages. The course adds content that is also relevant for lower aged tweens. 

Course Requirements


NOTE: The Instructor uses “I” and/or “me” throughout the document.

This course will open on CANVAS Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

  • Students are responsible to review the Syllabus and the Canvas course site.
  • These two important information sources (Syllabus and Canvas Course site) work in tandem to give students directions, requirements, and information needed to be successful in understanding issues in intellectual freedom for youth. You need to understand both.
  • Questions should be posted to the instructor through the "Ask the Professor" discussion tread on the Canvas site.
  • Each student is expected to check the CANVAS site at least once per day for course updates, additional resources, announcements, and other new information that may be posted by the instructor.
  • The student should read the Syllabus carefully and then visit the website and read through everything that is there. Compile questions or clarifications that you need to ask and post to “Ask the Professor”. Only send me emails for critical things like sickness, death of a loved one, etc.
  • The instructor makes every effort to proofread the information in both the syllabus and the Canvas course website. However, errors may occur.

"Ask the Professor" Discussion Thread

Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the discussion thread under Discussion Threads on the CANVAS class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature send directly to the instructor’s email address (

Questions, Comments, Concerns- Discussion Thread
Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the "Ask the Professor" discussion thread under the Modules link on the CANVAS class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature you may send directly to the instructor’s email address (

E-mail Subject Lines/Naming of Assignment Files – Mandatory

  • Format for subject line for all email correspondence
  • Format the file name for all assignments:

Official school Email Policy

  • Instructor will respond to student emails within 24-hours of receipt. The instructor will inform the class if a longer response time is needed (instructor out of town, illness, etc.).
  • Students are expected to answer emails from the instructor and fellow students within the same timeframe.

Crisis or Emergency:

  • Please CALL, TEXT or EMAIL the instructor (in advance if at all possible) if a situation will prevent you from completing assignments or another class activity. You will receive a zero for any coursework missed unless you have received permission from the instructor for an extension. Most extensions are granted for extenuating circumstances only and not for being overwhelmed at work (for example).
  • The instructor reserves the right to deduct points (the number of points is determined by the instructor) for any work not submitted on time or lack of participation in any class activities or assignment.

Course Calendar - Subject to change with fair notice.

Technology Requirements You will need a high-speed connection (DSL, cable, etc.) to successfully participate in this class. Please see the Technology Requirements and Instructions for Success handout.

Grading/Grading Rubric

  • The instructor uses the rubric inside the Canvas Speedgrader for almost every assignment so please make sure you read comments and see how your points were allocated throughout the rubric. The instructor grades assignments as quickly as possible but it may take up to three weeks to get an assignment completely graded and returned to the class if class size is large and the instructor has additional classes to teach during the semester.
  • The instructor may include a separately written evaluation along with the rubric comments and point allocation.
  • The instructor will post grading updates on the announcements page to let students know where in the grading process of a certain assignment the instructor is.

Grading - see scale below
Rounding - The instructor doesn't round points up to the next whole number. If you receive an 89.6 you will get the grade equivalent for those points.


Weekly Modules appear on Canvas Course site and will be available when then course opens Wednesday, January 26, 2022 and will have more descriptive content than indicated on the Syllabus including, but not limited to, links for discussion threads; articles to read; websites to visit; readings; lectures and overviews and any other information sources the instructor feels of value.

COURSE CALENDAR - Points/Assignments with Due Dates - TOTAL POINTS FOR ALL ASSIGNMENTS = 100


Discussion Threads

  • All students post to the same discussion thread for the Video Introduction and the Reflection. The class will be divided into two groups for the remaining threads (A-L and M-Z).
  • All discussions start on Monday and end on Sunday at 5 pm Pacific.
  • Discussions, except for Introduction and Reflection have 2 substantial posts and 2 responses to classmates.
  • More details will be included in each discussion thread on the Canvas site.


DT #1/Week 1 January 26th to January 30th 
Introduce yourself to the class by creating a SHORT VIDEO
This is your opportunity to tell us a few things about you. Please tell us where you live (State and Time Zone).  One of the things I’d like to know if where each of you is in the iSchool program and what are you doing in your professional life right now. Feel free to tell us other things about yourself but only if you are comfortable doing so - post pictures, background, etc. Everyone loves to see and hear about dogs, cats, children, hobbies.
1 post - must be video /3 pts

DT #2/Week 4 February 14th to February 20th
Topic: Selection Tools
Evaluate selection tools for all formats of materials for children - these can be for books both fiction and non-fiction (board, easy readers, etc.) audio books, online programs, games, etc. 

Selection tool sources can be in print or online - a few examples of what you could discuss are School Library Journal and Hornbook.
4 posts/4 points

DT #3/Week 6 February 28th to March 6th 
Topic: Digital Technology 
There is a large number online or computer programs for kids 0-8years old.  In this discussion thread students need to do some research into online or computer programs that would be in a library or at home for kids to use. 
4 posts/4 points

DT #4/Week 8 March 14th to March 20th
Topic - What trends do you see in children's fiction and non-fiction. 4 posts/4 points
Couple of resources to get you started: see what you can find.....
 What's Trending in Children's Literature and Why It Matters.

2021 Trends in Global Literature for Children and Adolescents

The Top Children's Book Trends for This School Year

DT #5/Week 11 April 4th to April 10th
Topic – Resources for Parents 
Librarians are always putting together resources for parents; what are some of the resources you would provide as a children's librarian to your young and adult patrons which would enhance their use and enjoyment of the materials you have in the children's section of the library.
4 posts/4 points

DT #6/Week 15 May 2nd to May 8th
Topic:  - Reflection on the class – things learned and carried away from the class this semester. 1 post/2 points

CLO’s #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 

Lecture/Guest Speakers

10 pts-Session

2 pts
Reflection Paper

ZOOM Session #1 -MANDATORY - Wednesday, March 2nd (Week 6) - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Pacific.

Reflection Paper on Session due Friday, March 4th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 6)

CLOs #1#3

Diversity/Inclusion/Equity and White Privilege  Study (Paper) 15 pts

URL Due Friday, March 25th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 9)

CLOs #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Lecture/Guest Speakers

10 pts-Session

2 pts 
Reflection Paper

ZOOM Session #2 –MANDATORY - Wednesday, April 6th (Week 11) - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Pacific.

Reflection Paper on Session due Friday, April 8th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 11)

CLOs #1#3

GROUP ASSIGNMENT - 2 to 3 students to a group: Illustrator Study 




Blog or Website = 34 pts

Evaluations= 3pts each/6pts total

Total pts = 40 pts.

URL Due Friday, May 6th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 15)


Instructor will assign each student 2 blogs to evaluate - the evaluations will be due on Tuesday, May 10th (Week 16)


CLOs #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 

CONTENT ACCESSIBILITY: All assignments, overviews, and lectures, will be provided in written, audio and video formats.


Instructor's Role

  • The instructor will act as a facilitator for the threads. Instructor may comment from time-to-time but the discussions are student-driven.
  • The instructor will include questions or prompts with each book discussion thread to get the conversation going but students are charged with keeping the discussion going throughout the week

 Discussion Posts 

  • Do not post before the opening date of the thread. All threads open on Mondays (except the Video Introduction and close on Sundays at 5:00 pm Pacific.
  • Full points will be awarded to students who write in-depth insights and opinions about the weekly topic and meet the required number of posts each thread. The definition of "substantial" in relation to the discussion posts means writing in-depth narratives for each post of at least 75-100 words.
  • The post should not just quote the texts/resources for the class but shows you have reached out to the other sources to enhance your understanding of the weekly topic. Citations should be put at the bottom of the post in APA format. It is important to include your own thoughts and opinions in the thread as well as from experts in the field.
  • Stay on track - you must post one substantial post on Tuesdays and one substantial post on Thursdays of each week and two posts to classmates before Sunday at 5 pm Pacific. The introduction and reflection threads only require one post and response to fellow classmates are optional.
  • Points for DT - 2 substantial posts and 2 responses are required for each discussion thread except the video and the reflection which only have 1 post.
  • How points are distributed. The discussion threads Wk. 4,6,8 and 11 are worth 4 pts. Substantial posts are worth 1.75 pts each and the responses are worth 2 pts. Introduction is worth 3points and Reflection worth 2 points.
  • Doing more than the minimum number of posts is greatly encouraged by the instructor - shows initiative and interest in the topics being discussed on a higher level. No points are lost for not posting more than the number of posts required. 

General Writing Standards- ALL ASSIGNMENTS

  • Students must produce assignments that meet writing and research standards appropriate for students in a Master's program of study. Write clearly!
  • It is critical to proofread your work and then proofread it again before turning it in. Graduate-level writing standards do not tolerate grammatical errors of any kind. You will lose points so please make sure you pay attention to sentence construction and other grammar. LINK to advise on writing on graduate level.
  • Students are encouraged to refer to a style writing handbook of their choice- suggestions are Strunk and White's Elements of Style. APA is mandated for citations included within the text of the paper and reference/bib page(s) BUT no other parts of the assignments

Spelling and Grammar Guidelines
Instructor may not read your entire assignment for spelling and grammar mistakes; if, in the instructor's opinion, your assignment contains too many errors the instructor will stop grading the assignment for grammar and spelling, reduce your points and move on to content and research sections.

Paper and Blog or Website Formatting Requirements
Located on the Module link on the Canvas site at the top of the page.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 200, INFO 260A or INFO 261A

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the external (societal) and internal (developmental) forces that influence children's choices of recreational and informational sources and materials.
  2. Evaluate selection tools, and demonstrate the ability to use appropriate resources to develop a collection of materials for the preschool and elementary school-aged children (ages 0-9), including all appropriate formats.
  3. Critically examine representative materials designed for the pre-school and elementary school-aged child (ages 0-9), including but not limited to books, television, movies, and the Internet, and apply criteria to evaluate them in relation to child development, multicultural concerns, and creating a collection that meets the informational and recreational needs of this age group.
  4. Evaluate children's digital resources to determine the most developmentally appropriate ones to recommend to parents, and identify ones that are less appropriate or useful.
  5. Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their children 0-9 years old.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 263 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  2. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.


Required Textbooks:

  • Huck, C. (2018). Charlotte Huck's children's literature: A brief guide (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education. Available through Amazon: B07HHCQBLParrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

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 or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

icon showing link leads to the PDF file viewer known as Acrobat Reader Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.

More accessibility resources.