Reference & Information Services
Spring 2009 Greensheet
Textbooks and Readings
This course will be delivered entirely online through Angel. Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel during these dates: January 15-23. You will be required to use a password access code which I will provide using the MySJSU Messaging system.
A process-oriented examination of how information professionals answer reference questions. The interpersonal skills required for effective question negotiation and the sources with which questions are answered are covered as well as an overview of reference as a basic library service. There will be an emphasis on emerging models and evaluation of services and sources will be covered.
This course explores some of the foundations of providing reference service, as well as functions, processes, sources and their evaluation. In addition, several special topics will covered such as staffing models, management of print and electronic collections, investigation and evaluation of new services and other topics of interest.
Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202
By the end of this course, students will:
- have explored reference and information delivery as a library service
- demonstrate familiarity of the components of a successful reference interview
- demonstrate familiarity of basic reference sources (in multiple formats)
- be able to implement basic search strategies
- be able to evaluate of reference sources
- have an understanding of topics in bibliographic instruction
- have understanding of reference policies and standards
- demonstrate an ability to evaluate a variety of reference programs and their components
- have become familiar with emerging service models
LIBR 210 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:
- use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users;
In addition, this section supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:
- 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; and
- evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.
As this is a Web-based course, all assignments for this class will be distributed via Blackboard. Please check your Blackboard email and the discussion board on a regular (preferably daily) basis. You may contact me via email, and I will make every effort to respond promptly (within 48 hours at the latest). Please note that I live in the Atlantic time zone.
All assignments will be evaluated for thoroughness, analysis, creativity, and thoughtfulness. Points will be deducted for failure to use correct spelling, grammar, and composition. All assignments are to have a professional appearance, using consistent formatting and citing techniques. Consult the SLIS APA Style Resources page for further specifics. In addition to grades received on the assignments, active participation in online discussions throughout the semester will be graded (see the grading summary below). Due dates for assignments are firm. In exceptional circumstances, I can be contacted to negotiate an extension before the assignment due date.
You will be asked to formally observe reference work and consciously participate in two different types of reference interactions (though you may wish to participate in any number of transactions of each type). You will submit a brief report on each of these experiences.
You will complete a series of exercises designed to give you practical experience examining and using some of the reference sources and search techniques we are studying.
- Issues case study
Case studies are an effective tool for applying skills and theories, participating in group problem solving, and using evidence. You will participate in this is a detailed group project related to the topics explored in the course.
- Database vendor feedback letter
You will compose a letter intended to give an online database vendor feedback about their product. This could take the form suggestions for improvement to a product your library has used for a period of time, or it could be feedback as to why your library prefers not to purchase a particular product based on your initial evaluation. For this assignment, you will be working in pairs.
- Bibliographic instruction package
You will be asked to prepare a presentation package for a bibliographic instruction session (you will choose your topic at the beginning of the term). This will include and audio/visual elements for the presentation, speaking notes or other guides for the presenter, an outline of the presentation format, supporting materials for participants including a bibliography or pathfinder on the specific subject area and any 'quick start' or user guides (these can be meant for print or online use). For this assignment, there are several components. You will be working in small groups of three or four, and peer assessment will be used.
A portion of the overall grade is allocated for class participation. For the purposes of this class, participation includes prompt and thoughtful contribution to online discussions, engagement with class activities, and a demonstration that you are making an effort to master the material covered in this course. During most weeks of the course, there will be a new discussion topic posted related to the course readings. You will be required to participate in a minimum of ten topics.
More details on the assignments will be provided in Blackboard.
|Assignment||% of final grade|
|Reports||10% (5% each)|
|Exercises||20% (5% each)|
|Discussions||20% (2% each)|
The course is divided into two streams running more or less concurrently. Each week, an aspect of service will be explored along with a type of reference source or technique.
- Unit 1 (Weeks 1 through 3, January 22-February 11): Background and overview/The reference interview
- History and overview
- Philosophy of service
- The reference interview I
- The reference interview II
- Unit 2 (Weeks 4 through 7, February 12-March 11): Administration and management/Sources, part 1
- Staffing models
- Staff training
- popular internet sources
- Unit 3 (Weeks 8 through 10, March 12-April 1): Users/Sources, part 2
- Bibliographic instruction
- Serving special populations
- Unit 4 (Weeks 11 through 13, April 2-April 22): Evaluation/Sources, part 3
- Evaluation: sources
- Evaluation: services
- Evaluation: ROI
- geographical sources
- government documents
- Unit 5 (Weeks 14 through 16, April 23-May 13): Trends/Sources, part 4
- Trends: your website as a reference tool
- Trends: collaboration
- Trends: virtual reference
|History and Overview||none||none|
|Philosophy of Service||Reference Interview I||Establish working groups||February 4|
|Ethics||Reference Interview II||BI subject||February 11|
|Policies||Popular internet sources||none|
|Issues||bibliographies||Exercise 1 [5%]||February 25|
|Staff training||encyclopedias||Case study [10%]||March 11|
|Bibliographic Instruction||almanacs/directories||Exercise 2 [5%]||March 18|
|READING BREAK||Report 1 [5%]||April 1|
|Evaluation: sources||dictionaries||Post BI packages||April 8|
|Evaluation: services||geographical sources||Exercise 3 [5%]||April 15|
|Evaluation: ROI||government documents||Vendor letter [10%]/BI package (peer assessment)||April 22|
|Trends: website||statistics||Exercise 4 [5%]||April 29|
|Trends: collaboration||none||BI package (final assessment) [30%]||May 6|
Week 16 May 7
|Trends: virtual reference||none||Report 2 [5%]||May 13|
Textbooks and Readings
- Katz, W. A. (2002). Introduction to Reference Work Vol. I, (8th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Available through Amazon: 0072441070.
- Katz, W. A. (2002). Introduction to Reference Work Vol. II, (8th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Available through Amazon: 0072441437.
- Bopp, R. E., & Smith, L. C. (2001). Reference and information services: An introduction. (3rd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1563086247.
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|
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).
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 http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S90-5.pdf. More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/departments/LIS.html. 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 http://info.sjsu.edu/static/catalog/policies.html. Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at http://www.sjsu.edu/provost/services/academic_calendars/. The Late Drop Policy is available at http://www.sjsu.edu/aars/policies/latedrops/policy/. 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/advising/.
Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material
University Policy S12-7, http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/S12-7.pdf, 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."
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 http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/docs/F15-7.pdf 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 http://www.sjsu.edu/studentconduct/.
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 http://www.sjsu.edu/president/docs/directives/PD_1997-03.pdf requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at http://www.sjsu.edu/aec to establish a record of their disability.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.
More accessibility resources.