LIBR 220-12
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Topic: Data Services in Libraries
Fall 2014 Greensheet

Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Ph.D.
Phone, BbIM: Made available to enrolled students - please keep in mind that I am on Eastern Time.
Office Hours: Virtually via weekly Collaborate sessions, by e-mail, by BbIM, and by phone - schedule will be available in Canvas.

Greensheet Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

The class' Canvas site will automatically open on Monday, August 25. Please log in no later than Wednesday, August 27.

Course Description

This course offers an introductory overview to Social Science Data Services for supporting quantitative and qualitative research in higher-education settings.  The following topics and accompanying questions will guide our exploration in this course:

  • What is this thing called Social Sciences Data Services (henceforth shortened to SSDS)?
    • Who is, or should be, responsible for SSDS on a college campus? How are boundaries surrounding SSDS responsibility shifting, and what does that mean for the future of social sciences librarianship?
    • What professional or educational background does one need to meet these responsibilities?
    • Does/should SSDS include just helping researchers find existing data, or also a librarian's active role in data collection/creation, interpretation/analysis, data visualization, and/or preservation/archiving data for future access?
    • What types of things count as "data" in the social sciences - just numeric? What about "qualitative" data?
  • SSDS - Reference and Instruction
    • What resources exist for already-collected (secondary) data and/or statistics? What do librarians and the users need to know to find, access, and use them?
    • What about researchers who want to collect their own (primary) data - what role can we play in helping them collect that data?
    • How does one go about the "reference interview" when it comes to data services?
    • What are approaches/models/tools for teaching different aspects of social science data access, use, and analysis?
  • Data Management
    • What does data management encompass? Why is it important to the research process, including granting of research funding?
    • How does data management fit in with the open access movement?
    • What role do/should librarians play in researchers' data management process?
  • Assessing Social Science Users' Data Needs
    • Who are the users of social science data on campus? How do the user populations converge/diverge in terms of their SSDS needs?
    • How do we go about identifying users' SSDS needs? Once we gauge their needs, how do we develop models for meeting those needs?
  • SSDS - Marketing our Wares
    • How do we demonstrate our value as SSDS providers on campus?
    • What challenges will we face in marketing our abilities, and what strategies do we have for overcoming those?

Course Requirements

Below are brief descriptions of the course requirements, the SLOs and Core Competencies they support, and their corresponding percentage breakdown of the final course grade.  Our Canvas site will include detailed information and grading rubrics for each requirement. 

Where indicated as "OPTIONAL COLLABORATIVE EXERCISE" below, students have the *option* to work on that exercise as groups of 2 or more.  If students opt for this, each student will receive an individual grade (vs. an overall group grade) for the exercise that, in addition to the instructor's assessment, reflects their group members' evaluations of his/her effort and contribution.

  • Weekly Online Discussions/Reflections: Students will participate in weekly online discussions/reflections stemming from the various course topics and associated content, readings, and/or exercises.  These will be structured, and participation is mandatory. For each week, one substantive, thoughtful initial post (a few hundred words) and one response to another person's posts (around 150 words each) are required. [Supports SLO #1, SLO #2, SLO #3, SLO#4, SLO#5, SLO #6, SLO #7, SLO #8; Core Competency D, I, & K] 15% of final grade
  • Reference Interview Exercise and Classmate Feedback: Students will engage in a simulated reference interview with the instructor to gauge a user's specific data need and then direct the user to the appropriate source(s) to explore. Additionally, students will give feedback on at least one classmate's reference interview regarding how they might have approached the data reference interview differently and/or what source(s) they may have recommended. [Supports SLO #1, SLO #2, SLO #3; Core Competency I] 20% of final grade
  • Instruction Plan Exercise and Classmate Feedback: Students will create an instruction plan for a chosen social science data resource. As part of the assignment deliverables, students are expected to teach part of their lesson plan either (1) via Collaborate, which will be recorded, (2) using Guide on the Side (the instructor will provide you with an account if you choose this option), or (3) using screencasting software.  Likewise, each student will be required to provide feedback on at least one other classmate's teaching presentation and instruction plan. OPTIONAL COLLABORATIVE EXERCISE. [Supports SLO #3, SLO #5; Core Competency I & K] 20% of final grade
  • Needs Assessment Exercise: Students will conduct an environmental scan of a campus of their choosing and make recommendations for developing or expanding data services at that campus library. OPTIONAL COLLABORATIVE EXERCISE. [Supports SLO #7; Core Competency D] 15% of final grade
  • Marketing Plan Exercise: Students will create a SSDS marketing plan for the same campus library upon which they performed their Needs Assessment Exercise. OPTIONAL COLLABORATIVE EXERCISE. [Supports SLO #8; Core Competency D] 15% of final grade

Course Schedule

A detailed week-by-week schedule with assignment due dates will be made available on our Canvas site. Note: The course schedule is subject to change with fair notice to students.

Mode of Instruction

This course will be asynchronous with optional attendance to synchronous office hours in Collaborate.  We will use our Canvas learning management system site for the delivery of course content, access to reading materials, online discussions/reflections, and assignment submissions. 

Attendance at the synchronous office hour in Collaborate is optional; the office hour is intended for me to answer students’ questions, for students to get to know me and each other, and for students who would prefer to interact in a synchronous environment. If students ask questions during the office hour or via other modes (phone, BbIM, email) from which I believe the rest of the class will benefit, I will post the question and my response to our Canvas site.


Below is the percentage breakdown of the final course grade for each course requirement.

  • Weekly Online Discussions/Reflections: 15%
  • Reference Interview Exercise and Classmate Feedback: 20%
  • Instruction Plan Exercise and Classmate Feedback: 20%
  • Data Management Plan Exercise: 15%
  • Needs Assessment Exercise: 15%
  • Marketing Plan Exercise: 15%

Late Assignments Policy
Points earned for late assignments will be reduced by 20 percent for every 24 hour period between the due date and the submitted date. No incompletes will be assigned.  If your life circumstances require you to seek an extension, you must contact the instructor to arrange the extension no later than one week prior to when the assignment is due – and the instructor still reserves the right to not grant an extension.  No extensions will be granted for discussion posts or for the instruction session (including all accompanying materials).

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 210

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Use flagship sources to retrieve statistics in order to answer a wide range of reference and research questions.
  2. Conduct a data reference interview.
  3. Locate, access, and evaluate a variety of social sciences data resources.
  4. Identify and discuss the job expectations/responsibilities in Social Sciences Data Services job postings and/or position descriptions in order to examine the present and future direction of Social Sciences Data Services in academic librarianship.
  5. Articulate the elements of the major psychological theories and demonstrate how they apply to information theory and the information transfer process, including general systems theory, developmental psychology, behavioral psychology, and communication theory.
  6. Describe characteristics of various learning styles, and how to communicate most effectively with each of them.
  7. Describe the psychological elements of group behavior that affect the ability to provide effective programs and services to groups of information consumers.
  8. Describe how development, motivation, information sought, and cognitive style impact an individual's information seeking behavior, particularly in a multicultural environment, including psychological, communication and cultural issues.
  9. Discuss the role of the information professional in various kinds of information agencies and explain how a knowledge of psychology, communication, and behavior can enhance the individual's ability to deliver information services in various settings.
  10. Discuss their own personality type and how they describe their own interpersonal communication and information transfer processes.
  11. Understand and explain their own unique process of information transfer, and how their own learning and information transfer patterns and preferences are affected by their own system of philosophical beliefs, and how changes in this system can affect their process of information transfer.
  12. Create an instruction session for a chosen Social Sciences Data resource.
  13. Create a data management plan for a hypothetical research project that meets NSF-SBE guidelines.
  14. Conduct an environmental scan and make recommendations for developing or expanding data services at a particular library.
  15. Create a marketing plan for Social Science Data Services on a chosen campus.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  3. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  4. K Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories.
  5. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.


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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