LIBR 200-25
Information and Society
Fall 2010 Greensheet

Dr. Ron Critchfield
Home Phone: (859) 885-3523
Office Location: Jessamine County Public Library, Nicholasville, KY
Office Hours: Virtual office hours by appointment. If you are near Lexington, KY, schedule a time to come visit in person.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

This course will be delivered online primarily through Angel Learning Management Suite—yet other online tools may also be utilized as indicated in the course materials. Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel LMS between August 22 – 25. Registered students will be required to use a password access code which will be sent via the MYSJSU messaging system on or before August 22.
The course begins on Wednesday, August 25 and ends Thursday, December 9.

Course Description

Explores the complex and interrelated historical, social, economic, cultural, political, and technological influences that shape information and society. Emphasis is on the various roles and responsibilities of information organizations and the values and ethics of information professionals.

Note: Effective Spring 2009, LIBR 200 must be completed with a B grade or higher

Course Objectives

At the completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the role of information from historical, current, and future perspectives;
  • Identify the various information stakeholders and the information environments that provide for their needs;
  • Describe and evaluate issues involved in creating and disseminating information in society;
  • Identify and discuss the major values and codes of ethics associated with the information professions;
  • Describe the impact of cultural diversity on the provision of user services by librarians and other information professionals;
  • Discuss important economic and policy issues related to the creation, dissemination and use of information;
  • Explain what information literacy is and how it helps users evaluate and use information;
  • Compare the different genres of and venues for scholarly and professional writing.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Know the foundations and structure of the information profession;
  • Locate, evaluate, and utilize scholarly and professional literature;
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of major issues in library and information science.

LIBR 200 course supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • Articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  • Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • Recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups.

Course Requirements

Complete LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools.
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including Elluminate and Second Life.  For more information, see:


  • Required Reading Notes. Students will submit notes for the required reading assignments for each unit of study in the course. 2 points each.
  • Online Student Discussions. There are five discussions allowing students to reflect on issues introduced in lectures and readings. 4 points each.
  • Literature Search. This assignment facilitates term paper research as students locate and cite, in APA format, 20 or more potentially useful sources (articles, books, websites, etc.) related to one’s chosen paper topic. 10 points.
  • Annotated Bibliography. This assignment facilitates the next stage of term paper research by evaluating 12 - 15 sources (articles, books, websites, etc.) pertinent to your paper topic (sources located in the Literature Search assignment may be used for this assignment). 15 points.
  • Term Paper. Write a research paper in which you analyze a significant issue confronting the information professional today. Paper topics may be selected from the areas covered in class or you may choose an issue of more personal interest that is relevant to the goals and objectives of this course. The student must request and receive topic approval from the instructor. The text of your paper should be 15 to 20 pages in length; the reference list should include at least 20 citations (sources located and/or evaluated in any previous assignment may be used in writing the term paper). You will be graded on the extent of your research, your description and critical analysis of the topic, the evidence you provide in support of your argument, and the clarity and quality of your writing. Your references and formatting should adhere to the rules established in the APA Publication Manual. 35 points.

Course Calendar
NOTE: subject to change with fair notice.

  • Week 1 | Aug. 25 – 31
    Unit 1: The Information Professional

    Provides an introduction and overview of the information professions. Examines the relationship between professional competencies and LIS education.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Discussion: Introduction Post as soon as possible.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 1 due as soon as possible—no later than September 14th.
  • Weeks 2-3 | Sept. 1 – 14
    Unit 2. Information and Society

    Introduces the concept of information and traces its evolution through a series of "information ages." Also explores the history of libraries, librarianship, and information science in response to social and technological change. 

    Assignments Due:
    1. Discussion 1: Completed before Sept. 14th midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 2 due by Sept. 14th midnight Pacific time.

    IMPORTANT: The student must request and receive topic approval from the instructor before September 14th.
  • Weeks 4-5 | Sept. 15 – 28
    Unit 3. Professional Knowledge and Scholarly Research in Library and Information Science

    Surveys the creation and dissemination of professional and scholarly knowledge in LIS. Includes a discussion of professional and reference sources of information about the field. APA citation style will also be covered.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Discussion 2: Completed before Sept. 28th midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 3 due by Sept. 28th midnight Pacific time.

    IMPORTANT: Begin/continue working on your Literature Search assignment.
  • Weeks 6-7 | Sept. 29 – Oct. 12
    Unit 4. Understanding the Information User

    Examines theories and methodologies used to determine user information needs, develop information services, and provide information literacy instruction.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Literature Search due by October 12th midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 4 due by Oct. 12th midnight Pacific time.
  • Week 8 | Oct. 13 – 19
    Unit 5. Professional Ethics/Values

    Examines the ethical foundations of librarianship and common ethical issues information professionals confront.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Discussion 3: Completed by Oct. 19th midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 5 due by Oct. 19th midnight Pacific time.

    IMPORTANT: Begin/continue working on your Annotated Bibliography assignment.
  • Week 9 | Oct. 20 – 26
    Unit 6. Special Populations/Multiculturalism

    Explores the mission of information professionals and information institutions to serve all communities in a diverse, multicultural society.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Reading Notes for Unit 6 due by Oct. 26th midnight Pacific time.
  • Week 10 | Oct. 27 – Nov. 2
    Unit 7. Status of Librarianship as a Profession

    Examines the socially constructed role of the library and information professions. And considers how librarians and libraries are depicted in popular culture and the implications of professional stereotyping.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Discussion 4: Completed by Nov. 2nd midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 7 due by Nov. 2nd midnight Pacific time.
  • Weeks 11- 12 | Nov. 3 – 16
    Unit 8. From Censorship to Intellectual Freedom

    Traces the evolution of access policies in libraries and reviews constitutional, legislative, judicial, and professional foundations of intellectual freedom.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Annotated Bibliography due by November 16th midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 8 due by Nov. 16th midnight Pacific time.
  • Week 13 | Nov. 17 – 23
    Unit 9. Information Policy

    Examines the role of government in regulating the flow of information and explores current controversies involving information professionals.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Discussion 5: Completed by Nov. 23rd midnight Pacific time.
    2. Reading Notes for Unit 9 due by Nov. 23rd midnight Pacific time.
  • Week 14 | Nov. 24 – Dec. 9
    Unit 10. The Future of Libraries

    Examines emerging issues relating to libraries and librarians in an information society.

    Assignments Due:
    1. Reading Notes for Unit 10 due by Dec. 7th midnight Pacific
    2. Term Paper Due by Dec. 9th midnight Pacific time.


  • All assignments are due on the dates listed above and must be submitted prior to midnight Pacific time (unless otherwise indicated).
  • Late submissions will be reduced by 20% of the total points possible for that assignment.

Points possible for the course = 100 points.

  • Required Reading Notes = 20 points.
  • Student Discussions = 20 points.
  • Literature Search = 10 points.
  • Annotated Bibliography = 15 points.
  • Term paper = 35 points.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbook:

  • American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1433805618. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Haycock, K., & Sheldon, B. E. (Eds.). (2008). The portable MLIS: Insights from the experts. Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591585473. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rubin, R. E. (2010). Foundations of library and information science (3rd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555706908. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain


This course satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

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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