LIBR 246-04
LIBR 246-13
Information Technology Tools and Applications – Advanced
Topic: Web 2.0
Spring 2010 Greensheet

Meredith Farkas
Office Hours: By appointment 

Course Links
Online Classroom

iSchool eBookstore

Textbooks and Software | Course Requirements

Classroom info: Class begins January 23 in our classroom ( which uses Drupal, an easy-to-use online content management system that allows for the creation of multiple blogs in a single space. Students will receive their login information via email and can begin using the course site on January 18th.

Course Description

Social software is rapidly changing the way we all work and play online. Social technologies have turned the web into a participatory medium (Web 2.0) where everyone can add their own creativity and knowledge to the whole. It is also opening up new opportunities for reaching out to patrons and providing library services in the online medium. This course is focused on developing the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate, implement and maintain Web 2.0 technologies. We will examine the social technologies that comprise Web 2.0 and how libraries can capitalize on these tools to improve communication between the library and its patrons, build online communities, and better share information professionally.

Many social software tools are quite easy to get started with. It takes mere minutes to create a blog or a wiki and start adding content to them. This has led many libraries to dive into these technologies without properly planning for their ongoing use and maintenance. Blog posts must be made engaging so that people will read them. Wikis must be made inviting so that people will contribute. While the technologies are not difficult to learn, the challenge is to make them effective, engaging and useful in your library. This course will focus on social software best practices, highlighting successful examples and discovering what makes them so effective.

This course will involve a significant amount of hands-on experience with the technologies as well as frequent reflections on how to apply what you've learned in a professional setting. You will have the opportunity to explore social software from an academic standpoint and a practical standpoint; understanding how communities form through these tools and how you can capitalize on them in a library setting.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Utilize social software tools for information collection, management, dissemination and collaboration.
  • Evaluate social software tools and specific implementations of these tools.
  • Understand how communities form through the use of social software tools.
  • Identify best practices for individual social software tools.
  • Design concrete services using social software tools that can be implemented in libraries and information organizations and plan for their marketing and continued maintenance.

LIBR 246 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems;
  • 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;
  • understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create in formation structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge.

In addition, this section supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;
  • apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy.

Course Requirements

Course Format
This course will primarily take place in Drupal. Please be aware that what you will write for this class will be openly available on the Web and open to comment from your classmates and the public. The goal is to make the experience of using social technologies in this course much like the experiences you would have using the same technologies in a library setting.

There will be four Elluminate sessions during the course, which will require attendance and participation. You will need to purchase a USB headset or microphone to participate in Elluminate sessions and to create a screencast for the class. Be sure you have had Elluminate training or have taken a tutorial. For more information, see the Student Guide at

Technology Requirements
You will need a current and fast internet connection like DSL, Cable, or FIOS. Please see the home computing environment requirements at:

You will also need to be able to access sites like Facebook and MySpace and so must have access to a computer that doesn't block popular social networking sites.


Exercises 21 pts
Marketing critique 9 pts
Social Software Dynamics Paper 20 pts
Group Project 20 pts
Participation 30 pts
  • Exercises (21 points)
    There will be seven exercises that will allow you to use the technologies you learned about that week. Exercises are due on Saturday at 11:59 pm PST.
  • Marketing critique (9 points)
    You will write a 3-5 page paper critiquing the effectiveness of a library’s online marketing/outreach efforts.
  • Community Dynamics Paper (20 points)
    You will examine a specific community or how community forms using a specific technology. You can choose your own topic, but it must be approved by me. Examples of possible topics will be provided if you are having trouble thinking of one.
  • Group Project (20 points)
    You will form groups of four or five to develop a detailed proposal for implementing a specific tool or group of tools in a specific library type or related setting.
  • Participation (30 points)
    Participation is based on fulfilling your weekly expectations of blogging, sharing resources, and commenting on your classmates' blog posts. Attendance at Elluminate sessions will also constitute a major part of your participation grade.

Course Calendar
(subject to change with fair notice)

Date Topic

Assignment Due (all due by 11:59 pm)

1/26 Social software, Web 2.0 and Library 2.0  
2/2 Library branding and reputation monitoring Exercise 1 due 2/6
2/9 Blogging  
2/16 Microblogging and lifestreaming Exercise 2 due 2/20
2/23 RSS

Exercise 3 due 2/27 Elluminate session 2/24

3/2 Social networking software and online marketing strategy Marketing critique due 3/7
3/9 Video and screencasting Exercise 4 due 3/13
3/16 Wikis and social bookmarking Exercise 5 due 3/20
Elluminate session 3/17
3/23 Internal collaboration Exercise 6 due 4/3
4/6 Collecting knowledge from users  
4/13 Technologies for community-building Community Dynamics Paper due 4/18
4/20 Building a successful online community Elluminate session 4/21
4/27 Social Software Best Practices  
5/4 Social Software Best Practices Exercise 7 due 5/8
Elluminate session 5/5
Group Presentations 5/5
Group Project due 5/5
5/11 Wrap up  

Late Assignments
Assignments that are up to one week late will only receive half credit. I will not accept any assignment more than 1 week late. Late group projects will not be accepted. Accommodations may be made in emergency cases when I am contacted in advance of the due date.

Textbooks and Software

In addition to the textbook, other readings will come from articles, book chapters and blogs on the Web. These all are freely-available resources.

Required Textbook:

  • Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social software in libraries: Building collaboration, communication, and community online. Information Today. Available through Amazon: 157387275X. arrow 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;
    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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