LIBR 286-10
Interpersonal Communication Skills for Librarians
Summer 2009 Greensheet

Sue Alman

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel. You will be required to use a password access code, which I will provide on the MySJSU Messaging system.

Course Description

This course surveys the principles and practice of interpersonal communication; small group and peer relationships.

Prerequisites: none

Course Objectives

This course examines communication and personality theories and demonstrates how they relate to interaction with staff, users and administrators in a library setting.

Students will gain an understanding of:

  • Interpersonal communication techniques
  • Personality theory based on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator
  • Internal Communication
  • External Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Mentoring/Coaching
  • Managing Up
  • Listening Techniques
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Organizational Planning: Strategic, Disaster, Change (with a focus on how to communicate effectively and include staff members)
  • Group dynamics
  • Civility

LIBR 286 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations.

Course Requirements

Class Location & Meeting Schedule
The class will have 4 Mandatory class sessions on Elluminate* on each of the following 4 Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm Pacific Time

  • June 4 (6/4);
  • June 18 (6/18);
  • July 9 (7/9);
  • July 23 (7/23) .

*Each student must be able to access the Elluminate sessions that will be held online and participate using a microphone.

Microphones: Required (may be purchased for around $10) 

Webcams: Optional

Angel: There will be weekly asynchronous discussions and group presentations on Angel throughout the term.

The assignments for this course are:

  • Literature Review (20 points)
    Due on June 4 at THE FIRST Elluminate CLASS SESSION
    Before the course begins you will write a five-page literature review on the effects that personality type has on interpersonal communications and/or organizations.

A literature review summarizes, interprets, and evaluates existing literature (or published material) in order to understand a subject more completely. 
You may approach the topic from various viewpoints, but you need to conform to a literature review format rather than a term paper. Here is a site that defines a literature review:

You should review a minimum of 10 article- or chapter-length sources on your topic--but the specific count is less important than your ability to identify the issues and to discuss them in a meaningful way for others. You may use professional or scholarly library literature or sources from other professional fields that can be related to libraries. Do not use popular journals such as Time or Newsweek. Also, be aware that many articles in journals such as American Libraries are opinion pieces rather than research.

The point of the assignment is to have each person read information/studies on personality type AND organizational communication so that you can share ideas with others in the class. It’s important to state your opinion of how personality effects interpersonal communication

  • Class Participation (40 points)
    You must be a willing and enthusiastic participant in all of the Elluminate (20 points) and Angel (20 points) sessions to receive credit for class participation.
    • Elluminate Sessions: 20 points (5 points each session)
    • Angel Discussions and Group Activities: 20 points 


  • Group Project (20 points)
    You will be assigned to work on a group project. The group project will be presented at a date TBA.


  • Reflective Paper (20 points)
    Due by July 30 
    You will write a reflective paper discussing the influence that the concepts and experiences from the course will have in your future interpersonal communications. The paper will discuss the group dynamics that you experienced in the course and how that will affect your role in groups. The paper must be written after the course has ended and submitted via Angel.
    Details about the paper will be discussed in class.

Textbooks and Readings



Recommended Textbook:

  • Ross, C. S., & Dewdney, P. (1998). Communicating Professionally. New York: Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555703402. 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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