LIBR 271A-01
Genres and Topics in Youth Literature
Topic: Motivational Reading Programs
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Dr. Joanne de Groot
Office Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Office Hours: by skype or e-mail as necessary

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

ANGEL Information: This course has an ANGEL site.  The course will be available to students beginning on January 26.  The enrollment code for ANGEL will be distributed to all students by the first day of the semester via MySJSU messaging.

Course Description

Various topics related to motivational reading programs in school and public libraries will be examined in depth.  Topics will include (but are not limited to) theories of reading, incentives, role of technology, reading promotion, Accelerated Reader (and similar reading programs, and summer reading programs.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200 required.

Course Objectives

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

  1. Identify some of the major reading theories and discuss how those theories should be applied to reading programs in library settings.
  2. Locate, synthesize, and discuss how some of the key scholarly and professional literature on reading programs can be applied in library settings.
  3. Identify the role of school and public libraries in designing programs that promote reading for children and young adults.
  4. Articulate the features of successful reading programs in school and public libraries.
  5. Identify and discuss issues related to motivational reading programs in school and public libraries.
  6. Consider the role of technology in designing, promoting, and implementing successful reading programs for children and young adults.
  7. Plan a motivational reading program for children or young adults.

LIBR 271A supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professional practice (Competency B)
  • Recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use (Competency C)
  • Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, and marketing/advocacy (Competency D)
  • 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 (Competency H)
  • Use service concepts, principles, and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users (Competency I)
  • Design training programs based on appropriate learning principles and theories (Competency K)
  • 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 (Competency L)
  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations (Competency M)
  • Evaluate programs and services on specific criteria (Competency N)
  • contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities (Competency O)

Top of Page

Course Requirements

This course requires a variety of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class, as well as to practical applications of methods. Students will work individually and participate in group discussions on Angel.

Students accumulate 100 points to determine the course grade. See Grading below for details. Details for the assignments will be given during the first week of classes and requirements for each will be posted under the Course Documents area on Angel.

  • Assignment 1:  Report on Reading of Course Textbook (10 points)
    This assignment requires students to read the course textbook and write a brief report and personal reflection on it.  (Core Competencies: C, K, L)
  • Assignment 2: Personal Reflection on Libraries and Reading Programs (15 points)
    This assignment asks students to reflect on their experiences of school and public libraries as children and young adults, thinking specifically about their memories of reading and reading programs. Students will have the opportunity to share these reflections in a variety of ways (e.g. written report, multimedia presentation, podcast, etc.). (Core Competencies: C, H, O)
  • Assignment 3:  Library Visit and Interview a Librarian Report (25 points)
    Students will select a school or public library (stand alone or branch library) to visit to learn about the types of reading programs the library offers, how those programs are planned and implemented, and the logistics involved in offering these programs.  Students will also be encouraged to interview a youth services librarian in that library to gain further insight into how reading is promoted and encouraged through both informal and formal programs.  A final written report will be submitted. (Core Competencies: B, C, M, N)
  • Assignment 4:  Design a Library Reading Program (40 points)
    Students will work individually or with a partner to design a reading program for a school or public library based on the research and professional literature that have been discussed in class.  The final reading program plan will outline everything that is required to run a successful library reading program, including specific program ideas, rationale, connections to relevant research, marketing plans, and more.  (Core Competencies: C, D, H, I, K, L, N, O)
  • Class Participation (10 points)
    Students are expected to participate fully on the Angel discussion site, particularly as we discuss specific books each week of the course. A complete list of those books is available at the end of this document. Students are also expected to participate fully in other parts of the course, including the group project and by responding to and commenting on other students’ assignments.

Class Format
This is a graduate level class, and it will be taught as a seminar, with students contributing and creating the major portion of the class content. As a result, students will be generating new content, synthesizing and sharing information, and contributing ideas to small group and whole class discussions. Much of the in-class work will focus on discussions based on readings (textbook and articles) and assignments.  Students are expected to be prepared for these book discussions and participate fully in them.

Course Calendar
The following outline is only an example and is not meant in any way to limit or define the total possible content of the course.

  • Week 1
    Introduction to the course, assignments, and one another
  • Week 2
    Libraries as Community Spaces
  • Weeks 3 & 4
    Theories of Reading
  • Weeks 5, 6, & 7
    School Based Reading Programs (Focus on Accelerated Reader & Summer Reading Programs in Schools)
  • Weeks 8 & 9
    Public Library Reading Programs (Focus on Research)
  • Spring Break 
  • Weeks 10 & 11
    Public Library Reading Programs (Focus on Practice)
  • Week 12
    Themes & Issues: Reading Game & Incentives
  • Week 13
    Themes & Issues: Access, Choice, & Technology
  • Weeks 14 & 15
    Themes & Issues: Reading & Relationships
  • Week 16
    Course Wrap Up
    Classes end on May 17

Course Grading
Deadlines have been set to help you keep up with the course. Being a distance learner is hard work because you are doing it on your own. Deadlines are firm. If you need an extension because of illness or death in the family or some other issue that arises, please contact me as soon as possible. Extensions may be granted for these reasons.

Late assignments will be accepted with a penalty of 10% per day for this first 3 days and then will no longer be accepted.

Textbooks and Readings

The first assignment for LIBR 271 requires students to have read this textbook early in the course. Please make arrangements to purchase or borrow this book early in January and take time to read it before the course actually begins.

In addition to the course textbook, additional readings (articles, websites, etc.) will be listed on the course Angel site.  These readings will be required for the group discussions on each topic.

Required Textbooks:

  • Krashen, S.D. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research (2nd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591581699. 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.

icon showing link leads to the PDF file viewer known as Acrobat Reader Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.

More accessibility resources.