INFO 265-10
Materials for Young Adults
Summer 2022 Syllabus

Lisa Houde
Mobile: Locate this in our Canvas course site
Office Hours: Optional Zoom hours offered most weekends, and via email, text, or mobile

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available June 1st, 6 AM Pacific unless you are taking an intensive one 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.

Module One for this class runs Wednesday, June 1 to Friday, June 3. Weekly units begin on Saturdays and end on Fridays.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Prepare for a wondrous, delight-filled, and informative journey into young adult* materials! Students will survey fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, movies, TV series, and more. This course will engage students in multiple formats of self-selected young adult materials as they read, view, and listen to a variety of genres.

By the end of the course, students will likely be fans of YA materials and will have an appreciation and understanding of young adults' information-seeking behaviors and developmental needs and how library materials meet those needs.

Assignments build to and culminate in a 35-item mini-library collection of young adult materials. As with any worthwhile endeavor, the effort students put into the course will directly impact the benefits.

Please note that this course requires a lot of reading; there's no way around it in a materials course! As such, a carefully created schedule and strong discipline are required - especially as this is a 10-week course. Create a plan in the first week of the course.

As part of the course, students will be encouraged to attend several guest speaker Zoom sessions, but recordings will be available. Included are a graphic novel/comics expert, a panel of YA librarians, and an expert in intellectual freedom; presentations are subject to change based on presenters’ schedules.

*The term young adult used in this course refers to adolescents in grades 9-12; other terms used include teensYAadolescents, and older teens.

Course Requirements and Information

How to Reach Me

I encourage emails, texts, or phone calls.  Additionally, we’ll start the semester with optional weekend office hours, and I’m also happy to schedule individual Zoom sessions as needed. I typically respond to questions quite quickly, but certainly within 24 hours unless I’ve otherwise indicated a need to extend that timeframe. Preferred contact times are 6 AM to 6 PM Pacific.

Course Format

This course is offered on the iSchool Canvas site and all interactions for the class will be through that site and will include links to journal articles and other web-based offerings; most will be easily accessible in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.

Class Discussions

Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions with substantive and thoughtful responses to a wide range of subjects pertinent to young adult development and materials - see the list of weekly topics below. In order to enhance discussions, students are required to create one unique substantive post due on Tuesdays and respond thoughtfully to at least two other students due on Fridays.

Students will read two books as a class and will be expected to include an analysis of those texts in discussions.  Note: These two books may be included in the final project.

CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS A, F, J, M

Weekly Topics and Guest Speakers



Module 1

Introductions / Adolescent Psychology Part I: Defining Older Teens & Their Critical Issues

Module 2

Adolescent Psychology Part II: What's Up with the Wired Brain?

Module 3

Materials Focus: Realistic and Historical Fiction, Romance, Mysteries, Thrillers, and Horror

Guest Speakers – New Hampshire Young Adult Librarian Panel: June 14, 2022 @ 5:30 PM Pacific/8:30 PM Eastern*

Module 4

Defining Young Adult Literature

Module 5

Collection Development, Deaccession, and Teen Awards

Module 6

Materials Focus: Graphic Novels

Guest Speaker Robin Brenner, Graphic Novel Expert: July 5, 2022 @ 5:30 PM Pacific*

Module 7

Burning, Banning, and Removal: Intellectual Freedom, Censorship, and Professional Ethics

Module 8

Materials Focus: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Short Stories, and Verse Novels

Guest Speaker Jamie LaRue, Intellectual Freedom Expert: July 19, 2022 @ 5:30 PM Pacific / 8:30 PM Eastern*

Module 9

Diversity in Young Adult Literature

Module 10

Teens and Technology & Materials Focus: Nonfiction

*attendance required, but if schedules absolutely don’t permit live attendance, a recording will be available. Guest speaker dates are subject to change due to the presenter’s schedules.

Assignment Details

In all assignments, students are expected to work independently; all work submitted must be the sole work of the student and must not be copied from other sources. Student's final work will be in APA format where required and will be graded on content as well as writing quality, grammar, usage, and spelling; graduate-level writing is expected.

Students will complete six assignments that demonstrate the ability to research carefully, cite appropriately, and show the ability to connect these assignments to practical library applications.

Assignment #1 - What's Up with Teens? Adolescent Behavior and a Timely Issue Facing Teens
Students will research a timely topic/issue facing adolescents in grades 9 to 12 - examples include, but are not limited to, online bullying, puberty, peer pressure, digital connectedness, gangs, dating, or a related topic subject to instructor approval.

Students will write a well-researched five to seven-page paper on their chosen topic and will include an overview of adolescent development. Foundational readings will be provided as a springboard to this assignment.

Completion of this assignment ensures student understanding of adolescent development and issues that teens face.

CLOs 136 / COMPS A, J

Assignment #2 - On the Right Track? Two Entries for Assignment 6's Mini Library Collection
Utilizing the formatting and writing requirements for assignment #6, students will create their blog and submit one complete print and one complete media entry.

Completion of this assignment ensures that students have the correct formatting, entries, and appropriate writing style for the culminating course assignment.

CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS A, F, M

Assignment #3 - Reel to Reel: Exploring Films, Audio, Videogames, and Podcasts
Students will evaluate nine young adult media items (three each of movies, audio recordings, and video games) and write a bibliographic entry, reflect on their selection process, and report on observed trends in teen entertainment. Note: These items may be included in the final project as part of the 35 materials.

Completion of this assignment provides students with an understanding of popular entertainment media for teens as well as the ability to develop a library collection in these formats to meet teens' informational and entertainment needs.

CLOs 134 / COMPS F, J, M

Assignment #4 - Let's Get Real: Building a Tiny Young Adult Nonfiction Collection
Students will select a Dewey Decimal subject area to create a mini-collection of ten items as a collection development exercise. The subject area should be narrowed significantly rather than being too broad. The ten items will be currently in publication, relatively recently published, and available for purchase, and will include books and at least one DVD or other media. Note: Only one item from this assignment may be included in the final project.

Completion of this assignment indicates the ability to curate a nonfiction collection for young adults.

CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 / COMPS F, M

Assignment #5- Evaluating Award-Winning Young Adult Literature: Literary Merit vs. Popularity
Students will select to read in full and critique five young adult novels or nonfiction titles by different authors and in different genres that have won a Printz, Stonewall, or other award or honor; additional acceptable awards will be listed in Canvas.

After reading each title, students will research the title's professional and teen book reviews to inform their evaluation. Students will then write a short overview of their selection process, consider the value of award-winning titles, and determine whether teens have buy-in concerning these awards. Note: These five titles may be included in the final project.

Completion of this assignment provides evidence that students have an awareness of teen book awards, are able to critically evaluate award-winning books, assess how teens receive these titles, and acquire the ability to assist caregivers or parents with readers' advisory.

CLOs 1356 / COMPS F, J, M

Assignment #6 - If You Build it, They Will Read! Mini Young Adult Library Collection/Readers' Advisory Tool
Students will create a mini-library collection blog of 35 diverse genres and formats and may apply materials from other assignments to the final total as indicated in Assignments three-five.

Students will select only materials not read or viewed prior to taking this class. Blog entries will include books, movies, audiobooks, music, and other materials that are currently available for purchase, and should be relatively recently published.

Each material's entry will include a number of elements including a critique of the work; other requirements will be listed in our course.

Completion of this assignment provides evidence that students have explored and understand the wide range of genres and formats of young adult materials available and are able to assess each item as well as assist parents or caregivers with readers' advisory. Students will also show the ability to connect young adult materials to library programming and prepare for potential challenges and censorship attempts.

CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS F, M

Assignment and Discussion Due Dates


Grade Percentage

Due Dates

7 Discussion Posts and at least Two Responses

Initial post due on Tuesday; responses due on Friday


Friday June 3

Tuesday June 14, & 28

Tuesday July 5, 12, 26

Tuesday August 2

Assignment 1


Friday June 10

Assignment #2


Friday June 17

Assignment #3


Friday June 24

Assignment #4


Friday July 8

Assignment #5


Friday July 22

Assignment #6


Friday August 5

Time Management

It is critical that students create a reading and writing plan for this course. As mentioned, the final assignment entails reading/viewing and creating extensive entries for each of the 35 items. By steadily progressing through the semester using self-imposed benchmarks, students will reach successful assignment completion. In addition to reading for the final assignment, other readings will include weekly topic articles and assigned course texts.

Writing Standards

  • Submit written assignments double-spaced using 12-Point Arial or Calibri.
  • APA formatting required where noted
  • Proofread all work (consider reading your work aloud; you'll be surprised how much more you catch!)
  • All submitted work is the sole product of the student
  • Images and citations are referenced and APA formatted.

Extra Credit

There is no extra credit available in this course, but occasional additional points are awarded for exemplary work.

Late Work Policy / Other Course Guidelines

Please be sure to back up your work as a preventative measure and retain copies of all assignments until the end of the semester.

Assignment due dates are easily viewed in this syllabus and in Canvas. Assignments submitted past the 11:59 PM deadline on the due date will be reduced by 5% per day unless students contact me prior to the due date to discuss options. Late discussion posts are not accepted as this adversely impacts classmate performance.

Plan your week carefully keeping in mind the Tuesday due dates for initial discussion posts and the Friday due dates for discussion post responses and assignments.

You may have ONE free pass: Turn in ONE assignment up to a week late without penalty - ONLY if you have contacted me BEFORE the assignment due date.  All subsequent assignments must be turned in on time.  Keep in mind that some assignments build upon previous work, so a pattern of late submissions will impact your overall production. This free pass does not apply to discussion posts or the final blog project.

Coursework submitted after 11:59 PM on the last scheduled day of the semester will not be accepted.

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 teens' choices of recreational and informational sources and materials.
  2. Evaluate selection tools, and use appropriate resources to develop a collection of materials for older teens, including all appropriate formats (print, nonprint, computer software, music, etc.).
  3. Critically examine representative materials designed for older teens, including print and nonprint formats, books, graphic novels, television, movies, music, and a wide variety of computer software, including social networking software; apply criteria to evaluate materials in relation to developmental needs, multicultural concerns, and meeting the informational and recreational needs of this age group.
  4. Create an appropriate materials collection for older teens, including print and nonprint materials and a variety of the digital resources currently available for this age group.
  5. Exhibit knowledge of published resources about print and nonprint materials for older teens, such as reference materials, selection tools, and Web sites.
  6. Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their older teen children.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 265 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of those principles within that profession.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  3. 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.
  4. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.


Required Textbooks:

  • Brock, R. (2019). Young adult literature in action: A librarian's guide (3rd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1440866937arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Cart, M. (2016). Young adult literature: From romance to realism (3rd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 0838914624arrow 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.

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