LIBR 264-10
Materials for Tweens Ages 9-14
Fall 2014 Greensheet

Penny Peck

Greensheet Links
iSchool eBookstore

This course will be available on Canvas beginning Monday, August 25, 2014. You will be enrolled into the site automatically. I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

Course Description

Survey of materials in various formats including fiction, nonfiction, movies, music, computer games, online resources, and other materials, and how they can meet the developmental needs of this age group. Collection development tools and techniques for this material will also be included.

Course Requirements

Course Format
This is a web-based course. All of our interaction will take place on the iSchool Canvas site. Course materials will be available primarily through the Canvas site, books from your public library, and journal articles available on the SJSU library database.  Assignments for the course should be posted electronically. Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be conducted using a Discussion Forum - your responses to a different discussion question posted each week. You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just "I agree"), and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week.

Class Discussion
Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be your responses to a different discussion question posted each week. Always post to the Discussion Question by the dates listed under each discussion forum. You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just "I agree"), and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week. Last day to post to the Discussion Board is Wednesday, December 10, 2014. Related competencies: A, M.  Related 1, 5

All assignments should be a Word file posted to our Canvas site in the assignment dropbox.  All assignments must use APA format for sources, and all assignments MUST have sources to demonstrate that research was done.

Assignment 1: Due Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by 11:59pm.

Assignment 2: Due Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by 11:59pm.

Assignment 3: Due Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by 11:59pm.

Assignment 4: Due Wednesday, November 26, 2014 by 11:59pm.

Assignment 5: Due Wednesday, December 10, 2014 by 11:59pm.

Assignment 1: Genre Fiction

Read five novels aimed at 4th-7th graders, from the mystery, historical fiction, sports, adventure, animal story, fantasy, humor, science fiction, or contemporary/realistic fiction genres (read from different genres and different authors). These should be books considered “literature;” not a paperback series knock-off but an award-winner or Honor book, or by someone considered a good writer in the field. If you are not sure, email me the titles so I can okay them. Read the books and write an evaluative review at least 250 words in length for each book. Write your evaluative review, with a brief plot description but spend more time on your opinion of the book, and how it could be used in a classroom or library program. For example, how could it be used in a book discussion group – possible questions, activity ideas? Or used in class; does it relate to the curriculum? List all the sources you used. The books should be from different genres and different authors, and mention the genre in the review. Related competencies: F. Related Student Learning Objectives: 1, 4.

Assignment 2: Websites and Databases

Write reviews, approx. 250 words in length, of the following: three paid library databases that are aimed at the Tween audience (not adult Databases that can be used by youth), three free websites that are aimed at the Tween audience to use for homework or research, and three free entertainment websites and/or Apps aimed at the Tween audience that they use for games, listening to music, social networking, or other entertainment. Talk about the site’s content and visual look, if it can be used successfully by Tweens and what homework/research topic you used as an example to test the site, and comments from Tweens about some of the sites (often found on blogs or other site review sources). Remember, these nine sites are all things designed specifically for and used by Tweens, not adult databases or websites that young people use but are not aimed specifically at them (like Youtube which young people visit but it is not aimed at them). List all the sources you used. Related competencies: I. Related Student Learning Objectives: 2, 4.

Assignment 3: Media – DVD and Recordings

Choose three DVDs and three audio recordings that are made for Tweens – these can be feature films, documentaries, instructional DVDs, music CDs, books on CD, Playaways, and so forth, but the primary audience for the media items must be Tweens. For example, a good choice would be “Despicable Me” or “Harry Potter,” but not a movie aimed at adults like “Magic in the Moonlight” that Tweens would like, and definitely no “R” rated movies. Choose a wide variety of items – not all animated films, a mix of audiobooks and music recordings, etc. Write reviews of these six recordings, talking about the plot, whether they are well-made, how they could be used in a library program, and Tweens’ reactions to the media items (check customer reviews on Amazon, tween blogs,, etc.). Each review should be approx. 250 words (you can make it longer, but I wouldn’t make it shorter), and review a wide range of materials (not three DVDs in the same series, or items by the same performer). Media for the Tween market is a billion dollar industry so we need to know not just what is popular but why, and if it is well-made. Be sure to list all your sources! Related competencies: I, M. Related Student Learning Objectives: 2, 4.

Assignment 4: Informational/Nonfiction Books

Choose a nonfiction/Dewey Decimal numbered subject area to do a “collection development” project. This area should be somewhat limited; i.e. “Insects and Spiders,” not animals, and not Beetles which is too limited. A good example is “Baseball,” not sports. Other topics could include poetry from a specific culture (African-American, Latino, Asian-American, etc.), history from a certain time period (the Holocaust, the Civil War), biographies of a specific focus (contemporary American women), etc. Select ten items (eight books, one media item, and one free website) to suggest for purchase on that subject, for children grades 4 through 8. All of the items should be in print (not out of print; check Books in Print, Titlewave, or publishers’ sites), and at least one of the ten items should be a DVD, CD or other non-book media you would purchase, and one other should be a free website (not a paid database). Compile these into a list, with each item having a one paragraph annotation that includes both what the book is about and why you chose it, as well as the book design, photos, illustrations, and backmatter. Write up a 3 or 4 page essay on the selection tools, review journals, and other sources you used to select the items; which were most helpful? What tool(s) did you use to determine if an item is still in print? How did you decide what to choose? What did the local library have or lack in this area? Which items did you actually read or see? How did you choose the media item? How did you choose the website? Be sure to give a list of all the sources you used. Related competencies: M. Related Student Learning Objectives: 5, 6.

Assignment 5: Reader's Advisory Notebook/Database

Create an entry for 50 items appropriate for tweens ages 9-13. Each entry should include the bibliographic information, a brief plot description, a genre label, a reading level, and mention of any books or materials that are similar in style, content, theme or characters. Also include any of the following items that you think might help you with reader's advisory activities in the future: Personal thoughts, Subjects/themes, Awards, Series Information, Character names/descriptions, One/two sentence high interest annotation (that might be used on reader's advisory bibliography), read-alikes, and programming/lesson ideas.

Complete project should include entries for all different book genres and reading levels discussed in class. Complete project should include several recent (2000+) award winning titles. Entries should be written up using Microsoft Word. You may not use any of the books used in your other written assignments. These are 50 other books or items besides those. However, you may use books discussed on the Discussion Board. You must include at least (but not limited to) 20 novels. The other 30 can be a mix of nonfiction, folklore, poetry, biography, graphic novels, DVDs, magazines, and audio recordings for our age group (but not websites). Related competencies: A, F. Related Student Learning Objectives: 3, 5, 6.

Class discussions are worth 20 percent of your grade; Assignment 5 is worth 30 percent, Assignment 1 and 3 are worth 10 percent, Assignments 2 and 4 are worth 15 percent.

Late Work
Penalty for late or missed work – Missed work is an "F;" late work is ONLY allowed by agreement of the instructor BEFORE the due date; late work must be turned in no more than two days late and that is ONLY if the instructor has agreed ahead of the due date and you will be penalized one letter grade for being late.

Other assigned reading
Be sure to see the weekly Content area on our Canvas site for the list of assigned readings for the class, including the journal articles assigned for the class.  You will also see a sequence of lectures, the weekly topic for the discussion question, and more extensive descriptions of the assignments.  You will also want to  visit your local public libraries to find the children's books you wil use for the assignments, as well as reading book reviews in School Library Journal, Horn Book, and Booklist.

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 260A or LIBR 261A

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the external (societal) and internal (developmental) forces that influence young teens' choices of recreational and informational sources and materials.
  2. Evaluate selection tools, and use appropriate resources to develop a collection of materials for younger teens, including all appropriate formats.
  3. Critically examine representative materials designed for younger teens and tweens, and apply criteria to evaluate them in relation to child development, multicultural concerns, and meeting the informational and recreational needs of this age group.
  4. Create an appropriate materials collection for younger teens, including print and nonprint materials and a variety of the digital resources currently available for this age group.
  5. Exhibit knowledge of published resources about literature for young teens and tweens, such as reference materials, selection tools, and Web sites.
  6. Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their tween children.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 264 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. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  3. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  4. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.


Required Textbooks:

  • Horning, K. T. (2010). From Cover to Cover (revised ed.): Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books. HarperCollins. Available through Amazon: 0060777575. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Peck, P. (2010). Readers' Advisory for Children and 'Tweens Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1598843877. 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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