LIBR 284-03
LIBR 284-12
Seminar in Archives and Records Management:
Characteristics and Curation of New Digital Media
Fall 2013 Greensheet

Dr. Henry Lowood
E-mail (NOTE: Please put LIBR 284 at the beginning of the subject header in all e-mail about this course, esp. if you would like me to respond.)
Phone: 650-723-4602 Office: HSSG, Green Library, Stanford University
IM: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Skype (contact me first to arrange)
Office Hours: Please schedule appointments, which will occur on-line via Google+ Hangouts.  Please feel free to "friend" me at any time during the course in Google+ to make this process a little easier. If you prefer a telephone conversation, please set up an appointment to call me. If you are in the area, I would be happy to meet with you at my Stanford office.
Group Discussions: On-line sessions (Venues TBD, probably at least one session in Second Life): 9/6, 10/11, 11/8 (7-9pm PST). Details TBD in class.

Greensheet Links
iSchool eBookstore

We will be using D2L as our course management system for the syllabus, course materials, assignments, and grading. Please enroll in D2L no later than Wednesday, 21 August, which is the first day of the semester and thus of the course.

Students will be automatically enrolled in the D2L site for this course. The course will be automatically available to students on 21 August 2011.  After the semester begins, I will need your name and SJSU ID number in order to request a permission number for your enrollment.

Again, the semester begins on 21 August and it ends on 9 December. Course materials, the first week's reading assignment and task will be made available on 21 August. Please contact me if there are any issues with your access to D2L and you are enrolled in the course.

Course Description

In this course, we will explore approaches to the collection and curation of selected new digital media in libraries and other cultural repositories.  Our subject matter is relatively new in terms of the media that we will cover, their collection and use in libraries, and research on their nature and impact. Due to this novelty and the likelihood that we are not all equally familiar with the various digital media covered in the course, we will proceed in stages that will gradually bring you all up to the about the same level of general knowledge.  All of us (including me) will learn as we go along and from each other. For that reason, please review the dates for the required group meetings and make every effort to keep up on the assignments, several of which will involve contributions to a group discussion list.

In the first stage of the course, roughly the first four weeks, the focus will be on developing an understanding of the general characteristics of new media and refining what we mean by the term "curation."  The second stage will make up most of the course, consisting of five two-week engagements with five specific media and issues associated with them.   The five media areas will be: 

  • Hypermedia and internet/web art
  • Social media, including virtual worlds
  • Mixed reality technology/art 
  • Digital games/software
  • Digital cinema and other video forms (machinima, animation, etc.)

We will learn about these media through readings, discussion, and assignments. Each of the five media will be paired with a specific issue about the impact of games on curation – selection/appraisal, acquisitions, description/archiving, preservation, and access/exhibition, in that order.  The last stage of the class comprises a short final project and a wrap-up week at the end of the semester. 

Once again, the complete weekly schedule will be available in D2L on 21 August. Please do not ask me for access to the full schedule before that date.

Course Requirements

All required readings, assignments, and course resources will be specified on the course D2L site, with the schedule and weekly breakdown of assignments. You are expected to complete all of the assignments.

Assignments will break down into three categories:

  • 0. Baseline (10 points). All assigned readings are required unless noted as optional or recommended.  Attendance at the three (3) group meetings is considered part of this requirement.  There will be a penalty against the baseline point allocation, if absence is not excused in advance or made up by arrangement with me.
  • 1. Eight (8) weekly ungraded tasks worth 2.5 points each (20 pts. total). These will require visits to websites, activities, posting or response to community sites or the class forum, etc.  Expect feedback from me only if you fail to complete the task for full credit. (Supports SLO #1 and SLO #3)
  • 2. Five (5) assignments worth 8 points each (40 pts. total). These will be short written responses to prompts (250-500 words each).  These assignments will conclude each of the five new media units.  You will receive feedback from me on these assignments. (Supports SLO #2)
  • 3. A final project assignment (30 points).  There will be several options for the project, such as a brief research paper (1000-1250 words), or a presentation about a new media collection in a format used in professional library or museum work (e.g., an acquisitions proposal).  More details later in the course. (Supports SLO#2 and SLO #3)

Course Calendar
The course will be held entirely on-line, mostly via D2L, and is organized on a weekly basis. Every Monday at 8am, assignments from the previous week are due. Exception: The first week begins on Wednesday, 21 August; the task for that week must be completed and submitted to D2L by 8am on Monday, 26 August.  The assignment for the second week will be available on the 26th and due the following Monday, and so on through the semester.  I will try to have the weekly assignments posted by noon every Monday.  

Note that the weekly "assignment" will be in the form of Word document, generally written as a combination of class update, informal lecture and assignment prompt.  As this class has developed, this format has taken over most of the functions of the traditional lecture for keeping pace of the presentation of course content.  In other words, I am not planning to schedule live lectures.

By my calculation, the course lasts 15 weeks. As noted above, the first four weeks will be devoted to basic issues: What are new media and what is curation? There will be three tasks during these four weeks. The next ten weeks will be devoted to the five specific new media mentioned above. Each two-week module will consist of a first week focused on characteristics of the medium in question and a second week moving into curation of that medium.  Each of the five modules will feature a different aspect of curation, such as description, preservation, etc.  In each two-week module, the first week will include an assigned task, and the second week a writing assignment. The final week of the course will be devoted to wrap-up, both of the course, and of your final projects.

We will devote time in group discussions and some of the tasks and assignments to making sure that you are making progress towards your project's completion.  Feel free to use office hours or other means to contact me about your own progress in the course.

Again, all details concerning readings, assignments, and course resources will be on our D2L site. Note that all course information is provided subject to change with fair notice.

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. Identify and explain preservation concerns for many common types of photographic (print and negative) processes.
  2. Apply archival rules of appraisal, arrangement, and description to complex visual archives.
  3. Identify the complex issues relating to photograph digitization and born digital images, including management, access, metadata, and long-term preservation.
  4. Implement cold storage solutions for photographic materials
  5. Describe and discuss the nature of electronic records and the impact that technology has on recordkeeping in contemporary environments.
  6. Analyze how national and regional laws and regulations impact electronic records management.
  7. Identify appropriate metadata standards for the control and retrieval of electronic records.
  8. Create and develop policies, standards, and practices governing the creation, management, and use of electronic records.
  9. Discuss the challenges associated with preserving electronic records over time, and identify the methods and strategies being advocated by experts in the field to ensure that electronic records remain understandable, accessible, and usable.
  10. Define general requirements for compliant organizations and accountable electronic recordkeeping systems based on industry models and standards.
  11. Analyze a variety of problems related to electronic records, and propose solutions that are appropriate in particular contexts.
  12. Identify future Web 2.0 trends and practices in the creation of information in electronic form.
  13. Discuss major academic electronic records research projects proposed or undertaken by various organizations and institutions.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 284 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  2. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.
  3. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.


Required Textbooks:

  • Graham, B., & Cook, S. (2010). Rethinking curating: Art after new media. MIT Press. Available through Amazon: 0262013886. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Harvey, R. (2010). Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555706940. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Paul, C. (2008). Digital art (2nd ed.). Thames & Hudson. Available through Amazon: 0500203989arrow 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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