LIBR 210-13
Reference and Information Services
Semester 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Renee Jefferson
Office Hours: Virtual Office Hours

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Textbooks and Readings | Course Requirements

ANGEL information: ANGEL will be used extensively in this course. The ANGEL site for this class will open for self-enrollment on Monday, January 19. I will provide you with a password access code using the MySJSU messaging system. You should be enrolled by Monday, January 26. It is crucial that you log in every few days between meetings. The SLIS ANGEL site is located at and tutorials are available at

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce you to the world of reference and information services. We will explore different methods and models of information service delivery; examine and evaluate key information sources of various types and formats; and discuss vital issues pertinent to the provision of reference service.Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. give examples of basic reference sources used in various types of libraries.
  2. identify various types of reference sources, including their characteristics and functions.
  3. describe theoretical concepts and techniques that support the provision of reference and information services.
  4. discover theory-into-practice approaches to provide basic reference and information services.
  5. identify state-of-the-art information technology and current models for the delivery of reference and information services.

LIBR 210 supports the following SLIS Core Competency:

  • Use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users

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

  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of current information and communication technologies, and other related technologies 
  • Retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups 

Course Requirements


  • Reference Sources (Learning Outcomes 1 & 2): Knowledge of reference resources and skills in effectively searching and evaluating them are one of the core competencies of reference work. You will complete a series of exercises to practice your skills in selecting, searching and evaluating reference and information resources discussed in class.
  • Reference Service Evaluation Exercises (Learning Outcomes 4 & 5): Evaluating reference and information services from the user’s perspective gives you a more complete view on reference service provision. You will participate as a user in three reference transactions via different media (face-to-face, email and chat), and submit a report evaluating your experiences.
  • Discussion Exercises (Learning Outcomes 3, 4 & 5): The purpose of the exercises is to give you an opportunity to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate literature related to traditional and contemporary issues in different types of reference environments. 

All assignments are due on Wednesdays and must be submitted prior to 11:59pm.  Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total possible points for that assignment.

Grading and Due Dates

Assignment Points Due Date

Reference Collections

(2 @ 20 points each)

40 points

February 19

March 19

Discussion Exercises

(6 @ 5 points each

30 points Varies
Reference Service Evauation Paper 30 points May 7
TOTAL 100 points  

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Cassell, K. A., & Hiremath, U. (2006). Reference and information services in the 21st century: An introduction. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555705634. 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.

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

More accessibility resources.