LIBR 200-08
Information and Society
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Scott Walter

Office Hours:
Virtually via e-mail, or live via Elluminate (see schedule)

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel during these dates: January 16-23. You will be required to use a password access code which I will provide using the MYSJSU Messaging system.

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

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 Blackboard, Elluminate and Second Life. This course must be completed by all new SLIS students within the first 4 weeks of their first semester. If you have questions about this course, e-mail Debbie Faires or Dale David.

For more information, see


As a graduate student, you are expected to:

  • Read and carefully consider all readings.
  • Fully participate in all class activities and discussions.
  • Complete all assignments on time.
  • Inform the instructor if you have an illness or emergency that requires you to be absent from our online learning environment for an extended period of time or to request an extension on an assignment.

This is a Web-based course. All class activities will take place through Angel and Elluminate.

Angel will be used throughout this course. The Angel site for this class will open for self-enrollment on January 16, 2009. I will provide you with a password access code using the MySJSU messaging system. You should be enrolled by January 23, 2009. As this course includes only one synchronous session, it is crucial that you log in to the Angel site regularly to take part in asynchronous discussions and receive announcements and updates regarding course requirements.

The SLIS Angel site is located at and tutorials are available at

There is one synchronous session scheduled for this course:

  • January 27, 2009, 7:00 - 8:00 pm (Pacific Time)

I will also use Elluminate to provide an option for office hours. If this is your first class using Elluminate, please complete an orientation session prior to first logging in. You may need to have a microphone attached to your computer in order to participate in Elluminate-supported activities. It is recommended that you log in at least 10 minutes before a class session to check the audio. A list of training times and other helpful information can be found in the SLIS Student Guide to Using Elluminate.

Technical Requirements
For a complete description of requirements, please consult the SLIS Home Computing Environment site.

You should plan to check your e-mail and the Angel course site regularly for announcements. You are also responsible for assuring that your contact information in Angel is current and that messages sent to you through Angel are not being caught by your SPAM filter.

Detailed instructions for each assignment will be posted in the "Assignments" section of the Angel course site.

  • Review of a Professional Association (10%)
    You will prepare a 2-4 pp. overview of a professional association relevant to work in the field of Library & Information Science. In this overview, you should identify resources made available by the association relevant to this class (e.g., professional ethics or standards, job resources, competency statements), as well as identify professional and/or social issues of key concern to the association. You may select any association from those listed on the SLIS Professional Associations in the Information Sciences page, or in Appendix B of the Rubin textbook, but note that national or international associations are the most likely to have the depth and breadth of resources required to complete this assignment most effectively. The Review of a Professional Association is due on February 3, 2009.
  • Review of a Scholarly Journal (10%)
    You will prepare a 2-4 pp. overview of a scholarly journal in the field of Library & Information Science. In this overview, you should identify the major themes in the published literature over the past 3-5 years, as well as exemplary essays that explore research questions relevant to this class (e.g., recruitment and retention, professional ethics, information policy, social or historical issues in libraries). You may select any of the starred (refereed) journals listed on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign LIS Library’s Journals for LIS Research page, or in Appendix A of the Rubin textbook. A short list of “Core Journals” is also provided on this Greensheet. The Review of a Scholarly Journal is due on February 17, 2009.
  • Article Review (10%)
    You will provide a concise, critical review of a research article related to one of the topics covered in this class (see Course Calendar for possibilities). These articles should be drawn from a peer-reviewed journal in the field (or in a related field) and should extend our discussion of the topic in class, either through additional example or by introducing an aspect of the topic not highlighted in any of the required readings. The article should report on the results of a well-defined research study, e.g., those typically found in journals such as College & Research Libraries and Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice. This assignment is designed to continue your introduction to relevant literature in the field, and to allow you to contribute additional ideas and insights related to LIS research and practice into class discussion. Article Reviews will be discussed throughout the semester. Please review the Course Calendar available on Angel to identify the most appropriate time to present your Article Review. Reviews should be posted to the Angel class site (along with a discussion question) during the lesson relevant to your article. You should consult with your instructor to determine the due date for this assignment.
  • Issues Paper (20%)
    You will write a 5-page paper on an issue relevant to this course. The focus for this paper may be an information policy issue (e.g., network neutrality), an issue demonstrating the intersection of libraries, information, society, and policy (e.g., Internet filtering in public libraries), or an issue of critical concern within the LIS profession(s) (e.g., diversity in the library work force). This assignment is designed to demonstrate your ability to identify an issue significant to the LIS profession(s) or to the role of the library in society, to accurately identify key concerns relevant to the issue, to provide a cogent summary of the state of discussion on the issue, and to present options for “keeping current” on the issue The Issues Paper is due on March 24th.
  • Research Paper (30%)
    You will write a 20-page paper on an issue relevant to this course. This assignment is designed to introduce you to the scholarly and professional literature of Library and Information Science and to provide you with an opportunity to explore an area of personal interest in greater depth while demonstrating the ability to evaluate, synthesize, and present information from a variety of sources. A proposal and initial bibliography will be due March 30th. Presentations of your research will be posted to the Angel course site between April 7th – 28th. The final paper will be due May 19th.

All assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the dates noted above. Assignments may be submitted either through Angel, or by e-mail attachment to your instructor. Dates on which assignments are due may be modified with appropriate notice. Please consult the Course Calendar available on the Angel course site. Any changes to the Course Calendar will be announced via Angel.

Submitting Assignments
Assignments must be submitted on their specified due dates. Any assignment turned in after the due date, without the permission of the instructor, will have its total score reduced by one point per day from the date due. Any assignment turned in more than one week after the deadline will not be accepted for grading, and a failing grade will be recorded (unless a student has received an extension from the instructor).

Correct usage of academic English, spelling, grammar, and composition are expected, and all sources should be cited according to the most recent (5th) edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For further information, see the SLIS APA Style Resources page.

A course grade of "Incomplete" will be assigned only in cases of medical or family emergency.

Textbooks and Readings

Course Readings
Readings in addition to your textbook will be available through the Angel course site, or via the full-text electronic journal collection.

Core Journals
Finally, you should begin to become familiar with professional journals that address issues appropriate to your career plans, e.g.:

  • College & Research Libraries (Z671 .C6)
  • Journal of Academic Librarianship (Z671 .J58)
  • Public Libraries (Z673.A5 .P88)
  • Reference Services Review (Z1035.1 .R43)
  • Evidence-Based Library & Information Practice (online)

The call numbers listed above are drawn from the SJSU library catalog, but they should also help you to locate materials, if available, at any academic library to which you may have access. Each of the titles above is also available through the SJSU Electronic Journals List.

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
  • Eberhart, G. M. (2006). The whole library handbook 4. ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838909159. 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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