LIBR 200-19
Information and Society
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Linda F. Larkin
Office Hours:
E-mail and telephone appointments

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

This course will be delivered entirely online through ANGEL. Students must self-enroll for this course in ANGEL between January 18th and January 25th. You will be required to use a password access code which I will send via the MYSJSU Messaging system prior to January 18th.

Course Description

Explores the complex social, economic, historical, and technological developments that influence the impact of information on society. The mission, values and ethics of information professionals are also analyzed.

Prerequisites: Demonstrated computer literacy

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 sectors;
  • Describe and evaluate issues involved in creating and disseminating information in society, with particular attention paid to information literacy;
  • Understand the role of libraries and their relationship to other information providers;
  • 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;
  • Describe and discuss important economic and policy issues related to the creation and dissemination of information;
  • Understand and have experience with different forms and genres of 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 SLIS 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;
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations.  

Course Requirements

Assignments and Percent of Grade
A brief outline and description of course topics, assignments, and requirements follows. Additional information will be provided on ANGEL.

  • Article Critique - 15% 
    You will read, analyze, and respond to two articles on the values, ethics, or future of information professionals.
    Due Sun., March 1st
  • Job Hunt Research Project - 15%
    Write critical essay on job hunting exercise. An analysis of current and future job trends along with job ads utilized and professional literature consulted and evidence of critical reflection on your own educational and employment background relevant to job opportunities and expectations. Your essay should tell what you plan to do over the short and long term to enhance your job prospects.
    Due Sun., March 22nd.
  • Annotated Bibliography - 15%
    This assignment gets you started on your research paper by asking you to locate and evaluate 12 - 15 sources pertinent to your paper topic. Instructions will be provided.
    Due Sun., April 19th.
  • Online Discussion/Class Participation - 25%
    As this class is completely on-line and asynchronous, participation in the weekly Blackboard discussions is essential for success in the course. All submissions must be completed by the end of the discussion week (midnight Sunday) to be counted.
  • Research paper - 30%
    This is your chance to explore, in depth, a significant issue of interest to the LIS community. Early in the semester you will identify an issue that piques your interest; you will research it thoroughly in order to produce a 15-20 page paper (written in APA style). Your paper should show evidence of careful research and critical analysis, and should be thoughtfully constructed and clearly written. At least 20 sources should be included in the list of works cited.
    Due Wed., May 13th.

Assignments must be submitted by midnight on the dates due in order to receive credit.

Course Calendar*

  • Week 1
    1/22 – 2/1
    Begin reading assignment for Week 2
    Class Discussion: Introductions
  • Week 2
    2/2 – 2/8
    Read Chapters 1 & 2
    Class Discussion: Information & Information Seekers
  • Week 3
    2/9 – 2/15
    Read Chapters 3 & 4
    Class Discussion: Small Group Discussions:
    • Redefining collection development
    • Privacy and access to information
    • Information as a commodity *Subject to change with fair notice
  • Week 4
    2/16 – 2/22
    Reading Assignment - TBA
    Small Group Discussions Continued
  • Week 5
    2/23 – 3/1
    Read Chapters 5 & 6
    Class Discussion:Organizing and Finding Information
    Article Critique due Sun., 3/1
  • Week 6
    3/2 – 3/8
    Read Chapters 7 & 8
    Class Discussion: Information Organization: An Ethical Concern
  • Week 7
    3/9 – 3/15
    Read Chapters 9 & 10
    Class Discussion: Libraries & Society
  • Week 8
    3/16 – 3/22
    Reading assignment:
    • Fallis, D. (2007). Information ethics for twenty-first century library professionals.  Library Hi Tech, 25, 23–36.
    • Quinn, A. C. & Ramasubramanian, L. (2007). Information technologies and civic engagement: Perspectives from librarianship and planning. Government Information Quarterly, 24, 595-610.
    Class Discussion: Assigned articles
    Job Hunt Research Project due Sun., 3/22
  • Week 9
    3/23 – 3/29
    Spring Break - No reading assignment
  • Week 10
    3/30 – 4/5
    Reading Assignment:
    • Johnson, D. (2004). Lessons school librarians teach others. American Libraries, 35. 46-48.
    • Wood, G. (2004). Academic original sin: Plagiarism, the internet, and librarians.
      The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30, 237-242.
    • Hartman, T. (2007). The changing definition of U.S. libraries. International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, 57, 1-8.
    • Senate appropriations committee orders EPA to restore library access: updates on the information professional and SLA.(INFO NEWS) (Special Libraries Association)(Report). July 2007 v11 i7 p6(1) Information Outlook, 11. 6.
    Class Discussion: Current Issues in Library and Information Science
  • Week 11
    4/6 – 4/12
    Reading Assignment:
    • Bodi, S. & Maier-O’Shea, K. (2005). The library of Babel: Making sense of collection management in a postmodern world. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31, 143-150.
    • Greene, M.A. (2003). The messy business of remembering: History, memory, and
      archives. Archival Issues, 28, 95-103.
    • Koh, C. (2003). Reconsidering services for the postmodern student. Australian
      Academic & Research Libraries, 34
      , 184-193.
    Class Discussion: The Postmodern Librarian
  • Week 12
    4/13 – 4/19
    Reading Assignment:
    • McKechnie, L. & Pettigrew, K.E. (2002). Surveying the use of theory in library and information science research: A disciplinary perspective. Library Trends, 50, 406-417.
    • Meyers, E.M., Fisher, K.E. & Marcoux, E. (2007). Studying the everyday information behavior of tweens: Notes from the field. Library & Information
      Science Research, 29
      , 310-331.
    Class Discussion: Research in Library and Information Science
    Annotated Bibliography due Sun., 4/19
  • Week 13
    4/20 – 4/26
    Additional readings are not planned, but may be assigned
    No class discussion – work on research papers
  • Week 14
    4/27 – 5/3
    Additional readings are not planned, but may be assigned
    Posting of research paper abstracts for discussion – more information will be provided
  • Week 15
    5/4 – 5/10
    No reading assignment
    Final Discussion: Wrapping things up
    Research paper due Wed., 5/13 

Required Textbooks:

  • Rubin, R. E. (2004). Foundations of Library and Information Science. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555705189. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1557987912. 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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