LIBR 281-05
LIBR 281-15
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: International and Comparative Librarianship
Spring 2013 Greensheet

Dr. Paul M. Christensen 
Office Location: Virtual, Indianola, WA
Home Phone: 360-297-2965
Office Hours:  Via e-mail, Blackboard Collaborate, Skype or telephone.  A mandatory overview of the course will be available via Blackboard Collaborate.

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Mission of the School The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University educates professionals and develops leaders who organize, manage and enable the effective use of information and ideas in order to contribute to the well-being of our communities.

Getting Started SLIS utilizes a content management system called Desire2Learn(D2L) for class communications, submitting assignments, and grade records. This course will be available in D2L on Wednesday January 23. You will be enrolled automatically.

Our class begins on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 and ends on May 13, 2013. Weekly class sessions run from Monday through Sunday. New weekly material will appear each Monday in D2L and assignments are generally due Sunday evening by midnight.


Welcome to International and Comparative Librarianship. I am pleased that you have decided to enroll. I hope you will enjoy the educational experience and ponder some of the challenges of international librarianship.

Instruction Begins January 23, 2013
Spring Recess March 25-March 29, 2013
Instruction Ends May 13, 2013 

Course Description

Theory, history, and principles of international and comparative librarianship will be explored. Focus will be an appreciation and understanding of how library development and practice reflect the cultural, economic, educational, political, social and technological development of nations and regions.

Course Requirements

Course Format
This course will be taught online via D2L. Please check your D2L email and the discussion board on a regular (preferably daily) basis. You may contact me via email, skype, collaborate or even telephone. I do live in the Pacific Time Zone.

Student Responsibilities
Students are expected to participate throughout the entire course. You are expected to read and carefully consider all the readings, participate fully in all activities and discussions during the class duration, as well as turn in assignments by the due dates. Taking an online course can be a challenging for both you and me; however, by closely working together we can make this a positive and rewarding experience. Because due dates are not negotiable, procrastination should be avoided. I reserve the right not to accept late assignments or to add significant grade penalties. If you foresee any difficulty in completing your assignment on time, you need to contact me at least 36 hours before the due date to request an extension. Students turning in late assignments may receive their assessment much later than the rest of the class. 

Reflect then contribute to items on the Discussion Boards. If you do not understand assignments, readings, etc., it is your responsibility to inform me. If you are having difficulty, please contact me early so that we can resolve the problem. You must complete all assignments to pass the course.  Please familiarize yourself with this Greensheet and D2L. Pay special attention to the calendar and weekly announcements to keep track of weekly assignments and other expectations.

For each assignment (exception: Introduction), cite from at least one required reading and three relevant sources of your choice. This should help you to stay focused on the course content and also encourage you to correlate the readings with your own ideas and research. 

Course Participation 
Students are expected to participate throughout the entire session. Reflect and then contribute to items on Discussion Boards that are of interest to you. It is important to share meaningful/constructive thoughts, ideas, resources, etc. 

Since this course will evolve in a global virtual environment, it is important to be cognizant and respectful of different cultures. Express your own opinions but listen carefully to others. Within class, suggest constructive ideas for improvement while evaluating other's work, pose relevant questions, compare and contrast ideas, share and critique resources, communicate and collaborate! It is important to express your own opinions while also being respectful. I will ask all students to post assignments in two separate places. One is for grading purposes and the other is to share your work with your classmates.  No comments are required on your classmates' shared submissions.   The only exception to this policy will be Analytical Essay 3 which will only be posted for grading and will not be shared with the class.

Primary Requirements
The primary course requirements are that students will:

Click on the assignments in D2L to view the details in the rubric listing points for each item. All assignments and course participation equal 450 points. All assignments must be completed to pass the class.  An overview of the assignments for this course:

  1. Introduction
    20 points
    Due: January 28, 2013
    Introduce yourself to the class by posting "your story," i.e., what international library experiences you've had and/or interest you. Read other students' introductions and look for common threads. Post comments to those introductions. Learning each other's experience and expertise in regard to international librarianship will help when you form teams to collaborate on the group project. (Please use the Student Lounge for interests not related to course content.

    Supports SLO 67

  2. Discussion Board
    50 points (10 of 15 weeks)
    Due: Sunday by 11:59pm

    Each week you will be assigned
    • an online "topic" provided via D2L
    • assigned readings for the topic
    • other readings as personally researched
    Each week students will submit a posting to the discussion forum based on the topic, the assigned readings, and other personally researched and documented readings.  Each student is expected to participate in 10 of the 15 weeks of topics/readings, initiating their own thread in the DF. Post only one original message and one(optional) reply for each of the 10 chosen weeks. The original post should be no more than 350 well chosen words; you might add an optional comment (about 100 words) to another student's post.  See D2L for additional details.

    Supports SLO 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7

  3. International Library Organizations
    50 points

    Due: February 17, 2013
    Research a library/information organization outside the United States that has a website. Answer the items in the rubric; post your assignment on both the class Assignment Discussion Board and Assignment Drop Box.  You may interact with your classmates work if you choose.

    Supports SLO 2, 4, 5, 6, 7

  4. Analytical Essay 1
    60 points
    Due: March 3, 2013
    International Librarianship: Theory/Practice
    Select a country or geographic region of the world that has been well-documented in the library and information science literature. Summarize the reason(s) the library opened, its history, current staffing, demographics of the library's users, collections, services, and the use of technology. Synthesize how environmental factors have impacted the status of this library's use/non-usage, quality and quantity of resources, and access or lack thereof to information. Explain one improvement you would make and how you would implement this improvement.

    Supports SLO 3, 4, 5, 6

  5. Analytical Essay 2
    60 points
    Due: March 24, 2013

    International Strategies for Information Professionals
    Compare and contrast two articles from scholarly journals that relate to issues in international libraries or librarians/library professionals working in a global environment (i.e., outside of the U.S.)

    Supports SLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

  6. Collaborative Project
    150 points
    Due:  April 28, 2013
    Issues in International Librarianship
    Students will form groups based on their interests in types of international libraries and/or current issues in a global information environment.  Then your group will collaborate with a professional(s) in one region of the world outside the U.S. Use of Second life, Blackboard Collaborate or Skype is encouraged.

    Each group will research "local" issues within that global information environment (e.g., ethics, values, foundational principles, intellectual freedom, politics, educational factors, the needs of the information users, print, electronic, and human resources available).  The groups will report on  success stores and/or problems, suggest solutions, and implement them if time permits. 

    One group member should act as liaison.  It's helpful if the liaison has a working relationship with the professional.  It is important that you perform preliminary research before you contact the professional for an in-person, phone, e-mail,  Second Life, Blackboard Collaborate or Skype interview. The projects will be posted for all.

    Supports SLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

  7. Analytical Essay 3
    60 points
    Due: May 13, 2013
    Reflect on the processes involved in the Issues in the International Librarianship Group Project and critique a different Project of your choice.

    Supports SLO 1, 2, 3, 6

Assignment Calendar Overview:

Assignments   Due Date
Introduction 20 January 28, 2013
Discussion Board 50 Sunday's @ 11:59
International Library Organizations 50 February 17, 2013
Analytical Essay 1 60 March 3, 2013
Analytical Essay 2 60 March 24, 2013
Spring Recess: March 25-March 29, 2013    
Collaborative Project-
Issues in International Librarianship
150 April 28, 2013
Analytical Essay 3 60 May 13, 2013
Total Points 450  

Assignment Due Dates
(Due dates are not negotiable. Dates are subject to change with fair notice)
Assignments must be submitted NLT 11:59 pm on the due date. May 13, 2013 is the last day any assignments can be submitted for credit.

Assignment Requirements
Requirements for all assignments:

  • Title page with:
    • Running head (See APA)
    • Name of assignment (creating your own title demonstrates originality)
    • Your first and last name
    • Date
    • International and Comparative Librarianship
    • Libr 281-05 (or 14) - Spring 2013
    • School of Library and Information Science - San Jose State University
  • After the title page, use the following class header on the top left-hand side of each page: LIBR 281-05 (or 15)_ Last Name_Assignment Name_Spring 2013
  • Example: LIBR 281-05 (or 15)_Christensen_Introduction_Spring 2013
  • Use this same class header for the file name when attaching the assignment in D2L's Drop Box and also in the Subject line when you email your instructor.
  • Use of the APA header to the left of the page number is optional in this course
  • Number the pages in the upper right-hand corner (see APA)
  • The number of pages of text required for each assignment does not include the title page, abstract, references, and appendixes (if/when used)

Your work will be evaluated according to four criteria; it should:

  • Be clearly written and presented
  • Display familiarity with the appropriate literature and/or bibliographic tools.
  • Show insight into the concepts and/or issues in question
  • Demonstrate a degree of originality

Extra Credit
Extra credit options will not be available.

Late Assignments
Late assignments will not be accepted without prior notification and approval of the instructor, and with the understanding that there may be a reduction in number of points earned for the assignment. Assignments submitted up to one week after the due date will be subject to a possible 10% grade reduction. Assignments more than a week late will not be accepted. May 13, 2013 is the last day any assignment can be submitted for credit.

Incompletes will be assigned ONLY in cases of documented family or medical emergency.

Weekly Required Readings
There isn't one textbook for this course. There will be weekly readings and also suggested readings and resources regarding the types and geographic locations of information organization(s) or institutional environments that you select to research. Many books and articles are available via SJSU's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. Other libraries can be used to.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate major issues and problems related to metadata.
  2. Apply current metadata terminology and concepts, including major content and encoding schemes for digital libraries.
  3. Analyze and critically apply different approaches to metadata creation, storage, management, and dissemination within different information communities for different purposes.
  4. Critically analyze and compare different metadata standards and their applicability to different contexts, and apply basic metadata quality metrics to assess the relative quality of different types of descriptive metadata.
  5. Create descriptive metadata for digital resources, and design and plan metadata database templates for digital resource projects.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of information policy issues and services from an ethical standpoint, as well as noting the differences between professional ethics and legality.
  7. Build the skills needed to make decisions on complex cases related to information access, services, technology and society.
  8. Analyze the importance of professional conduct in the workplace, including those elements related to interpersonal interactions, sensitivity to organizational culture, ability to take initiative and risks, and socially responsible behavior as it relates to ethical (professional) dilemmas.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Articulate the ethics, values, and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom.
  2. C Recognize and describe cultural and economic diversity in the clientele of libraries or information organizations.
  3. E Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  4. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  5. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.


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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