LIBR 230-10
Issues in Academic Libraries
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Lorraine Busby
Phone:  (709) 864-6901
Fax: (709) 864-2153
Office Hours: Virtual office hours scheduled upon request

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course.  The course will be automatically available to students no later than January 25.

Course Description

This course investigates current issues that impact the functioning of academic libraries.  Topics include:  the academic library in context; information seeking behavior of users; scholarly communication; collections; services to users; management issues such as staffing, finances, fund raising and performance measures; physical settings; future trends.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 202, 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
The main objective is to prepare students for participation in the current academic library setting where work is done primarily in committees or teams, and where a combination of leadership and the ability to work in a collaborative environment are essential.

  • To explore strategic issues, trends, challenges and opportunities that are specific to today's academic library and understand how these issues will impact the future of libraries in post secondary institutions.
  • To analyze and evaluate the information needs of various user populations within the academic community.
  • To apply critical thinking and analytical methods to the solution of problems related to academic libraries.

LIBR 230 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users.
  • describe the fundamental concepts of information seeking behaviors
  • evaluate programs and services on specified criteria

Course Requirements

This course will be conducted asynchronously using D2L.  Each weekly class begins on Wednesday and runs through to the following Tuesday.

Course Work
Each week students are responsible for the course content posted within D2L.  A lesson may include readings, lectures, activities, examples, and discussions.  Readings specified for the course are taken from a combination of the assigned text, peer reviewed journal articles (frequently identified by students) and professional literature, reports, and articles freely available on the web.

Weekly Discussions 
There will be a topic for discussion each week, some of which are based upon articles selected by students from a list of options.  You are required to make a minimum of one contribution during each weekly discussion and a minimum of one comment on the contributions of your colleagues each week during the course.  The exception is those weeks when there are student selected peer reviewed articles for discussion; when there are 6 student selected articles for discussion you are to read and respond to two of the six articles in that week with one contribution and one response to each of the two articles you choose.  The assigned readings have been reduced for those weeks in recognition of this activity.  Comments should be analytical or evaluative in nature.

Course Content

  • Week 1 (Jan. 25):  Introduction; Overview; Types of Academic Libraries; Core Values
  • Week 2 (Feb. 1):  Academic Libraries in Context; Governance Issues
  • Week 3 (Feb. 8):  Understanding Users
  • Week 4 (Feb. 15):  Research Imperative
  • Week 5 (Feb. 22):  Scholarly Communication
  • Week 6 (Feb. 29):  Library Resources / Collections
  • Week 7 (Mar. 7):  Information Services
  • Week 8 (Mar. 14):  Information Literacy
  • Week 9 (Mar. 21):  Behind the Scenes Support
  • Week 10 (Apr. 4):  "Library as Place" and "Place as Library"
  • Week 11 (Apr. 11):  Managing the Academic Library
  • Week 12 (Apr. 18):  Budgets and Finances
  • Week 13 (Apr. 25) Assessment and Performance Measures
  • Week 14 (May 2):  Fundraising and Friend Raising
  • Week 15 (May 9):  Trends for the Future

Further information on each assignment is provided within D2L.  Each assignment is required by the due date.  Late assignments will not be accepted without prior approval; a penalty may be applied.

Citations should conform to APA style.

  • Assignment 1:  Due Feb. 12 at 11:59 pm.  15 points
    Choose a peer-reviewed article published within the past five years on information seeking behavior of a specific user group (e.g. chemist, biologist, historian, linguist, economist, etc.).  Produce a written report of 1,250 to 1,500 words that compares and contrasts the information seeking patterns of this user group with "digital natives".
  • Assignment 2:  Due Mar. 4 at 11:59 pm.  15 points
    Using your choice of technology, create a promotional item which advertises a service to your chosen user group.  The promotional effort is to either launch a a new service or to expand use of an existing under utilized service.  This assignment will be assessed and marked by small groups of classmates as noted in the Peer-Review Assignment.
  • Peer-Review Assignment:  Due Apr. 1 at 11:59 pm. 
    Small groups will be assigned the submitted promotional items from Assignment 2 for evaluation.  Individually students will complete and submit a worksheet that assess content clarity, suitability of the technology in coveying the chosens message and appeal fator for each promotional item assigned to your small group.  Together your group will compare reactions and will complete a concluding worksheet that comments on overall effectiveness of the promotional item in achieving its goals and assigns a mark worth 15 points.  The instructor will review submitted worksheets and assign a mark work 5 points for individual completion of the peer-review process.
  • Assignment 3:  Due Apr. 22 at 11:50 pm.  15 points
    Write a 1,250 - 1,500 word paper on options for responding to an economic downturn.  Outline potential mechanisms for reducing the library's budget by 10%.  Where might budget cuts be made?  What are the pros and cons for taking various options?  What justifications would you give to library staff for implementing the proposed cuts?
  • Article Selection for Class Discussion:  Due dates vary depending upon topics.  10 points 
    Students will select and post a peer-review article from the list of options provided and will supply 2-3 questions about the article to initiate group discussions. At the end of the week, the student responsbile for the discussion will summarize the comments.
  • Site Visit Report: Due date Apr. 29 at 11:59 pm.  25 points
    Each student is required to complete a site visit to an academic library, approved in advance by the course instructor, and to submit a written report on the experience.  The site visit is to be used to compare course content against a real operation and should lead to a more comprehensive understanding of the services, operations, staffing, and facilities.  Several aspects should be explored in depth.  The written report is to be 2,500 - 3,000 words and will include your own thoughts and opinions as well as drawing upon professional and scholarly literature which will be properly cited in a bibliography.

Course Grading

  Points Due Dates
Discussions and Weekly Course Content     15 Tuesdays  at 11:59 pm each week
3 Assignments @ 15 points each     45 Dates as noted above
Student Peer Review of Assignment 2       5 April 1 at 11:59 pm
Article Review & Initiation of Discussion      10 Varies by chosen dates
Site Visit Report      25 April 29 at 11:59 pm

Textbooks and Readings

Supplementary readings, available through the King Library or freely available on the web, will be identified for each lesson.

Required Textbooks:

  • Budd, J. M. (2005). The changing academic library: Operations, culture, environments (ACRL publications in librarianship). ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838983189. 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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