LIBR 267-01
LIBR 267-10
Seminar in Services to Children and Young Adults
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Elizabeth (Beth) Wrenn-Estes
Other contact information: 510-410-1959 (Cell)
Office location: Instructor works from home office in San Leandro, CA.
Office Hours: By request

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
D2L Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore


This course will be available on d2L by August 18, 2011. You will be automatically enrolled into the site. I will send more information about course access through MySJSU as we approach the first day of class.

The instructor expects each student to check into the d2L course site at least once, if not twice, per day. Visit the d2L class site often for course updates, resources, announcements, and other relevant information. Students are responsible to know the content on the d2L course site and Greensheet/Syllabus. It is also the student’s responsibility to ask questions and express concerns as quickly so that the instructor can provide an answer/response immediately.

The instructor expects that you will promptly answer emails and keep up with additional postings and information put on the site.

The instructor makes every effort to proofread the Greensheet/Syllabus and the d2L Course Site but errors can occur. Please contact the instructor with any errors you see or any questions or may have.

Instructor’s Instructional Philosophy
The instructor wants each student in the course to succeed and will do everything to help students do so but it is a partnership. Please make sure that communication stays a top priority during the semester. Ask questions when you have them, seek clarifications when you need them, take responsibility for understanding all expectations, content and assignments for the course.

The instructor expects students to work hard and to come away with a love of YA literature, the ability to defend it, and an understanding of how to best serve children, tween and teenage patrons/students where intellectual freedom is concerned. The expectations are that students in this class are responsible for their learning experience. Understanding the contents and expectations explained in the Greensheet is critical for a student’s success in the class.

Course Description

This course will focus on intellectual freedom issues with youth, the value of youth literature to enhance individuals’ lives, the ethics of intellectual freedom, the psychology of censorship and how to combat it, and how to defend materials for youth. 

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 and topics that are frequently associated with challenged materials
  2. Identify the elements needed to write a reconsideration policy for a school or public library
  3. Train library staff in reconsideration procedures and how to handle an angry customer
  4. Write a rationale for a challenged book
  5. State own philosophy of intellectual freedom
  6. Discuss the value of books that present graphic material or controversial subjects
  7. Describe the psychology of the censor and their emotions and motivations                
  8. Discuss the motivations of authors who write material that might be challenged and why they are willing to risk censorship

LIBR 267 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • A. articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom
  • C. recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use
  • D. apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy
  • H. demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations
  • N. evaluate programs and services on specified criteria

Course Requirements

The Importance of SOTES
Students evaluate the course and instructor at the end of each term.  This evaluation is known as the SOTES. An announcement will go out from the administration letting students/faculty know when the SOTES are available to complete. Those completing the SOTES, and informing me of doing so, will receive 1 point towards their overall grade. 1 point can make the difference between a higher and a lower grade overall. The importance of SOTES is very easy to describe – it is the student voice to the administration and the instructor giving feedback on the positives and negatives of the student’s experience in the class. Completing the SOTES is so very important to improving courses and instruction.

Questions, Comments, Concerns- Discussion Thread
Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the discussion thread under Content/Discussion Threads on the d2L class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature send directly to the instructor’s email address (

It is your responsibility to ask questions and express concerns you have about assignments or other materials provided for the class. The Greensheet/Syllabus and the class site in tandem provide you with as much information as possible but if you need clarification please do not hesitate to ask.

The instructor reserves the right to assign additional readings or lectures on the weekly outlines. Additional readings and lectures will be assigned no less than 7-10 days out from the week the readings are to be read.

The instructor will also build in links to all pertinent weekly assignments, discussions threads into the d2L site under Content.

All lectures are posted with each Weekly Outline as well as in their own module under Content on the d2L site. Instructor gives URL addresses in the case where a student wishes to simple cut and paste the URL into the browser of their choice to access. Lectures may have been recorded during an earlier semester but are still relevant for the present semester.


  • Week 10 - Thursday, October 27 (20 pts)
    Group Presentations
    Issues in Intellectual Freedom and Youth
    7-9:30 p.m. Pacific
    Session is Mandatory

  • Week 15 - Thursday, December 1 (7 pts)
    GUEST SPEAKERS– Amy Sonnie (Teen OutReach Librarian and author/editor of banned book Revolutionary Voices) and Cathi Dunn MacRae VOYA former editor and current column writer for VOYA focusing on intellectual freedom for teens. 
    A discussion about IF and Youth – frontline viewpoint
    7-9:30 p.m. Pacific
    Session is Mandatory

SLIS Competencies:    A,D,H
Course Outcomes:     1,2,5,6,7,8

Grading Rubric/Individual Assignment Evaluation Forms
The rubric for written assignments and the instructor’s evaluation forms are located on the Contents page on the d2L course site.

Timeframe for grading papers
Papers are graded within ten days from the date turned in. Turning in assignments late is not allowed except in the case of true extenuating circumstances and with prior approval of the instructor. The instructor requires a note from the student’s doctor to verify sickness that illness prevents assignment deadlines from being met. Extenuating circumstance discussions are facilitated on a one-to-one basis and the instructor will determine whether consideration is granted and a time extension is granted for the assignment. Students should contact instructor as early as possible with potential problems or issues.

The instructor will always inform the student(s) if papers will take longer than 10 days to grade.

Discussion Threads 25 Weeks 1,3,6,8,10,12,16
Selection Policy Paper 16 September 30
Controversial Author Paper 12 October 7
Elluminate - Group Presentations-Issues Intellectual Freedom and Youth 20 October 27
Rationales Paper 16 November 19
Elluminate Session - Group Discussion/Guest Lecturer(s) Visit 10 December 1
SOTES Completion 1 End of Semester


Week 1 - August 24 - August 28

Week 2 - August 29 to September 4

Week 3 - September 5 to September 11


Week 4 - September 12 to September 18

Week 5 - September 19 to September 25

  • Readings
    • Reichman (Censorship and Selection)
      Chapter 3 (Issues in Dispute)
    • Fear Factor: Kids’ Lit Style, Brian Kenney, July 2010 from School Library Journal Newsletter online.

Week 6 - September 26 to October 2

  • Readings
  • Discussion Thread #3
    Speaking from the research done for the selection policy assignment what are insights do you have surrounding the purposes of selection policies and written procedures focused on getting material reconsidered?
  • Instructor LectureInterview with Jamie LaRue, author of The New Inquisition
    Select a public or school library. Find the materials selection policy.

    Compare the policy you have found with the ALA guidelines for writing a Selection Policy. How do they differ? How are they similar? 

    ALA Guidelines

    Analyze the selection policy for materials that are directly used or accessible to “youth” (including selection philosophy, selection criteria, reconsideration policy and procedures, intellectual freedom and access to information and statement of privacy and confidentiality). Describe any legal precedence for content/statements that are included and dig a bit deeper into the details of what makes a good selection policy.

    Papers are to be no more than 15 pages in length. Follow writing standard guidelines posted in the first part of the Greensheet.

    Writing style for paper is formal. Visit: for more information on differences between formal and informal writing style.

    Post papers to the dropbox provided.

    A excellent resource for this assignment is Ensuring Intellectual Freedom and Access to Information in the School Library Media Program, Helen R. Adams, 2008

    Examples: There is no current example of the assignment in this form.

    Competencies: A,C,D,H,N
    Outcomes: 1,2,3

Week 7 - October 3 to October 9

  • Readings
    • Reichman (Censorship and Selection)
      Chapter 4 (Establishing Selection Policies, Chapter 5 (What Do We Do If….?)
    • The New Book Banning, Eye on the News, February 12, 2009 by Walter Olson. Retrieved from
  • ASSIGNMENT - Controversial Author Study - Due October 7 12 points
    Choose a controversial children/tweens or teens author and do an in-depth look at their life and works. Feel free to run the author by the Instructor for input. The author must write for children, tweens or teens. Adult authors are OK if they write for one of the groups we are focusing on as well.

Week 8 - October 10 to October 16

  • Readings
    • LaRue (The New Inquisition), Chapter 6 (Conclusion: The Fourth Turning?)
  • Discussion Thread #4
    Review the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Sund vs. The City of Wichita. Discuss as a class the significance of each of these as it pertains to our course of study. Draw your own insights into the discussion and using both references from your reading and your own opinion look at each as they impact Intellectual Freedom for Youth.
  • Instructor Lecture
    Creating a First Defense File/Writing Rationales

Week 9 - October 17 to October 23

Week 10 - October 24 to October 30

  • Readings
  • Discussion Thread #5
    Controversial Young Adult Fiction and Intellectual Freedom. Do a bit of research into what books are being banned or challenged in the genre of realistic fiction. Visit some of the more outspoken young adult authors websites and see what they are saying about censorship and YA (Crutcher, Blume, Hopkins, Halse Anderson, Brewer, Alexi, and more). Have a discussion with your youth services librarian hat on and describe what the major issues are but make it more personal taking it down to what the authors themselves are saying about censorship and their viewpoints of it.
  • Instructor Lecture
    Freedom- The Right to Read
  • ELLUMINATE SESSION - October 27th   20 points  
    Instructor will post a Google Docs with topics and number of students needed for each particular group. The number of Groups will be determined by final enrollment in the class. Each group will research the topic given and present findings as a group presentation during the Elluminate session. The group must create their presentation using presentation tools that are compatible with Elluminate (Powerpoint, Application sharing, Video). The length of the presentation will be approximately 25 minutes (again this is dependent on the number of groups). Final groups and presentation times will be determined by September 10th.

    Each group with then select one person who will communicate with the instructor and with the Elluminate Assistant – act as the group representative. They are in no way charged with making group work happen, writing outlines, etc. All work within the group is just that “group” generated. The representative is the communicator for the group – this cuts out on multiple emails from everyone in the group to the instructor or our Elluminate Assistant. This person must contact the Instructor by September 15th.

    Competencies: A, D, H
    Outcomes: 1,2,5,6,7,8

Week 11 -October 31 to November 6

Week 12 - November 17 to November 13

  • Instructor Lecture
    Dealing with Angry Patrons
    Link: Patrons.mp3
  • Discussion Thread #6
    Conduct of youth while in the library is a major discussion topic across the country. What issues are out there for librarians to deal with in respect to what rights youth have in expressing their intellectual freedom/freedom of expression/right to read? What examples can you find from your readings or what is in the media that describe incidences of this type and what are your reactions to them.

Week 13 - November 14 to November 20

  • ASSIGNMENT - Rationales  Due November 19th  10 points
    Based on the lists available at intellectual freedom websites online and class discussions, write detailed rationales for two controversial titles. Explain their value and usefulness, and why they should be included in a public/school library collection.

    Papers are to be no more than 6 pages in length. 

    Follow writing standard guidelines posted in the first part of the Greensheet.
  • ResourcesPaper – example of assignment from past student
    Lessons page
    How to write a rationale - PDF Under Course Documents
    National Consortium for Teachers of English

    How to write a rationale
    Post papers to the dropbox provided.

    Competencies: A,C,H
    Outcomes: 1,2,5,6,7,8

Week 14 - November 21 to November 27


Week 15 - November 28 to December 4

Week 16 - December 5 to December 8

  • Discussion Thread #7
    Reflection – look back at the semester and tell major insights, changes in attitude, best practices for dealing with YA and Youth in either school or public library setting and anything else you’d like to add about your experience this semester.
  • ELLUMINATE SESSION - December 1st 7 p.m. Pacific 10 points
    GUEST SPEAKERS– Amy Sonnie (Teen OutReach Librarian and author/editor of banned book Revolutionary Voices) and Cathi Dunn MacRae VOYA former editor and current column writer for VOYA focusing on intellectual freedom for teens.

    A discussion about IF and Youth – frontline viewpoint
    7-9:30 p.m. Pacific
    Session is Mandatory

    Competencies: A,D,H
    Outcomes: 1,2,6,8

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • LaRue, James (2007). The New Inquisition. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591582857. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Reichman, H. (2001). Censorship and selection: Issues and answers for school (3rd ed.). Chicago: American Library Association. Available through Amazon: 0838907989. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Rubin, R. J. (2000). Defusing the angry patron. New York: Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555703720. 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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