LIBR 284-04
LIBR 284-13
Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Fall 2010 Greensheet

Dr. Henry Lowood
(NOTE: Please put LIBR 284 at the beginning of the subject header in all e-mail about this course.)
Phone: 650-723-4602 Office: HRG, Green Library, Stanford University
IM: Facebook, Xfire, (contact me first to arrange)
Office Hours: Please schedule appointments, which will occur on-line. If you prefer a telephone conversation, please set up an appt. to call me. If you are in the area, I would be happy to meet with you at my Stanford office.
Group Discussions: Mandatory on-line sessions (not Elluminate, venues TBD): 8/27, 9/17, 11/12, 12/3 (7-9pm PST). Details TBD in class.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

We will be using ANGEL as our course management system for the syllabus, course materials, assignments, and grading. Please enroll in ANGEL no later than Wednesday, 25 August, which is the first day of the semester and thus of the course. Course materials, the first week's reading assignment and task will be made available on that day. If I am required to send you a password access code, I will do that via the MYSJSU messaging system by Tuesday, 24 August.  Please contact me if there are any issues with your access to ANGEL.

Course Description

In this course, we will explore approaches to the collection and curation of selected new digital media in libraries and other cultural repositories.  Our subject matter is relatively new in terms of the media that we will cover, their collection and use in libraries, and research on their nature and impact. Due to this novelty and the likelihood that we are not all equally familiar with the various digital media covered in the course, we will proceed in stages that will help us all get up to the same speed.  It is fair to say that all of us (including me) will learn as we go along and from each other. For that reason, please review the dates for the four required group meetings and make every effort to keep up on the assignments, several of which will involve contributions to a group discussion list.

In the first stage of the course, roughly the first four weeks, the focus will be on developing an understanding of the characteristics of new media and refining what we mean by the term, curation.  The second stage will make up most of the course, consisting of five two-week engagements with five specific media and issues associated with them.   The five media areas will be: 

  • Hypermedia and internet/web art
  • Virtual worlds and social media
  • Mixed reality technology/art 
  • Digital games/software
  • Digital cinema and other video forms (machinima, animation, etc.)

We will learn about these media through readings, discussion, and assignments. Each of the five media will be paired with a specific issue about the impact of games on curation – selection/appraisal, acquisitions, description/archiving, preservation, and access/exhibition.  The last stage of the class comprises a short final project and a wrap-up week at the end of the semester, including our last group meeting. 

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 202, 204 required. Other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will learn about the characteristics of new digital media and potential use cases for these media in a real or virtual library or museum setting.
  • Students will have opportunities to analyze, discuss and propose solutions to problems encountered in the identification, selection, acquisition, description, preservation and provision of access to new media.
  • Students will take away sufficient knowledge to prepare themselves for eventual intern or practicum opportunities related to digital media.

LIBR 284 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • F. Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  • H. 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;
  • L. 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

All required readings, assignments, and course resources will be specified on the course ANGEL site, with the schedule and weekly breakdown of assignments. You are expected to complete all of the assignments.

Assignments will break down into three categories:

  • 0. Baseline: All assigned readings are required unless noted as optional or recommended.  Attendance at the four (4) group meetings is also required.  There will be a penalty against the final grade in the course, if absence is not excused in advance.
  • 1. Eight (8) weekly tasks worth 5 points each (40 pts. total). These will be tasks requiring visits to websites, activities, posting or response to community sites or the class forum, etc.
  • 2. Five (5) assignments worth 8 points each (40 pts. total). These will be short written responses to prompts (250-500 words each).  These assignments will conclude each of the five new media units.
  • 3. A final project assignment worth 20 points.  There will be several options for the project, such as a brief research paper (1000-1250 words), or a presentation about a new media collection in a format used in professional library or museum work (e.g., an acquisitions proposal).  More details later in the course.

Course Calendar
The course will be held entirely on-line and thus is organized on a weekly basis. Every Monday at 8am, assignments from the previous week are due. Example: The first week begins on Wednesday, 25 August; the task for that week must be completed by 8am on Monday, 30 August.

The week's reading and assignments will be posted to ANGEL every Monday.  I will try to have these posted by noon.  One exception: Since the semester begins on Wednesday, 25 August, the first week's assignments will be posted on that Wednesday.

By my calculation, the course lasts 15 weeks. As noted above, the first four weeks will be devoted to basic issues: What are new media and what is curation? The next ten  weeks will be devoted to the five specific new media mentioned above.  Each two-week module will consist of a first week focused on characteristics of the medium in question and a second week moving into curation issues.  The first week will include an assigned task, and the second week a writing assignment.  The final  week of the course will be devoted to wrap-up, both of the course, and of your final projects.

We will devote time in group discussions and tasks to making sure that you are making progress towards your project's completion. 

Again, all details concerning readings, assignments, and course resources will be on our ANGEL site. Note that all course information is provided subject to change with fair notice.

Course Grading
Points will be assigned after grading of assignments (see Assignments above for specific point values). These points will be cumulated at the end of the course. For the final course grades, I reserve the right to recalculate the grades on a 100-point scale; the recalculation will result in a median grade of 88-93, depending on my assessment of the group’s performance. However, this recalculation will not result in a lower grade than what you would have earned according to the standard SJSU SLIS grading scale. Let me put this another way: If you all do fantastic work and end up with more than 94 points, you will all get an A or A- grade; if I turn out to be a tough grader and the resulting class median is 75, I reserve the right to make an adjustment. However, I do not promise this adjustment; if the median reflects class performance, then I will stick with the numbers that produced it. In any case, points on the 100-point scale will translate into grades per the standard SJSU SLIS scale. 

Textbooks and Readings

IMPORTANT! Please note the following:

Please purchase, Ross Harvey, Digital Curation (Neal-Schuman, 2010).  This will be required. Unfortunately, this title was published after the deadline for additions to the bookstore list.  If you have any issues in the use of this textbook (availability or accessibility), please let me know and I will help you find a solution.

Required Textbook:

  • Harries, D. (Ed). (2008). The New Media Book. British Film Institute. Available through Amazon: 0851709257 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Paul, C. (Ed.). (2008). New media in the white cube and beyond. University of California Press. Available through Amazon: 0520255976 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Wardrip-Fruin, N. & Montfort, N. (Eds.). (2003). The New Media Reader. MIT Press. Available through Amazon: 0262232278 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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