LIBR 246-04
LIBR 246-13
Information Technology Tools and Applications – Advanced Topic: Web.20
Fall 2013 Greensheet

Joseph Sanchez
E-mail (preferred method of contact)
skype: thebookmyfriend
Office location: online (Skype, email, phone)
Office Hours: flexible (mainly evenings)

Greensheet Links
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This course will be available through D2L. I will use the email addresses SJSU has loaded into D2L. If you have another preferred email, please set up forwarding in D2L as soon as you register.

Course Description

Social networking and web 2.0 tools dominate the online world. While librarians have adopted and adapted to these tools, we remain unaware of the full implications for our profession presented by web 2.0 design and theory. These tools are a direct challenge to our foundational models and ethics, as they continue to shape the information environment in ways that contradict library practices and beliefs. This course will confront these challenges directly and honestly. Awareness rather than advocacy is the core goal.

This course will offer a balance of theoretical and practical application. it is intended to provide students with a strategic and theoretical framework for working, developing, and aplying these tools in libraries of every kind. The course will introduce the design philisophy behind social media's success and apply it to library practices, as well as ethical dilemmas presented by social media. Practically, students will gain a foundational knowledge of tools and concepts for application and planning, as well as long term strategic thinking.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes, actively participate in class discussions, complete reading assignments and submit assignments on due dates.

Course assignments build upon each other, with the ultimate goal being the creation of a comprehensive plan to implement 2.0 technology effectively within an information organization. There are no "right" and "wrong" answers for the assigments; they will be evaluated on methodology (demonstrating your thought process), demonstration of innovative thinking, AND whether or not you actually followed the assignment details. Also, you will be graded on whether or not you seemed to have engaged in the spirit of the assignment- e.g., did you do the minimum necessary to complete it or did you bring reflection, personal introspection, and individual enagement to the assignment? Please keep in mind, however, that the purpose of the assigments is to help you develop the information you personally need to engage with technology in the information space.

Graduate level writing is expected.

Most of our sessions will occur through Blackboard Collaborate. We will have 1 synchronous session per month minimum. You will need a headset, microphone or some other audio/video capacity in order to participate. Please DO NOT rely on the built in mic on your device. Be sure you have had Collaborate training or taken a tutorial. For more information see the student guide:

Technology Requirements
You will need a high speed internet connection like cable, DSL, etc. Please see the Home Computing Environment requirements:

You will also need access to different sites and apps (Facebook, Spotify) that can be blocked in work and home environments. Please ensure that you have minimal filtering set up in your student environment.

Required Assignments
Assignments may be subject to minor changes, but will ultimately follow the rubric below:

  • Blog entries (5 points each, 3 required)
    You will be required to write a blog entry about a tool we have explored. You will choose one tool (or you may choose to compare tools) and provide your reflection upon that tool:
    • How difficult was it to use?
    • What kind of information was useful?
    • Do you know of something better?
    • How do you see this fitting into a library or information environment?
    • You will be required to both create a blog entry, and to comment on others’ blog entries. Commenting on others’ blog entries – in a thoughtful way, not just saying “great idea!” – is a required component of each of the three blog entries in order to receive full points.
    • Addresses SLOs 1, 2 and 4
  • Social Media Communications Evaluation (20 points)
    You will be required to evaluate an information space, library, or an information provider (vendor, aggregator, publication) that is currently using social media as part of their communications and awareness strategy (ex. blog, Facebook page, Second Life work, LinkedIn group, YouTube, Twitter feed, etc.). You will explain what social tools they are using, how they are using them, and your opinion about the effectiveness of their usage. We will provide you with some ideas of information providers and vendors that you may want to evaluate (ex. Safari Books Online, Springer, EBSCO, Outsell, FUMSI, Library of Congress, etc.). Here are some things to consider:
    • What are they doing right in their communication efforts and can be improved?
    • What tools or combination of tools are they using? How do they connect the tools for effective usage?
    • Do they have a person or team working with that tool for on-going conversation, responding, and communication?
    • Are they engaging their audience in discussion and conversation? What types of topics do they address, discuss and are they the right topics for their audience?
    • Does it seem that they get good input from their community members that could help their business / work?
    • If they hired you as a social media marketing consultant, what would you suggest to them?
    • Consider contacting someone at that library, information company, vendor, or publication to talk to them about their efforts.
    • Addresses SLOs 2, 3 and 4
  • Library Practices and Standards Essay (25 points)
  • We have explored the design theory behind social media and 2.0 tools. In theory and practice social media contradicts long standing library ethics and standards regarding privacy. As such libraries cannot take full advantage of 2.0 design without breaking with foundational assumptions and values of the profession. Explore the short and long term implications of this challenge. Things to consider:
    • Should libraries rexamine their foundational values and ethics?
    • Can libraries remain relevant without changing?
    • Can libraries reconcile 2.0 design with current standards? (Make specific suggestions)
    • Describe the current limits of social media in library practice under our current standards and ethics.
    • Addresses SLOs 1, 2, 3 and 5
  • Social Media Plan (30 points)
  • Select any library or information setting: academic, public, special, corporate, school, consultancy, information vendor, publisher etc. This setting could be your workplace, or it could be any site that interests you, or one you visit frequently. Imagine that the information setting of your choice is in the process of either creating or redoing their communications, information awareness and access, and social media plans on a large scale. The goal is to prepare a social plan for the setting you chose that incorporates 2.0 technology. A comprehensive plan should address (but is not limited to) the following:
    1. Discuss existing technology and services currently used and offered
    2. Provide a needs assessment, to outline what users and stakeholders need from the technology and offerings. Note that you may need to investigate this as part of your project.
    3. Establish priorities for meeting those needs and provide justifications
    4. Create a budget proposal. As much as possible, try to find cost info from the vendors if appropriate
    5. Develop an implementation plan

    Before starting to gather data and write along the above steps, your social media plan needs to start with the following basic components:

    • A statement of the organization's mission (library, organization, vendor, ec.)
    • An outline of the user population of the organization’s products and services
    • Goals and objectives for the use of social tools in fulfilling the mission and serving the population
    • Activities required to accomplish these goals and objectives and their cost

    Final output:

    • Presentation of Social Media Plan to classs
    • Slides for presentation
    • One page summary of plan which includes important points
    • Addresses SLOs 3, 4 and 5

    More information about this assignment will be covered in class.

  • Participation (10 points)
    Participation will constitute a significant part of your overall grade. You will be expected to view all synchronous sessions, participate in the Class Blog and groups, comment/respond to at least 2 blog entries/questions, participate in discussions, and work through each module and its content. Especially since this is an online class, it can be very easy to sit back and “lurk”. Part of what makes online communities and tools successful is active participation by ALL participants. Please don’t be shy – let’s build a community!

Course Calendar
The following calendar is subject to change with fair notice, but will serve as a week by week schedule of readings, activities and assignment due dates. Synchronous session dates will be determined after the first week of class when all student schedules and time zones have been posted and considered.

Week 1 (8/21): Basic Introductions, Course Content, assignments, etc

Week 2 (8/26): Intro to Social Media and Web 2.0

Week 3 (9/2): Problems of Social Media

Week 4 (9/9): Library Social Media applications

Week 5 (9/16): Amazon to Spotify

Week 6 (9/23): Relevance, retrieval, and information overload

Blog entries due 9/23

Week 7 (9/30): Information Ecology and Digital Tribalism

Week 8 (10/7): Behavioral science and interface design

Week 9 (10/14): Social design and expertise

Social Media Communications Evaluation due 10/14

Week 10 (10/21): Data mining

Week 11 (10/28): Library ethics and privacy

Week 12 (11/4): Library user experience/design

Week 13 (11/11): Library challenges: too much content, not enough user

Library Practices and Standards Essay Due 11/11

Week 14 (11/18): Library challenges: too little content, not enough user

Week 15 (11/25): Library Issues

Week 16 (12/2): Thinking ahead/Future issues

12/4 Social Media Plan Due


Blog Entries (3 required. 5 points each) 15 pts
Social Media Communications Evaluation 20 pts
Library Practices and Standards essay 25
Social Media Plan 30
Participation 10
Total 100

Extra credit: Additional Blog entries (5 points maximum regardless of number of entries) and/or second Social Media Communications Evaluation (10 points total).

Late Assignments
Assignments that are up to one week late will only receive half credit. I will not accept any assignment more than 1 week late. Accommodations may be made in emergency cases when I am contacted in advance of the due date.

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 202, other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define the basic syntax of coding PHP programs.
  2. Use HTML forms with PHP.
  3. Use standard PHP functions and be able to write their own custom functions.
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of MySQL and be able to use it in a PHP program.
  5. Build and maintain a small Web application.
  6. Identify the features of JavaScript.
  7. Incorporate JavaScript/Jscript into HTML using current versions of popular Internet browsers.
  8. Identify the types of data and operators in JavaScript.
  9. Incorporate variables in JavaScript.
  10. Declare functions and add objects along with their methods and properties in JavaScript.
  11. Manage JavaScript events by using event handlers.
  12. Create interactive HTML forms by applying the properties and methods of form objects and elements.
  13. Implement loops in JavaScript programs.
  14. Manipulate the images displayed on a Web page.
  15. Identify how information about a Web page is stored.
  16. Identify the functions of cookie attributes; create and manipulate cookies.
  17. Identify information provided by navigator object properties.
  18. Manipulate strings using the string object method.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 246 supports the following core competencies:

  1. E Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  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.


Recommended Textbooks:

  • Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social software in libraries: Building collaboration, communication, and community online. Information Today. Available through Amazon: 157387275X. 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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