LIBR 267-02
LIBR 267-11
Seminar in Services to Children and Young Adults
Topic: Award Winning Titles for Youth
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Dr. Joni Richards Bodart
Office location: 418H Clark Hall
Office Hours: By appointment only, in Clark Hall, 418H. You may also ask questions via email or on the ANGEL discussion board. I will answer email on a daily basis or as quickly as I can. I will also be posting to the FAQs section of the discussion board when questions are asked that are of interest to the whole class.
If you need to speak to me by phone, I will do all I can to be available to you, but scheduling that call in advance to make it convenient for both of us, and ensure that I have enough time cleared to respond to your questions or problems.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students will be able to self-enroll in the ANGEL course site after January 24, 2011. You will need an access code which will be sent to all registered students on January 24, 2011 via MySJSU.

Course Description

This course will focus on titles that have won national awards from the American Library Association, National Book Awards, Boston Globe-Horn Book, LA Times, and other national awards. Students will investigate authors, illustrators, and various ways to examine and promote award winning books.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 204, and at least two of 262A-265 (or LIBR 260, 261, 262 prior to Fall 2008) required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify characteristics that make a book award-worthy
  2. Evaluate award winning titles for inclusion in specific collections
  3. Discuss the policies and procedures of the award committees of ALSC and YALSA
  4. Compile a database of award winning titles
  5. Discuss the trends in youth award winning titles over time
  6. Discuss the importance of quality versus popularity in award winning titles
  7. Explain the relationship between art and text in Caldecott winners and honor books
  8. Create booklists and bibliographies using award winning titles

LIBR 267 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use
  • apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users
  • use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information

Course Requirements

The Angel Site
Please check the site regularly for announcements, discussion board questions, and so on. As soon as you sign up, read my welcome message, then go to the discussion board and introduce yourself, both professionally and personally. I will give you a format for each part of your introduction. Explore the various forums for other information I think might be helpful to you, such as resources and links to sites you will find useful. Because this is the first semester that this course is being offered, the Angel site will developed during the entire semester.

Elluminate Sessions
There will be seven Elluminate sessions—2 /16; 3/9; 3/23; 4/6; 4/27; 5/11; 5/16 (All from 6:30-8:30pm PST)—they are all required, meaning live synchronous attendance.  These are all on Wednesday nights, except the last one, which is on Monday.  Missing an Esession means you will not be able to ask to have points covered or clarified, or add to the discussion, and give the rest of the class a chance to hear your contributions to the topic at hand.  If you don’t participate in a session, you are still required to watch/listen to the tape, since we will be covering information that will be important for all of your assignments.  You may miss one of the  sessions without penalty, but only one.  You must notify me ahead of time that you will not be in class, and explain why you will not be able to attend. 

Presentations will be scheduled during the first two weeks of the semester, and a discussion board will be set up to help you do this.

 Topics for the Esessions will be: 

  1. Housekeeping, going over the greensheet and assignments, discussion of presentation dates, and two guest speakers, Jonathan Hunt and Richie Partington, who have served on several ALA committees that either create lists or give awards.  They will be giving you their perspective on the awards process and what it’s like to be on a committee with a high level of required reading.  They will also share with you their favorite award winners from the last 5 years, and express their opinions on the 2011 winners.
  2. History of the awards, and the most significant titles over time, discussion of the required titles and why they are significant, two presentations
  3. Three presentations
  4. Hosting/Running a mock awards program; involving youth as a member of BBYA, two  presentations
  5. Three presentations
  6. Discussion of Top Ten Lists—books I can’t wait to tell everyone about, two presentations
  7. Two presentations, windup

The number of presentations per session is an estimate, and may change depending on the number of students in the class and the number choosing to work together or alone.

Course Assignments
This course requires a variety of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class and in the textbooks, as well as practical applications of them. Students will work individually and in groups and participate in group discussions on Angel. Details for the assignments will be given at the first class meeting and requirements for each will be posted under the Course Documents area on Angel.

1.   Read texts and participate in class discussions on discussion boards. Participate is defined as posting 2-4 times weekly.  This is an averaged figure—some weeks you will have more to say, some weeks less.  DON’T stress out over doing 4 every week, so you stretch out your comments to get to 4.  Don’t include “attaboy” posts to get you to 4.  Be consistent in your postings, making sure you contribute something worth reading every week.  That will get you a higher grade than 4 “attaboys” a week.  Your posts will be in response to my posts, in response to your colleagues’ comments, or to bring up new topics/questions/ideas of your own for all of us to discuss.  Comments should be thoughtful and insightful, adding to our mutual learning process. I will be starting you off with some questions/topics, to start the conversations, but by the third week of class I expect you to be bringing up new information yourselves.  Threads will last about two weeks, unless you want to keep them going.  I will take them down when I see that participation has dropped off.  Participation is also important during the Esessions, which means contributing to your group presentation, working with your partner, doing a peer and self evaluation for the first presentation, speaking up, asking questions, sharing your opinions, especially to your colleagues’ group and individual presentations.

2.  Create a searchable database of award winning titles for children and teens.  You may use MS Access or Excel or FileMaker for your database, and some students have chosen to create a website or blog for theirs.  If you want to use a different kind of software, you need to get in touch with me before beginning, to make sure I can open your work. 

You will be reading or listening to at least 15 children’s books, 15 picture books, and 10  YA titles.   (Since I started with 25 titles for each category, and reduced the numbers as I created the other assignments, these are minimal numbers, which will not be reduced further.)

You may select your books from any of the award lists in your textbooks or online sources.  Each entry will include:  complete bibliographic information (author, title, publisher, year, price, page number), summary, evaluation, award won, significance of the title, genre or subject, readers’ 1-2 sentence annotation (15 words or less), and other information you think might be useful, now or in the future.  You may include up to 5 of the titles mentioned in each of your presentations.

This assignment is designed to take a full semester to complete.  Begin working on it now.  If you put it off till the last couple of weeks of the semester, and try to do it all at once, you will setting yourself up for frustration and a lower grade than you might have gotten had you decided to play the role of the tortoise instead of the hare.  This is NOT a sprint to the finish, but a marathon.  Due May 22

3.  Class presentations:  This is a seminar class, which means that you will contribute a large amount of the content.  One presentation you will work with a partner to complete, one you can choose to do alone OR with a partner.  I expect graduate level research level content for both of them, of a publishable quality (after editing to change it from a presentation to an article.)  You may choose which of the two to do alone, if you prefer to not work with a partner.  You may not do both alone, because this assignment is designed to demonstrate your ability to work in a virtual team.  If you want to work with a partner for both presentations, you may work with the same person, or choose two different people.

The first presentation will be an author or illustrator biocritical study.  This will combine a biography of the person, including how he or she came to children’s or YA lit, and in-depth analysis of his or her work, and how it changed and developed over time, and what his or her most significant titles are and why they are significant.  You will need to illustrate your presentation with a PowerPoint slideshow or some other method of presenting visual information to the class.  You should also have a handout which will include an annotated list of the person’s significant titles, information of significant milestones in that person’s life, and any other information you believe the class would find useful both now and in the future.  This presentation should be no longer than 30-40 minutes, including Q&A.  My Eassistant will start a timer when you begin your presentation, and just like on Iron Chef and Chopped, when your time runs out, you must put down your tools and step away, finished or not.  Practice will be very valuable here to ensure a smoothly choreographed and on time presentation.  There will be a discussion forum for you to post your ideas about who you would like to research, so you can get paired off if  you are not going to working alone.  Of course, if you know someone in class you’d like to work with, you can do this privately, and then just post that the two of you will work together and who you will be investigating. 

When you have finished your presentation, you will post the visual presentation and the handouts to the appropriate discussion forum AND put them in the assignment drop box for this assignment.

The second presentation will be a 10-15 minute lecture on some aspect of class content, after which you will lead a 15 minute class discussion, timed as described above.  You will need to illustrate your lecture with some kind of visual presentation, and you should have a number of questions prepared, so that when you finish your lecture, you can use them to get the discussion going.  You will want to have a handout, but the content of it will depend on the content of your lecture.  When deciding what the content of this presentation should be, think about what you want to learn from this class, what questions you would like answered, what topics are most important and why, and so on.  Then decide how you would like to approach question or idea.  You could trace a genre or topic across all the awards or just some of them, you could examine programming ideas for either school or public libraries, or look at circulation and usage stats for specific titles (or awards) over time, to determine how long their influence lasts.  Or look at something else entirely.  It’s up to you—be as creative as you like.  When you have a good idea of what you’d like to investigate—it doesn’t have to be a final one, since that final adjustment of content may come later in the semester, send me an email.  I will keep a running list on one of the discussion board forums, so everyone will know who is going to do what. 

After you have completed your presentation, please post your visual presentation and handouts or other information to the appropriate discussion forum, AND to the appropriate assignment drop box. 

I NEED TO APPROVE THE CONTENT OF BOTH PRESENTATIONS BEFORE YOU START WORKING ON THEM.  This is because I would like all of the presentations to overlap as little as possible.  There will be a discussion forum for each presentation so you can discuss what you would like to do and with whom you’d like to do it.  Your grade will not be affected by your choice to work alone on one presentation or work with a partner on both of them.  Due as scheduled

4.  Write an informal paper (no references or footnotes, and first person is fine) on your experience in this class, comparing and contrasting who you were at the beginning and at the end of the class.  What have you gained?  How will you use it?  What hints/tips would you have for students taking this class in the future?  Due May 22


  • Participation (discussion boards, Esessions, group eval, final paper)—25%
  • Class presentations—each 25%
  • Database—25%

Assignments and EPortfolios
You are all advanced students, and should have already begun thinking about your EPortfolios. I structured this class so you will be able to use all of the assignments and other work as evidence.

You can use discussion threads you started or to which you contributed significantly, but be sure to capture them before the thread comes down.

Your presentations can be used as oral presentations, training, or evidence of your ability to explore a topic, organize the information, and present it in an organized style.
Your final paper speaks to how you were able to use the class to increase your knowledge base, and your awareness of what you have learned.

Your database shows your ability to create a database, especially if you choose to do a blog or a website, and also your ability to evaluate materials to help you create a collection based on specific criteria.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Frolund, T. (2008). Official YALSA Awards Guidebook. Neal-Schuman Pub. Available through Amazon: 1555706290. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Koelling, H. (Ed.). (2009). Best Books for Young Adults, (3rd ed.). ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838935699. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Van Slyck, A. (1998). Free to all: Carnegie libraries and American culture, 1890-1920. University of Chicago Press. Available through Amazon: 0226850323. 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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