LIBR 220-02
LIBR 220-11
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Business Information
Spring 2011 Greensheet

Sean Gaffney
Office Hours: TBA

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll in this course by the first day of class, Wednesday, January 26. An access code will be sent to you via MySJSU prior to when the class opens on the first day.

Course Description

LIBR 220. Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Examination of the nature of resources for, and services to, professions and disciplines including methods of communication, characteristics of users, and current methods of meeting research needs in libraries and information centers.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202 and 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:

  1. Explain how business information flows and how business resources fit into this flow.
  2. Compare and evaluate a variety of sources and be able to use them effectively to answer business information questions.
  3. Understand information requests on the topics of investments, financial ratios, and statistics.
  4. Demonstrate the techniques of over-viewing (providing a resource package such as a 'pathfinder' on a web page) on a specific sub-field of business information.
  5. Gain an understanding of the different types of business libraries and the roles of business information professionals. 

LIBR 220 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice
  • Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems
  • 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

Course Requirements

Weekly Schedule (subject to change)



Week 1 Introduction: Business information, the business library
Week 2 Databases I
Week 3 Databases II
Week 4 Introduction to Factiva
Week 5 Finding Economic Information
Week 6 Finding Industry Information
Week 7 Using Nexis
Week 8 Statistics
Week 9 General Business Searching
Week 10 Finding Company Information
Week 11 News, Talk and Blogs
Week 12 Investment Information
Week 13 Search Engines
Week 14 Print Resources
Week 15 Putting It All Together: Finding Business Information on the Internet


  • Pathfinder/Webliography - Students will develop  a resource finding tool for a topic of interest related to business (20%)
  • Industry Evaluation - Using the resources covered in the course, students will develop an industry overview for a sector of their choice (20%)
  • Company Evaluation - Using the resources covered in the course, students will develop a 5-8 page overview of a company of their choice (20%)
  • Short Exercises - 4 short exercises covering the databases explored during the course (5% each for a total of 20%)
  • Quizes - - 4 quizes (5% each for a total of 20%)

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Bell, S. (2009). Librarian's Guide to Online Searching. Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591587638. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Berkman, R. (2005). The skeptical business searcher. Information Today. Available through Amazon: 0910965668. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Faria, A.J., Wood, E., Faria, A. & Kaatrude, P. (1996). The business library and how to use it: A guide to sources (6th ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 0780800265. 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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