LIBR 220-02
LIBR 220-11 
Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Topic: Medical/Health Sciences Librarianship
Fall 2011 Greensheet

Charles Greenberg, MLS MEd
Phone (work): 203-737-2960
Phone (home): 203-847-4784
Phone (cell): available to enrolled students
Instant Messaging: librarian4ysm(AIM,MSN), cjgberg(gtalk),charlieatyalelib(yahoo)
Second Life ID: Chaz Quijote
Office Location: Skype or Personal Elluminate (available to enrolled students)
Optional Class Topic Discussion hours (August 28th to November 22nd, with Elluminate): One optional attendance and recorded Elluminate Discussion per topic, based on a schedule to be posted.
NOTE: Attendance at the scheduled Elluminate discussions is OPTIONAL, but there will be class participation credit available for those that do attend.  Use of Elluminate to present your individual research paper topic is REQUIRED. Please take advantage of the live topic presentations and office hours to practice with Elluminate.  "Audience" attendance at the student Elluminate presentations at the end of the semester is expected, unless a work or family-related attendance exemption is requested in advance. Unpredicted class cancellations will be posted in D2L Course announcements; when I am traveling for work-related reasons, some discussions sessions may be prerecorded or precepted by a guest speaker.

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

Desire2Learn (D2L) Course Management System: Effective summer 2011 SLIS is being required by the University to move off the Angel learning management platform to the centralized University Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management platform. Use of D2L is required for this class, as nearly all course content, links, session recordings will be linked there. Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L course site.

Course Description

In 2006, the Pew Internet and American Life Project announced that 80% of American internet users, or some 113 million adults at that time, have searched for information on at least one of seventeen health topics. Information professionals in a variety of settings are just as likely as librarians in hospital or medical centers to encounter requests for valid and useful health information. Despite the availability of accurate medical information, the work necessary to access and utilize such information can discourage both discovery and use. LIBR 220-02, LIBR 220-11, Resources and Information Services in Medical Librarianship, will offer contemporary perspectives on topics such as health sciences library history, medical subject classification, finding quality health information, consumer health programming, evidence-based health care, and cooperative medical library programs.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 202 Information Retrieval, LIBR 210, Reference and Information Services, or equivalent coursework.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
Students should, by the end of the course, be able to:

  • Explain several factors that led to the establishment of medical libraries and the specialization of medical librarianship.
  • Describe medical librarian ethical behavior and discuss scenarios when job performance could challenge ethical behavior.
  • Describe the need and benefits of a national medical information infrastructure.
  • Find and describe the current National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Regional Medical Library (RML) structure and services.
  • Discuss the history of and locate medical subject vocabularies.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of MeSH structures and tools, such as hierarchies of relevant terms, classified equivalents, and minor subject headings.
  • Describe characteristics of the transition from print to electronic searching, including before and beyond the web browser.
  • Perform basic searching in biomedical databases, using appropriate use of controlled vocabularies, particularly when specificity is required.
  • Describe and distinguish the content differences in PUBMED and Medline, as well as easily locate relevant online guides and tutorials for Medline and PUBMED.
  • Find recommendations for core (small) clinical or research collections.
  • Find reviews for monographs in lesser known fields and determine the leading journals in a variety of medical specialties.
  • Locate and describe a variety of biomedical databases and provide basic comparisons.
  • Distinguish subject vocabularies or classification schemes in health specialties.
  • Distinguish primary clientele for health sciences libraries in particular contexts and predict a standard or level of expected demand for services.
  • Describe the principle of best [available] evidence and construct an "evidence pyramid" which shows the relative abundance of types of evidence.
  • Locate "clinical filters" in PubMed and understand how they improve a search strategy.
  • Describe the continuum that exists between sensitive and specific searching.
  • Recommend consumer health sources and apply quality evaluation criteria.
  • Describe several types of biomedical libraries, based on knowledge of clientele and collections.
  • Locate job postings, as well as opportunities for advanced training and fellowships.
  • describe the opportunities for partnerships and collaboration that exist for libraries within an institutional setting.
  • Articulate the library role in a health care, education, or research settings.
  • Describe several ways that medical libraries collaborate to change public opinion and promote best practices for information access and usage.

LIBR 220-01 and 220-10 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • Use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  • Understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge;
  • 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;
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;
  • Contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Evaluation Criteria

  • Group participation, 20% of final grade; including discussion forum participation and group assignments.  All members of the group will receive the same grade. Group collaboration is required, using Elluminate, Skype, Instant messaging, conference call, or another real-time communication technology.  All costs associated with non-SLIS  communication tools are student responsibilities.
  • Project-written 25% of final grade (no more than 3000 words, including bibliography, based on a student-selected topic from readings)
  • Presentation 15% of final grade (Students will present a 15-20 minute live presentation of their paper topic, using Elluminate, during the last two weeks of the semester) Extra credit earned from Elluminate sessions will contribute to the presentation grade.
  • Report of an interview with health information professional 15%
  • Evaluating Health web sites: 10% of final grade; evaluate two health information web sites with a provided rubric.
  • Commentaries: 10% of final grade; required short essays or commentaries posted to a topic discussion forum, demonstrating your understanding of how topic readings relate to SLIS school-wide competencies.
  • Medical database searching: 5% of final grade

Written project evaluation criteria:

  • Introduction
  • Body,Summary & Conclusion;
  • Bibliography;
  • 3000 words or less
  • Theme, Hypothesis, or
  • Topic statement
  • Evidence of wide variety of sources related to Medical Librarianship
  • Technical accuracy of Research Material
  • Appearance
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Overall neatness
  • Citation Format:  International Biomedical Style (Vancouver Style), available with King Library subscription to RefWorks.
  • The evaluation of the final presentation will be based on the criteria of organization, content knowledge, visuals, mechanics (presentation), and delivery (performance).
  • The evaluation of the interview of a health information professional will be based on the criteria of organization, effective interview questions, 600 words maximum, description of person's occupation, institution, accomplishments, and challenges.
  • The commentaries, evaluation of response to readings, will be assessed on a satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or honors basis, based on principles of effective written communication, discussion which compares or contrasts readings, and conciseness. Reading responses should be between 200-250 words. A response of less than 200 words and greater than 250 will be a possible cause for grade reduction. Responses may included references, particularly as an instrument to reduce an essay length. The instructor will provide feedback and comments for individual reading responses.
  • Medical database searching will be evaluated on use of controlled vocabulary and evidence-based filtering.
  • One group exercise will be researched and performed in groups, using Diigo social bookmarking technology.

Course Calendar

August 24

First Day of Fall 2011 Instruction; Receive access to D2L for course. Submit personal introduction created with Jing on DTL site by August 28, 3:00pm PST

August 28 First OPTIONAL Elluminate Topic Presentation 6:00pm-7:00pm PST (additional schedule to be distributed)
August 30  First Elluminate Office Hour (additional schedule to be distributed)
October 16 Deadline to declare paper/presentation topic in D2L.
November 27, 29, December 4, 6 Elluminate Sessions Expanded 6:00-7:30 PST for student presentations (all students expected to attend all of their colleagues' final presentations, except for work or family obligations.  Sessions may be reduced, based on total class enrollment)
December 8 Last Day of Fall Semester. Final Paper Due, 11:59pm PST, emailed to Instructor

Assignment due dates subject to change with fair notice.

Students are required to use and access a designated preferred email account on a daily  basis during the course, as well as Mr. Greenberg’s Skype or Instant Messaging accounts at any time to seek clarification of calendar dates and assignments.

Incompletes will be granted only in rare and extreme emergency situations. Students who cannot fulfill all the work for a course due to a medical or family emergency may be assigned an Incomplete only if arrangements are made with the instructor. Please see the SLIS policy on incompletes:

Textbooks and Readings

Required Readings
Required readings, search and interview assignments, and web site evaluations are assigned on a weekly basis through D2Ll.

Many readings are selected from the complete run (1901-present) of the Bulletin and Journal of the Medical Library Association, available at

Additional Readings
Additional readings and assignments will be posted in D2Ll.

Student access accounts will also be obtained for relevant commercial biomedical databases that are not already part of SJSU Library holdings.

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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