LIBR 281-14
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Information Privacy
Spring 2014 Greensheet

Dr. Cherie Givens
Office location: Online in D2L - by email or in Collaborate
Office Hours: By appointment, and during weekly drop-in office hours posted in the D2L course website

Greensheet Links
D2L Login and Tutorials
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D2L Information: This course will be available beginning Jan 20, 2014. It officially begins on January 23. You will be enrolled into the site automatically.

Course Description

This course is designed to give you a practical understanding of information privacy, its fundamental concepts, privacy issues that exist in information environments, and professional viewpoints about information privacy. It will introduce you to current information privacy issues, laws, agencies that protect or enforce consumer privacy, and privacy protection approaches.

Course Requirements

This course is divided into 8 Units. Each unit lasts approximately 2 weeks except for Unit 8 which is abbreviated.

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Information Privacy
  • Unit 2: Ethical Positions
  • Unit 3: Data Privacy Laws and Regulators
  • Unit 4: Privacy Literacy
  • Unit 5: Privacy in Libraries
  • Unit 6: Policies and Programs
  • Unit 7: Global Perspectives
  • Unit 8: Current Issues and Opportunities

Readings (Reading/Viewing): Readings for units will include textbook passages, articles, websites, and lectures. Some lectures will be recorded and videos are also part of the required viewings for this course.

  • Please secure a copy of the Swire and Ahmed textbook prior to the start of this course. We will read chapter 1 as part of our initial readings.
  • We will also be reading from the Intellectual Freedom Manual, 7th edition, American Library Association, which is available in electronic format through the King Library.

Assignments and Discussions: Detailed instructions and grading criteria for assignments and online discussion guidelines are provided in the course site.Unless otherwise stated, all submissions should be in .doc or .docx formats. Students' presentations will be completed in Collaborate.

  • Assn 1 Ethics assignment: (10%, Due February 24) Short paper examining the ethical positions of professional library, archival, and information management associations concerning information privacy. SLOs 1-2
  • Assn 2 Information Environment Selection and Annotated Bibliography: (15%, Due March 22) Group assignment to provide a detailed description of the information environment selected and supporting annotated bibliography. SLOs 1,3,4
  • Assn 3 Evaluation of Information Environment: (35%, Due April 25)Working in your groups and building on Assn 2, evaluate the major information privacy issues, laws, and regulators associated with the selected information environment. Discuss common information privacy approaches and security controls used in this environment. SLOs 1- 4
  • Assn 4 Presentation of Evaluation Findings: (10%, Due May 5) Group presentation recorded in Collaborate that provides a comprehensive overview of your group's evaluation from Assn 3. (15-20 minute presentation) If you have not already done so, be sure to review the Collaborate tutorial materials: SLOs 1-4
  • Discussions: (30%, Dates - See Calendar Below) There are a total of 8 discussions including the Introduction. The introduction is worth 2%, the 7 remaining discussion forums are worth 4% each for a total of 30%. Dates and topics of discussion forums are listed in the chart below. SLOs 1-4

Course Calendar

Assignments and Online Discussions Due Dates and Times (Pacific) Weight 100%
Introduction Discussion January 23 - 26 2%
Discussion 1:Introduction to Information Privacy, SLO 1 February 3-9 4%
Discussion 2: Ethical Positions, SLOs 1-2 February 17-23 4%
Assn 1 Ethics Paper, SLOs 1-2 February 24 11:59 PM (Pacific) 10%
Discussion 3: Data Privacy Laws and Regulators, SLOs 1,3 March 3-9 4%
Discussion 4: Privacy Literacy, SLOs 1,2,4 March 17-23 4%
Assn 2 Information Environment Description and Annotated Bibliography (Group Assn), SLOs 1,3,4 March 22 11:59 PM (Pacific) 15%
Discussion 5: Privacy in Libraries, SLOs 1-4 April 7-13 4%
Assn 3 Evaluation of Information Environment (Cont. with same group), SLOs 1-4 April 25 11:59 PM (Pacific) 35%
Discussion 6: Policies and Programs, SLOs 1,3,4 April 28-May 4 4%
Assn 4 Group Presentation of Evaluation Findings, SLOs 1-4 May 5 10:00 AM (Pacific) 10%
Discussion 7: Information Environments Examined (Sharing, Discussion, and Critique of Assn 4 Presentations May 5-11 4%

* The above dates are subject to change with advance notice.


  • Late Submissions: All assignments must be successfully submitted by the times (Pacific) and on the dates they are due. Late submissions will be reduced by 10% per day and will not be accepted more than 2 days beyond the date due. Remember tosubmit early as computer difficulties can impede your ability to submit in a timely manner. Participation in all discussion forums for credit must be completed during the assigned dates and times.

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 200LIBR 202LIBR 204Other 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.


Required Textbooks:

  • Swire, P. P., Ahmad, K., & McQuay, T. (Eds.) (2012). Foundations of information privacy and data protection. Portsmouth, NH: International Association of Privacy Professionals. Available through publisher.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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