MARA 211-10
Records Access, Storage and Retrieval
Summer 2009 Greensheet

Lori Lindberg
Phone: 408-924-2729

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Grading
Course Requirements
Course Calendar
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

This course has an ANGEL site.  Students will be instructor-enrolled in the ANGEL site.

Course Description

Examination of records systems, storage, retrieval; filing systems; fundamentals of information retrieval; active file systems and operation; records center operations; special storage; archival reference and access concepts; legal and ethical considerations; privacy and copyright; user communities; Not repeatable.

Prerequisites: MARA 200, 202, 204

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • devise and apply basic filing systems to records
  • apply the fundamentals of information retrieval concepts to archives and records centers
  • articulate the need for effective active file management, and demonstrate fundamental knowledge and application of active file systems, facilities and operations considerations
  • analyze and conduct a records storage assessment
  • compare, contrast and apply different methods of evaluating use and users of records and the varying factors that contribute to open or restricted access and retrieval of records by users
  • demonstrate fundamental understanding of the importance of legal compliance and ethical considerations as they apply to the use of records and their applicability to and impact on various user communities

This course satisfies the following MARA Core Competencies:

  • D. Have expertise in the basic concepts and principles used to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to records of current and enduring value
  • E. Understand the system of standards and structures endorsed and utilized by the recordkeeping professions, particularly in the area of digital assets management
  • G. Know the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in records management and the role the recordkeeper plays in institutional compliance and risk management
  • H. Be conversant with current information technologies and best practices relating to records preservation and security

Course Requirements

This course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class and in the texts, as well as practical applications of methods.

Students accumulate 100 points to determine the course grade. See Grading below for details. Details for the assignments will be given at the first class meeting and requirements for each will be posted under your Lessons tab on ANGEL.

  • Filing system assignment 15 points (due week 2). Using the recordkeeping scenario and forms provided by the instructor, devise a basic filing system for the records as outlined in the scenario.
  • Information access assignment 15 points (due week 3). Devise a fundamental access system for the records.
  • Active file facility assignment 15 points (due week 4). Design a basic storage facility for the records, with equipment and manpower considerations.
  • Active file operation assignment 15 points (due week 5). Describe workflows that will be incorporated into active records retrieval and management processes.
  • Records storage assignment 15 points (due week 7). Evaluate present storage needs and anticipate future ones based on information provided in the scenario.
  • Records retrieval assignment 15 points (due week 10). Provide solutions to a number of access requests from an assortment of users, with regard to the legal and ethical aspects of access and use as outlined in class.
  • Class participation 10 points (ANGEL participation, class discussion)

Course Calendar

I. Records Access

  • Week 1: Basic concepts; filing systems.
    Shepherd & Yeo, Chapter 7
    Robek, et al., Chapters 1-3
  • Week 2: Active file systems, facilities, and operations. Filing system assignment due.
    Robek, et al., Chapters 5-8
  • Week 3: Classification and access; access restrictions; legal and ethical considerations in access. Information access assignment due.

II. Records Storage

  • Week 4: Records centers operated by records creators. Commercial records centers. Active file facility assignment due.
    Robek, et al., Chapters 9-12
  • Week 5: Special storage requirements, media, equipment; records protection. Active file operation assignment due.
  • Week 6: Archival storage and protection fundamentals; reformatting.
    Robek, et al., Chapters 13-14
  • Week 7: Assuring integrity in storage; legal and ethical considerations in storage of records. Records storage assignment due.

III. Records Retrieval

  • Week 8: Fundamentals of information retrieval: definitions and objectives, indexing, computer-assisted retrieval.
    Robek, et al., Chapter 4
  • Week 9: Approaches to retrieval. Confidentiality and rights of access; privacy and copyright. Meeting the needs of users; user communities. 
    Robek, et al., Chapters 15-18
    Shepherd & Yeo, Chapter 8
  • Week 10: Managing external access to records. Archival reference and access services. Records retrieval assignment due.
    Robek, et al., Chapter 19

Textbooks and Grading

Shepherd, E. & Yeo, G. (2002). Managing records: A handbook of principles and practice. London: Facet Publishing (Neil-Schuman).

Robek, M., Brown, G., & Stephens, D. (1995). Information and records management: Document-based information systems (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

All assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. on their respective due date. Late submissions will cause a loss of 10% of the grade for that assignment.

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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