LIBR 286-10
Interpersonal Communication Skills for Librarians
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Mr. Brent Roberts
E-mail  (Responses within 48 hours unless otherwise indicated)
Office Hours: Online - By Appointment

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

D2L information: This class is delivered via the Desire2Learn (D2L) course management system.  Unlike Angel, you will automatically be enrolled in the course and will have access beginning the first day of the semester, January 25, 2012.

Course Description

This course surveys the principles and practice of interpersonal communication in peer relationships and small groups, with application in both personal and professional settings. 

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply the concepts and issues related to interpersonal communication.
  • Describe the role of communication within library and information science environments.
  • Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate interpersonal communication techniques within professional and personal environments.
  • Apply appropriate interpersonal communication techniques to problems within library and information science environments.

LIBR 286 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations.

Course Requirements

Course Format:  D2L
This is a web-based course.  Desire2Learn (D2L) will be used for all course activities.  Unlike Angel, you will not need to self-enroll.  Instead, you will be enrolled automatically and will have access beginning the first day of the semester, Wednesday, January 25.  Because discussions are due each week, and because I frequently post announcements throughout the week, be sure to log in each day or two for updates.

Due Dates
The deadline for weekly discussion postings, as well as for assignments, is Sunday night at midnight.  Because assignments are all posted well in advance, you will be expected to submit the assignment and your assigned postings by that time.  It is fine to work ahead in this course, but grades for the Discussion postings will be given based on what has been posted by Sunday night at midnight.

Each week there will be one or two discussion threads covering aspects of the readings.  Some Discussions may ask you to take what you have studied and apply it in everyday interactions with peers, coworkers, or family members, and then report the results as a posting.  For full 3 points credit on each Discussion, you will need to respond to the original question by Thursday, and respond to at least two other students’ postings by Sunday.  Postings should be free of spelling and grammatical errors, and APA-style citations should be included as necessary.  

Research Paper
The research paper for this course will be 10 pages in length, double-spaced, no title page or abstract necessary, with a one-page APA-style bibliography (for a total of 11 pages).  The paper should focus in depth on any of the interpersonal communication topics covered in the first 9 weeks of the course, applied to a library or information services setting.  You should use at least 5 peer-reviewed journal articles from King Library databases in your bibliography.  The bibliography and in-text citations should be in APA format.  This paper will be submitted in the Lesson 9 Dropbox by the end of the 9th week.  Please note:  This paper would be suitable for inclusion in your ePortfolio under Competency M.  

Group Presentation
During the second half of the course, we will be focusing on the dynamics of small group communication.  To provide an actual small group experience, you will be assigned to a small group (3 or 4 people max).  Together you will produce and record a 15-minute training presentation on one of the interpersonal communication topics covered in the first nine weeks, applied to a library or information services setting.  The presentation should be completed using Elluminate or comparable presentation program.  A link to the presentation should be submitted via the Dropbox located within Lesson 14.  Links to all presentations will be provided during the last week of class so that students may see colleagues’ work.  Please note:  This presentation would be suitable for inclusion in your ePortfolio under Competencies M or K.  

Small Group Experience Analysis Paper
Following the Group Presentation assignment, you will analyze your experience in a short paper. The paper should be 5 pages in length, double-spaced, no title page or abstract necessary, with a one-page APA-style bibliography (for a total of 6 pages).  You should focus primarily on the principles discussed in the Myers & Anderson (2008) text.  The bibliography should include Myers & Anderson and at least 3 peer-reviewed journal sources from King Library databases.  This paper will be due at the end of the semester, to be submitted in the Dropbox within Lesson 15.  Please note: This paper would be suitable for inclusion in your ePortfolio under Competency M.  

Course Grading

  Points # Total %
Weekly Discussions 3 30 90 28%
Research Paper 100 1 100 32%
Small Group Presentation 1 50 50 16%
Small Group Experience Analysis Paper 75 1 75 24%
315 100%

No late work accepted without prior arrangement.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Myers, S. A. (2008). The fundamentals of small group communication. SAGE. Available through Amazon: 141295939X arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Verderber, K. S., Verderber, R. F., & Berryman-Fink, C. (2010). Inter-Act: Interpersonal Communication Concepts, Skills, and Contexts (12th ed.). Oxford University Press. Available through Amazon: 0195378911. 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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