LIBR 220-06
LIBR 220-15
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Social Science Data Services and Sources
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Katharin Peter
Phone & Skype: Available to currently enrolled students   
Office Hours: Sundays 10am – 11am via Elluminate or by appointment (phone, Skype, or Elluminate).  Always available asynchronously via email.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
D2L Login and Tutorials

This course will be available on D2L beginning Wednesday, August 24. You will be enrolled into the site automatically.  I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to data librarianship focusing on library data services and sources for supporting numeric research in the social sciences.  The course will provide students with a detailed overview of the primary producers of and essential sources for aggregate data (statistics) as well as data files.   Course topics include:

  • statistical literacy
  • locating statistics and data
  • library instruction and the data reference interview
  • library data service models
  • data archives and data management
  • spatial data

Students will gain hands-on experience with numeric resources at all levels (i.e., published statistics, interactive databases, and data files).  Local, national, and international sources will be presented including the U.S. Census and related resources.  Course prerequisite: LIBR 202. 

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, students should be able to assist researchers locating, accessing, and evaluating numeric resources.  Specifically, students should be able to:

  • Conduct a data reference interview.
  • Develop a search strategy for locating statistics and data.
  • Use flagship statistical sources to locate and retrieve statistics in order to answer a wide-range of reference and research questions.
  • Apply principles of information literacy to statistical sources, especially in the critical evaluation of sources.
  • Conduct an environmental scan at his/her library and make recommendations for developing or expanding library data services.

This section of LIBR 220 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

H.   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.
I.    Use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users.
N.   Evaluate programs and services on specified criteria.

Course Requirements

Mode of Instruction
This course will use D2L for online discussions, to provide access to readings and other course materials, and for submitting assignments.  The course will be asynchronous with optional attendance to synchronous office hours in Elluminate.

Detailed requirements, grading rubrics, and course calendar will be posted in D2L.

  • Exercises:  Students will complete ten short exercises designed to provide hands-on experience with various statistical sources.  [30 points] 
  • Case Study/Librarian Interview:  Based primarily on interviews with a subject librarian, data librarian, or other data professional working in an academic or library setting (i.e., archivist, statistical consultant, etc.), students will write a short paper summarizing data services available at the case institution and the path taken to data librarianship.  [5 points] 
  • Subject Guide & Lesson Plan:  Students will create a subject- or course-specific research guide and lesson plan for a one-shot library workshop.  As part of the assignment deliverables, students are expected to present (i.e., teach) part of their lesson plan via Elluminate or using screencasting software and provide feedback on other student presentations and subject guides.  [30 points] 
  • Research Paper:  The research paper is intended to give students the opportunity to explore a course topic in greater detail than provided in weekly readings and class exercises or to investigate a data-related topic not covered in the course but relevant to students’ professional goals, such as qualitative data or science data librarianship.  Alternatively, students can also meet the assignment requirements by analyzing an existing dataset or creating a data services plan and collection development policy for their institution.  Research paper topics or proposals must be approved by instructor.  [20 points]
  • Online Discussions:   Students are expected to participate in weekly online discussions based on course notes, readings, and exercises.  Specifically, students should post one thoughtful response to the weekly discussion prompt and respond to at least one post by a classmate.  [15 points]

Textbooks and Readings

There is no required textbook for this course.  Course readings will be available online or through D2L.

No Textbooks For This Course.

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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