LIBR 281-04
LIBR 281-13
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: International and Comparative Librarianship
Fall 2010 Greensheet

Paul M. Christensen, Ed.D. 
Office Location: Virtual, Indianola, WA
Home Phone: 360-297-2965
Office Hours:  Via e-mail or Elluminate. Phone appointments can be arranged. An optional overview of the course requirements via Elluminate will be available.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll in Angel NLT August 25. I will be distributing the access code to registered students through the MySJSU Messaging system.


Welcome to International and Comparative Librarianship. I am pleased that you have decided to enroll. I hope you will enjoy the educational experience and ponder some of the challenges of international librarianship.

Instruction Begins August 25, 2010
Veterans Day November 11, 2010
Thanksgiving November 25-6, 2010
Instruction Ends December 9, 2010 

Course Description

Theory, history, and principles of international and comparative librarianship will be explored. Focus will be an appreciation and understanding of how library development and practice reflect the cultural, economic, educational, political, social and technological development of nations and regions.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, LIBR 202, and LIBR 204.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes  
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the theory, principles, and practices of international librarianship;
  • explain basic concepts related to managing, maintaining collections, marketing and advocating for international libraries;
  • articulate the relationships between people, processes, and technology in interanational libraries (e.g., training, information-seeking behaviors, policies and procedures of public/technical services, and access to information);
  • conceptualize the historical and current role of librarianship within one country or region (outside of the United States);
  • explain how internal/external factors like education, cultures, traditions, economics, intellectual freedom, literacy, values, ethics, politics, and privacy rights impact information organizations;
  • identify the benefits of communicating and collaborating nationally, across borders, and internationally via professional library associations and grant opportujities;
  • determine how and international organization can strategize to implement improvements; and
  • use oral, written, electronic communication, or immersive digital environments in a group setting to develop a collaborative project with an information professional(s) in an international information organization.

This course supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • apply fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy;
  • 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;
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations; and
  • contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Course Format
This course will be taught online via Angel.

Student Responsibilities
Students are expected to participate throughout the entire course. You are expected to read and carefully consider all the readings, participate fully in all activities and discussions during the class duration, as well as turn in assignements by the due dates. Taking an online course can be a challenging for both you and me; however, by closely working together we can make this a positive and rewarding experience. Because due dates are not negotiable, procrastination should be avoided. I reserve the right not to accept late assignments or to add significant grade penalities. If you forsee any difficulty in completing your assignment on time, you need to contact me at least 36 hours before the due date to request an extension. Students turning in late assignments may receive their assessment much later than the rest of the class.  Reflect then contribute to items on the Discussion Forums. If you do not understand assignments, readings, etc., it is your responsibility to inform me. If you are having difficulty, please contact me early so that we can resolve the problem. You must complete all assignments to pass the course.  Please familiarize yourself with this Greensheet and Angel. Pay special attention to the calendar and weekly announcements to keep track of weekly assignments and other expectations.

For each assignment (exception: Introduction), cite from at least one required reading and three relevant sources of your choice. This should help you to stay focused on the course content and also encourage you to correlate the readings with your own ideas and research. 

Course Participation 
Students are expected to participate throughout the entire session. Reflect and then contribute to items on Discussion Forums that are of interest to you. Explain why you agree or disagree with others by sharing meaningful/constructive thoughts, ideas, resosurces, etc. (Do not just write: I agree.) As new concepts evolve, it's important to remember to re-label the subject line so that "threads" of information are easy to follow and refer back as needed.

Since this course will evolve in a global virtual environment, it is important to be cognizant and respectful of different cultures. Express your own opinions but listen carefully to others. Wiitin class, suggest constructive ideas for improvement while evaluating other's work, pose relevant questions, compare and contrast ideas, share and critique resources, communicate and collaborate! It is important to express your own opinions while also being respectful.

Primary Requirements
The primary course requirements are that students will:

  • Have access to the computing environment as described at
  • Use Angel and refer to Tutorials as needed at
  • Participate in collaborative sessions as needed in Elluminate 
  • Use an up-to-date virus protection program to scan all assignments before submitting them electronically. 
  • Use APA headings within assignments to help organize thoughts and also transition the reader (exception: Introduction)
  • Use Microsoft Word, double-spaced and 12 point font.
  • Submit assignments via various Angel Assignment Drop Boxes.
  • Include a tile page, abstract, summary, and conclusions with each assignment (exception: Introduction)
  • Use APA headings within assignments to help organize thoughts and also transition the reader (exception: Introduction)

Click on the assignments in Angel to view the details in the rubric listing points for each item. All assignments and course participation equal 430 points. All assignments must be completed to pass the class.  An overview of the assignments for this course:

1. Introduction
20 points
Due:  August 25-August 29, 2010
Introduce yourself to the class by posting "your story," i.e., what international library experiences you've had and/or interest you. Read other students' introudctions and look for common threads. Post comments to those introductions. Learning each other's experience and expertise in regard to international librarianship will help when you form teams to collaboarate on the group project.  (Please use the Student Lounge for interests not related to course content.

2. Discussion Forum
30 points (10 of 15 weeks)
Due: Sunday by 11:59pm

Each week you will be assigned

  •  an online "topic" provided via Angel
  • assigned readings for the topic
  • other readings as personally researched

Each week students will submit a posting to the discussion forum based on the topic, the assigned readings, and other personally researched and documented readings. Each student is expected to participate in 10 of the 15 weeks of topics/readings, initating their own thread in the DF. There will be a grade based upon the content (value or quality) and frequency of posting to the online discussions. Frequent posting of "Yeah" and "Way to go" will not earn many, if any, points. Conversely, a few substantiating contributions with personally researched information or help resolving a problem or other contributions will be well received by all and creditied accordingly. Postings that always occur at the weekly deadline tend to be repititons of classmates" thoughts and ideas. Do not wait until the semester is winding down to make your mark in the online discussions. 

3. International Library Organizations
50 points

Due: September 13-September 19, 2010
Research a library/information organization outside the United States that has a website. Answer the items in the rubric, post your assignment on the class Discussion Forum and Assignment Drop Box and interact with others.

4. Analytical Essay 1
60 points
Due: September 27-October 3, 2010
International Librarianship: Theory/Practice
Select a country or geographic region of the world that has been well-documented in the library and information science literature. Summarize the reason(s) the library opened, its history, current staffing, demographics of the library's users, collections, services, and the use of technology. synthesize how environmental factors have impacted the status of this library's use/non-usage, quality and quanity of resources, and access or lack thereof to information. Explain one improvement you would make and how you would implement this improvement.

5. Analytical Essay 2
60 points
Due: October 24, 2010

International Strategies for Information Professionals
Compare and contrast two articles from scholarly journals that relate to issues in international libraries or librararians/library professionals working in a global environment (i.e.,outside of the U.S.)

6. Collaborative Project
150 points
Due:  November 23, 2010

Issues in International Librarianship
Students will form groups based on their interests in types of international libraries and/or current issues in a global information environment.  Then your group will collaborate with a professional(s) in one region of the world outside the U.S. Use of Second life or Elluminate is encouraged.

Each group will research "local" issues within that global information environment (e.g., ethics, values, foundational principles, intellectual freedom, politics, educational factors, the needs of the information users, print, electronic, and human resources available).  The groups will report on  success stores and/or problems, suggest solutions, and implement them if time permits. 

One group member should act as liaison.  It's helpful if the liaison has a working raltionship with the professional.  It is important that you perfrom preliminary research before you contact the professional for an in-person, phone, e-mail,  Second Life, Elluminate or Skype interview.

7. Analytical Essay 3
60 points
Due: December 9, 2010
Reflect on the processes involved in the Issues in the International Librarianship Group Project and critique a different Project of your choice. 

Assignment Calendar Overview:

Due Date
August 25- 29, 2010
Discussion Forum      30 Sunday's @ 11:59
International Library Organizations
Sept. 13-19, 2010
Analytical Essay 1
Sept 27-Oct 3, 2010
Analytical Essay 2
October 24, 2010 

Collaborative Project-
Issues in International Librarianship

November 23, 2010
Analytical Essay 3
December 9, 2010
Total Points

Assignment Due Dates
(Due dates are not negotiable. Dates are subject to change with fair notice)
Assignments must be submitted NLT 11:59 pm on the due date.

Assignment Requirements
Requirements for all assignments:

  • Title page with:
    • Running head (See APA)
    • Name of assignment (creating your own title demonstrates originality)
    • Your first and last name
    • Date
    • International and Comparative Librarianship
    • Libr 281-04 (or 13) - Fall 2010
    • School of Library amd Information Science - San Jose State University
  • After the title page, use the following class header on the top left-hand side of each page: LIBR 281-04 (or 13)_ Last Name_Assignment Name_Fall 2010
  • Example: LIBR 281-04 (or 13)_Christensen_Introduction_Fall 2010
  • Use this same class header for the file name when attaching the assignment in Angel's Drop Box and also in the Subject line when you email your instructor.
  • Use of the APA header to the left of the page number is optional in this course
  • Number the pages in the upper right-hand corner (see APA)
  • The number of pages of text required for each assignment does not include the title page, abstract, references, and appendixes (if/when used)

Your work will be evaluated according to four criteria; it should:

  • Be clearly written and presented
  • Display familiarity with the appropriate literature and/or bibliographic tools.
  • Show insight into the concepts and/or issues in question
  • Demostrate a degree of originality

Extra Credit
Extra credit options will not be available.

Late Assignments
Late assignments will not be accepted without prior notification and approval of the instructor, and with the understanding that there may be a reduction in number of points earned for the assignment. Assignments submitted up to one week after the due date will be subject to a possible 10% grade reduction. Assignments more than a week late will not be accepted.

Incompletes will be assigned ONLY in cases of documented family or medical emergency.

Textbooks and Readings

Weekly Required Readings
There isn't one textbook for this course. There will be weekly readings and also suggested readings and resources regarding the types and geographic locations of information organization(s) or institutional environments that you select to research. Many books and articles are available via SJSU's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Other libraries can be used to.

No Textbooks For This Course

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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