LIBR 220-05
LIBR 220-14
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Science and Technology
Spring 2010 Semester Greensheet

Dr. Susan E. Aber
Phone (work):
620-341-5977; Phone (home): available to enrolled students. Calls should be between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. PDT/PST. 
Office location: Emporia, Kansas and online.
Office Hours: I can be reached by email, telephone, and discussion forum board. I will respond to messages within 48 hours and notify you in advance when I will be unavailable. Informal Elluminate sessions are voluntary, and final dates/times of the meetings will be given in course announcements at least one week in advance.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
Course Calendar
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Enrollment Information
Students must self-enroll for this course on ANGEL prior to the first day of classes. Spring 2010 semester begins on January 26, and a message with access code will be sent via My.SJSU after January 19 when the ANGEL course website becomes available.

Course Description

According to the SJSU catalog, LIBR220 is an “examination of the nature of resources for, and services to, professions and disciplines including methods of communication, characteristics of researchers and other users, and current methods of meeting research needs in libraries and information centers” (

As a part of this LIBR220 series, this section focus is on the broad category of science and technology (sci/tech). In general, the course is designed to acquaint students with the variety of fields of study among sci/tech disciplines and the common primary and secondary information resources, as well as the sources librarians label as gray literature. Information needs and seeking behaviors among scientists and engineers will be investigated as well as duties and challenges of sci/tech librarians and library liaisons for building collections and delivering services. With a client-centered focus in mind, methods of communicating among sci/tech librarians and clients will be emphasized. Collection building and services must consider the interdisciplinary nature of science and technology fields of study utilized by scientists and engineers.

Specifically, this course is for interested students who are curious to learn how to piece together the puzzle of sources and services needed to assist scientists and engineers. As the overarching disciplines of biology, physics, chemistry, geology, engineering, and computer science/technology co-mingle; they depend upon the dissemination and diffusion of information to create the newest careers and fields of study, for example bioinformatics, bioengineering, nanobiotechnology, biomimetic robotics, and biophysical chemistry. This interdisciplinary approach must be recognized by librarians.

For this class, no prior knowledge of the sciences is assumed. All students are welcome whether or not you believe the definition of a white dwarf is an aging star that collapsed because hydrogen was burned up and thus the fusion process slowed, which upset the delicate balance with the inward pressure of gravity causing the star to collapse or …an aging star named John Rhys Davies, also known as Gimli, who appeared in Lord of the Rings and was described as courageous dwarf, with great strength and sense of justice! Regardless of your first thoughts on white dwarfs, you are responsible for locating information, which in this case was from Imagine the Universe, NASA Goddard,, and a review at Lord of the Rings trilogy website, In other words, all students are welcome whether you have a science background, are a science fiction-fantasy book and movie buff, or both!

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 210 Reference & Information Services and LIBR 202 Information Retrieval are the two prerequisite courses ( According to SJSU SLIS policy course prerequisite rules, there are no exceptions.

Course Objectives

The overall goal of this course is for students to learn about resources associated with various science and technology fields of study and professional work in order to gain insight into services that science and engineering librarians or library liaisons provide to assist clients. In order to adopt a client-centered focus toward science and technology librarianship, an additional course goal is to describe characteristics of science and technology users in order to better predict effective services and market resources. To reach these goals, the following student learning objectives apply.

Student Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to…

  • define disciplines and describe interdisciplinary subfields of study among the various people who work in sci/tech professions;
  • investigate unique resource needs, information search characteristics, and citation styles among people in sci/tech professions by applying conversational skills;
  • analyze and evaluate given sci/tech pathfinder, subject, tutorial, and instructional resource guides on library, vendor, and science/engineering organizational websites;
  • examine job postings to recognize and categorize services and duties of science and engineering librarians;
  • describe preferred databases or methods employed by librarians who locate primary and gray resources in sci/tech fields of study;
  • describe librarian and liaison methods for communicating with clients and effectively building/weeding resource collections;
  • use knowledge gained throughout the course to create and present a project for effective marketing and promoting sci/tech services and resources, which are both discipline or interdisciplinary in nature.

Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to...

  • locate and organize sci/tech information/data resources to facilitate communication with clients and other library staff;
  • recognize characteristics of users and assess techniques and duties unique to science and technology librarianship or science library liaisons to improve services;
  • construct and present a promotional project for discipline specific or interdisciplinary resources/librarian services to increase awareness for sci/tech resources among individuals or groups of users in educational or public communities.

LIBR 220 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies...

  • demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies, as they affect the resources and uses of libraries and other types of information providing entities;
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;
  • contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Angel will be used as a platform for course lecture readings, assignments, and discussions. All assignments must be your own work with properly cited and referenced sources. The expected citation and reference style is APA, which is consistent with SJSU SLIS policy. See SLIS APA Style Resources at


1. Student Learning Outcome: Locate and organize sci/tech resources. Assessment: All students will complete short-answer assignments from readings on various aspects of defining science and technology discipline and interdisciplinary resources and databases; as well as contribute to the discussion forum.
2. Student Learning Outcome: Recognize and assess characteristics of users and duties of librarians. Assessment: All students will be required to complete informal conversations/interviews on various aspects of defining needs and duties science and technology users and librarians; as well as contribute to the discussion forum.
3. Student Learning Outcome: Construct and present a project for effective promoting and marketing sci/tech resources/services. Assessment: All students are required to integrate information and knowledge gained from course readings and assignments to create a final project in an online presentation format related to promoting and marketing sci/tech resources and library services.

Specifically, the final grade is based on participation, assignments, and a final project. Class participation, 16 points toward the final grade, includes discussion forum comments and responsive communication with classmates. Short-answer and reports, 58 points toward the final grade, are assignments based on responding to questions, as well as evaluating readings, web/library resources, webliographies/pathfinders, and two informal interviews. The final project & presentation, 26 points toward the total grade, will be a narrative summary presentation and written report project, in a format that will go online easily (e.g., webpage, blog, narrated power point, and the like). Up to 8 extra credit points will be earned in the semester: submitting an early final project draft ( 1 pt) and presenting at Elluminate Sessions ( 7 pts). Elluminate sessions are voluntary, but if you choose to participate, Elluminate reporting/presenting should be approximately 10-15 minutes in length followed by brief discussion on each other’s report.

Assignment and final project grading will be based on following instructions; effective expression of content knowledge; accurate grammar and spelling; proper citing in the body of the text, and complete referencing of text citations. Discussion forum grading will be based on thoughtful and thorough responses to forum topic and fellow classmate postings. Feedback and specific comments will be provided for all assignments.

Course Calendar

The semester is January 26-May 17 with SJSU spring recess March 29-April 2. A tentative course calendar is shown below; activities or project due dates are subject to change with fair notice. The Angel course webpage will be available January 19.  

Modules/Assignments/Sharing (Science & Technology = Sci/Tech)
Due Date
  Unit 1: Sci-tech Clients & Resources
Module 1: Getting to Know You & Me
Assignment 1: Short Answer (4 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts)
Module 2: Describing Sci/Tech Users & Professionals
Assignment 2: Informal Conversation & Report (10 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts)

Module 3: Defining the Sci/Tech Disciplines Assignment 3: Short Answer (4 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts)

Module 4: Reflections on Assign 1-3
Assignment 4: Reflections Reporting; come together on Elluminate to share findings ( 4 pts)
  Unit 2: Sci/Tech Librarians & Collections
Module 5: Describing Sci/Tech Librarian/Liaison –duties/expectations. Assignment 5: Informal Conversation & Report (10 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts) 3/16
Module 6: Listserv archives-librarian-to-librarian support. Assignment 6: Short Answer (4 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts) 3/16
Module 7: Sci/Tech Primary/Secondary sources: reference-print/e-books, databases. Assignment 7: Web/Pathfinder (4 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts) 3/23
Module 8: Reflections on Assign 5-7
Assignment 8: Reflections reporting; come together on Elluminate to share findings ( 4 pts)
Module 9: Sci/Tech Gray literature, K-12.
Assignment 9: Web/Pathfinder (4 pts)
  Unit 3: Sci/Tech Librarianship/Delivering Services
Module 10: Sci/Tech Interdisciplinary Subject- Pathfinder/ Webliography (Wetlands-each discipline perspective) (10 pts) Final Project Topic Choice (due 4/6) 4/20
Module 11: Sci/Tech Instructional & tutorial sources. Assignment 11: Web/Pathfinder (4 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts) 4/20
Module 12: Sci/Tech Librarian job announcements – compare duties, expectations. Assignment 13: Brief report (4 pts) Discussion Forum (2 pts) 4/27
Module 13: Sci/Tech Final Project progress
Assignment 13: Draft ( 4)
Module 14: Sci/Tech Final Project
Assignment 14: Presentation (ppt?) come together on Elluminate to share final projects ( 4)
Module 15: Sci Tech Final Project Due (26 pts)
Wrap-up Discussions/Assignment Completion
5/4 (prefer)
5/9 (must!)

Course Grading

  1. Assignments  ~60% (58 pts)
  2. Discussion/Participation ~15% (16 pts)
  3. Final Project ~ 25% (26 pts)

Details on assignments, due dates, and grading will be in each Angel course module. Participation in the informal Elluminate Sharing sessions is strongly encouraged and will count as extra credit opportunities. The exact SJSU SLIS grading scale is given below.

Course and Official University Policy

Late Assignments Policy
Due dates for activities and participation opportunities are set to keep an easy pace of progress throughout the semester. If requested in advance of the due date, assignment late passes will be granted for two different assignments. The pass is good for a week extension past the stated due date.

Beyond the two free one week extensions, late assignments will still be accepted with the understanding that a decrease in the number of points earned for the assignment will apply. A penalty of 10% of the total number of points possible can be deducted each week past the due date.

Textbook and Readings

No textbook is required for this elective course. Recommended lecture, online, journal, and book readings will be forthcoming in Angel course modules; while, no recommended textbooks are listed at the SJSU SLIS ebookstore, three general text resources that may be of interest are listed below.

Recomended Readings:

  • Conkling, T. W., & Musser, L. R. (Eds.). (2001). Engineering libraries: Building collections and delivering services. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Information Press. [Co-published as individual articles in Science & Technology Libraries, Volume 19, Numbers 3/4.]
  • Hurt, C. D. (1998). Information sources in science and technology (3rd ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Mount, E., & Kovacs, B. (1991). Using science and technology information sources. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.

No Textbooks For This Course

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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