INFO 260A-11
Programming and Services for Children
Spring 2022 Syllabus

Lisa Houde, she/her/hers
Mobile: Locate this in our Canvas course site
Office Hours: Contact via email, text, or mobile from 6 AM to 6 PM Pacific; optional office hours on Zoom will be held periodically.

Syllabus Links

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26, 2022, @ 6 AM Pacific 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.

Week #1 (Intro Week) runs from Wednesday, January 26 to Friday, January 28, 2022. Weekly units begin on Saturdays and end on Fridays at 11:59 PM Pacific when assignments and discussion post responses will be due.

Course Description

This course examines the importance and practical creation of library services and programming for children from birth to age 12 and includes a foundational examination of childhood development. Students will focus on programming and will be required to both create and critique programs, will be provided with tools to properly evaluate programs and to align programming with library strategic plans and mission statements. Expect to examine various children’s programs and to develop methods for creating foundational ongoing and one-time programs such as storytime, summer reading programs, book clubs, and maker programs. Services examined include community collaborations, outreach, budget and funding, management and leadership, advocacy, marketing, and collection development, and all topics will be viewed through a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and belonging.

Note: Several assignments require that you reach out to professionals in the field, and with this, you have a responsibility to be respectful to those you speak with or write to; be mindful that you represent not only yourself, but your instructor, the iSchool, and SJSU. This likely goes without saying, but it’s worth the reminder: Respecting the time of those you reach out to is critical; excellent manners are expected, and please limit making multiple requests to any one person. If you encounter a problem hearing back from someone, please reach out to your instructor rather than send multiple requests.

As with any worthwhile endeavor, the effort students put into the course will directly impact the benefits. Assignments and discussion post requirements are outlined below but note that a 12-month programming plan is the culminating assignment for this course. A carefully created semester plan to work on this final project along with strong discipline will ensure student success. Four additional assignments and weekly readings in textbooks and articles will be required; discussion posts are outlined below.

There will be several guest presentations, and live attendance is encouraged, but recordings will be available. Details on those guests will be available in Canvas.

Course Requirements and Information

How to Reach Me

Please e-mail me as a first option. I will respond quite quickly - likely by the evening of the day you contact me, and certainly within 24 hours of your email unless I've otherwise noted the need to extend that timeframe. If you have an urgent situation, please text or call me; my mobile number will be available in our course site. Preferred contact times are 6 AM to 6 PM Pacific; I live on the east coast of the US, so keep that time frame in mind – thank you.

Course Format

This course is offered on the iSchool Canvas site and all interactions will be through that site and will include links to journal articles and other web-based offerings; most will be easily accessed in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Assignments will be uploaded in the Canvas site, and class discussions will take place using the Canvas discussion forum. Detailed assignment and discussion post information, formatting requirements, and rubrics will be available in Canvas.

Class Discussions

Due Dates: Initial substantive posts are to be completed by 11:59 PM Pacific on Wednesdays; two responses to classmates will be due on Fridays unless otherwise noted (see below for details). There will be 9 weeks of discussion questions, and all dates are listed in the assignment calendar – also below. Weight = 20% CLOs 126 / COMPS D, J, M

Students will be expected to contribute to the class discussion by providing substantive and thoughtful responses to discussion topics. These topics, weekly readings, and activities will cover a wide range of subjects pertinent to programming and services for children as outlined in the calendar below. In order to enhance discussions, students are required to create a unique post by Wednesday at 11:59 PM Pacific, and respond to at least two other students by Fridays at 11:59 pm Pacific for a total of 25 possible points

Weekly Topics

Week 1

Introductory Videos / Overview of Childhood Development and Library Services

Week 2


Week 3

Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation

Week 4

Programming Defined / Program and Space Planning

Week 5


Week 6

Programming in Multiple Formats

Week 7

Summer Reading Programs

Week 8

Readers’ Advisory

Week 9

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Children’s Services 


Spring Break / Cesar Chavez Day (March 31)

Week 10

Programming for Children with Disabilities 

Week 11

Homework Help and Reference

Week 12

Collection Development and Intellectual Freedom 

Week 13

Management and Leadership

Week 14

Budgets and Funding 

Week 15

Outreach, Advocacy, and Marketing

Week 16


Time Management

As mentioned above, it is critical that students create a work schedule for this course; the final assignment entails creating a detailed year-long programming plan with multiple elements required for each program. In addition to working towards this final project goal, weekly readings, discussions, and other assignments will also be required. By steadily progressing through the semester using self-imposed benchmarks, students will ensure successful assignment completion.

Class Assignments

Students are expected to work independently on assignments and participate in group discussions as noted above. All material submitted must be the sole work of the student and must not be copied from other sources unless the assignment explicitly permits inclusion and citation of sources other than a student's own work. Submitted assignments will be 7th edition APA format unless otherwise noted and will be graded on content as well as writing quality, grammar, usage, and spelling; graduate-level writing is expected.

Students will complete five assignments that demonstrate the ability to research carefully, cite appropriately, and show the ability to connect these assignments to practical library applications concerning programming for children. Assignments will be uploaded in the Canvas site.


Grade Percentage

Due Dates

9 Discussion Responses


Note: Initial substantive posts due on Wednesdays; 2 responses due on Fridays unless otherwise noted.


1/28; 2/4; 2/11; 3/11; 3/18; 4/8; 4/15; 4/29; 5/6

#1 – Let’s See What’s Out There: Exploring and Evaluating Children’s Programming and Storytimes / Reflection and Evaluation Paper



#2 – Lights, Camera, Action!  Observe Then Create Your Own Themed Story Time / Written Paper & Recorded Content



#3 - Get Creative: Design a Do-It-Yourself or Maker's Program / Written Paper



#4 - Let’s Focus on BOOKS: Booktalking and Book Discussion Groups / Written Paper



#5 – The Wheel of the Year: Creating a 12-Month Programming Plan / Blog



Assignment Descriptions

Assignment #1 – Let’s See What’s Out There: Exploring and Evaluating Children’s Programming

The goal of this first assignment is to provide a foundation for the rest of the course and especially for your final project. You’re on an expedition! Cast a wide net to research and report on children’s programming for youth from birth to age 12. You’ll examine and report on how programming has shifted during the pandemic and will research public library programming across multiple geographical areas; you’ll want to include larger city library offerings in addition to middle and smaller-sized public libraries. As you examine these programs, note trends you observe, list programs you might adapt for your final project (these will include a blend of online and in-person programs), and pay close attention to creative and unique approaches you discover. Additionally, you’ll select one program to evaluate utilizing measurable criteria. Further details about this written assignment will be available in our Canvas course. All research conducted for this assignment must include attribution in APA format. CLOs 1, 235 / COMP D, N

Assignment #2 – Lights, Camera, Action!  Observe Then Create Your Own Themed Story Time

The goal of this assignment is to demonstrate your ability to create and carry out a storytime for children after observing three storytimes currently being run virtually in libraries. Specifics around required elements will be available in our course, but the overview includes observing three storytimes and reflecting on and evaluating each in a written paper. You will also plan a full themed storytime which will include several books, songs, fingerplays, rhymes, motion activities, musical instruments, scarves, felt boards, or other creative ways to engage children; be sure to select a targeted age for your storytime – babies (birth to 12 months), toddlers (1 to 3 years), or preschoolers (3 to 5 years). Your plan will focus on developing early literacy skills and will include equity, diversity, and inclusion practices for storytimes while engaging children in a fun, animated event. A written paper will outline details for your storytime, and you’ll highlight singular elements in a recording of yourself performing that storytime. Create an in-person storytime with an option for virtual programming. All work is of your own creation; any research conducted for this assignment must include attribution in APA format. You may include this storytime in your final project. CLOs 1, 23  / COMPS D, J, M, N

Assignment #3 – Get Creative: Design a Do-It-Yourself or Maker's Program

The goal of this assignment is to show that you can plan and offer a hands-on game and craft library program for school-age children without hiring outside entertainment. You have two choices: 1. Plan a craft, game, and activity program based on a theme for school-age children: for example, a non-religious holiday program or a celebration of a popular children’s book series (such as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Beezus and Ramona, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.). 2. Plan a Makerspace program for tweens (ages 8-12).  Both choices involve describing the types of activities you will have available for participants; offer at least five different crafts/games/activities in your plan along with an icebreaker and refreshments (which are not part of the five activities). This assignment requires that you create an in-person program with an option for virtual programming. All research for this project will require listing sources in APA format. You may include this program in your final project. CLOs 56 / COMPS D, J

Assignment #4 – Let’s Focus on BOOKS: Booktalking and Book Discussion Groups

The goal of this assignment is to demonstrate you can write a booktalk and that you can plan a book discussion group for tweens. Read a chapter book/novel aimed at 4th-6th graders from the following genres: mystery, historical fiction, sports, adventure, survival, animal story, fantasy, humor, science fiction, or contemporary/realistic fiction. This should be a book considered “literature;” not a mass market paperback series (for example, The Babysitter’s Club series would not work for this assignment). The book should have won an ALSC award or honor, or it should be written by an author considered outstanding in the field; please check with me if you have questions around your choice. You’re required to read the book and write a booktalk. In addition, write a 4 to 5-page description of how that book could be used in a book discussion group; this project will include a brief overview of how the book discussion group would be organized and run, how it would be publicized, the target audience, discussion questions you’ll utilize specifically for this book, detailed steps around crafts or food that would enhance the book club, and other creative approaches. You’ll also provide three “read-alike” titles that your book club participants might enjoy; you’ll need to read these books in full, provide bibliographic information, and write short booktalks for each title. All booktalks, discussion questions, crafts, etc. must be your own work. Note that you’ll be including an in-person book group format as well as a virtual option. If you include research for this assignment, include all sources in APA format. This program may be included in your final project. CLOs 2, 4 / COMPS J, M

Assignment #5 - The Wheel of the Year: Creating a 12-Month Programming Plan

The goal of this assignment is to demonstrate your ability to create a year of programming for a library (either the children’s department of a public library or an elementary school library). Write a 12-month programming plan intended for children from birth to age 12 for this final blog project. This would include the usual weekly library storytimes and a regular monthly book discussion group, as well as entertainment programs, homework programs, a summer reading program (even at a school library), author/illustrator visits, online programming, and gaming, etc. Design an overall theme for the year, and/or themes for each month along with coordinating displays. Include information on how the various activities enhance developmental skills at various ages and which activities are book-related, or are related to electronic resources, and which are designed to get families to come to the library. You need to include regular recurring programs as well as one monthly special event during the school year, and weekly special events during the summer at a minimum. Write out a budget, staff requirements, and include programming created with equity, diversity, and inclusion and a summer reading program with details on how it would work, what incentives would be offered, how reading is measured and rewarded, etc. Additional details will be available in our course. Note that you’ll be including both virtual and in-person programs for this assignment. Do research and list all your sources in APA format. CLOs 2, 4, 6 / COMPS D, M

Writing Standards

Written assignments must be in APA formatting (The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Ed.). Sample APA-formatted assignments and exemplars will be available in our course.

All assignments should be carefully proofread (consider reading your work aloud; you'll be surprised by how much more you catch!), are the sole product of the student, include properly cited images and ideas and are listed on the reference page, meet APA standards, and are within the page limit established by the instructor.  For all assignments, graduate level writing is expected.

Extra Credit

There is no extra credit available in this course, though occasional additional points may be awarded for exceptional work.

Late Work Policy / Other Course Guidelines

Assignment due dates are easily viewed in this syllabus and in Canvas. Please be sure to back up your work as a preventative measure and retain copies of all assignments until the end of the semester.

Late, incomplete assignments, or inaccessible blog links will be penalized 5% per day; you may, however, have ONE free pass, meaning that you may turn in one assignment up to a week late without any penalty (this free pass does not extend to discussion forum requirements or the final blog project). To use the free pass, you must inform me that you will be using this pass BEFORE the assignment due date on my mobile number.

If you require an extension for an unforeseen emergency, you must text or call my mobile number prior to the due date; email extension requests will not be considered. Staying in constant communication throughout the semester will ensure student success!

All work must be submitted by Friday, May 13, 2021; this enables the instructor time to meet the grade reporting deadline.

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

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the current reading, viewing, and listening habits of children, and use this knowledge in program planning.
  2. Apply information on children's developmental and psychological needs and tasks to plan age-appropriate programming and services.
  3. Demonstrate storytelling, reading aloud, finger plays, songs, and rhymes; explain why these activities are developmentally appropriate for the preschool child and how they fit into library services for this age group.
  4. Design and run a summer reading program or game; explain the importance of encouraging parents to read aloud to their children to prepare them for learning to read, and the importance of maintaining reading skills of school-age children by encouraging them to read over the summer.
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with a wide variety of computer software for use in children's library programming.
  6. Design a children's area based on the developmental, recreational, and informational needs of this age group, and create and implement an annual programming and display plan.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 260A supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  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.
  3. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  4. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Baker, R. (2017). Creating literacy-based programs for children. ALA Editions. Available through Amazon: 0838915000arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Fasick, A.M., & Holt, L.E. (2013). Managing children's services in libraries (4th ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1610691008arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Peck, P. (2014). Crash course in children's services (2nd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1610697812arrow 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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