LIBR 267-11
Seminar in Services to Children and Young Adults
Topic: Intellectual Freedom and Youth
Spring 2015 Greensheet

Professor Beth Wrenn-Estes, Lecturer
Cell Phone – 510-410-1959
Office Hours: By Appointment

Greensheet Links
Weekly Outlines
Discussion Threads
Detailed Assignment Descriptions
Why Group Work?
Crisis and Emergency Situations
Collaborate Sessions
iSchool eBookstore


NOTE: The Instructor uses “I” or “me” throughout the document.

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 22nd, 12:01am PST unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open at 12:01am PST on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Dates of spring semester are January 22 to May 13, 2015. 

I expect each student to check into the CANVAS course site at least once, if not twice, per day to see course updates, resources, announcements, and other relevant information. Students are responsible to know the content on the CANVAS course site as well as information included in the Greensheet/Syllabus. It is also the student’s responsibility to ask questions and express concerns quickly so that the instructor can provide an answer/response or solution immediately.

I make every effort to proofread the Greensheet/Syllabus and the CANVAS Course Site but errors still can occur. Please contact me with any errors, conflicts in information or areas that need clarification.

Course Description

This course will focus on intellectual freedom issues with youth, the value of youth literature to enhance individuals’ lives, the ethics of intellectual freedom, the psychology of censorship and how to combat it, and how to defend materials for youth. 

Instructor’s Instructional Philosophy
I want each student in the course to succeed and will do everything to help students do so but it is a partnership. Please make sure that communication and your engagement in class activities stays a top priority for you during the semester.  Ask questions when you have them, seek clarifications when you need them, take responsibility for understanding all expectations, content and assignments for the course.

I am a believer in the value of working in groups in my classes. Every job in youth services will involve working with groups of people some of whom you will know well and others that you won’t know well at all.

How well you work in a group or a team is determined by your understanding of group dynamics compounded by the fact that you are working in a distance education program where staying connected to one another and to me as your instructor is critical to success.

Just as in real life when you work in a group or as I like to think of the experience as “being on a team” you will have weak members of the group/team and you will have strong group members (leaders) of the group/team. I expect each group member work to their fullest capacity on all of the group assignments.

I will ask from time to time throughout the semester how things are going in each group and I will require outlines on group work that show who has been assigned to each part of the project/assignment. 

I expect that as librarians or librarians to be that you have high ethical standards and that you will participate fully in the group work process, including but not limited to, collaborating with your group mates, researching your given part of the assignment and completing evaluations when asked to.

I hold students to high standards of conduct and hope that the group work you do will be of value to you as you go out into the world of youth services.

The Importance of SOTES
Students evaluate the course and instructor at the end of each term.  This evaluation is known as the SOTES. An announcement will go out from the administration letting students/faculty know when the SOTES are available to complete. The importance of SOTES is very easy to describe – they are student voices to the administration and the instructor giving feedback on the positives and negatives of the student’s experience in the class. Completing the SOTES is so very important to improving courses and instruction. 

Questions, Comments, Concerns- Discussion Thread
Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the discussion thread under Modules on the CANVAS class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature send directly to the instructor’s email address (                  

E-mail Subject Lines/Naming of Assignment Files - Mandatory

Format for subject line for all email correspondence:

Format the file name for all of your assignments:

E-mail Response Time
I answer email on a regular basis throughout the day and evenings however the official policy is: “Instructor will respond to student emails within 24-hours of receipt”. I will inform the class if a longer response time is needed (I’m out of town, illness, etc.). Students are expected to promptly answer emails.

Crisis or Emergency
Please call me if a situation prevents you from doing assignments or other class activities. You will receive a zero for any course work missed unless you have received permission from me for an extension. I reserve the right to deduct points (the number of points is determined by the me) for any work not submitted on time or lack of participation in Blackboard Collaborate session, group work or individual assignments and discussion threads.

Course Calendar
Subject to change with fair notice.

Technology Requirements
You will need a high-speed connection (DSL, cable, etc.) to successfully participate in this class. Please see the Technology Requirements and Instructions for Success handout.

The standard SJSU SLIS Grading Scale is utilized for all SLIS courses:

Grades not rounded up to the next grade level. For example if at semester’s end you have a 90.7%/100 you will get a B (90%) in the class. I do not round up to the next number.
Rounding – The instructor does not round points to the next whole number. If you receive an 89.6 you will get the grade equivalent for those points.

Timeframe for grading papers
Papers are graded within ten days from the date turned in. Turning in assignments late is not allowed except in the case of true extenuating circumstances and with prior approval of the instructor. The instructor requires a note from the student’s doctor to verify sickness that illness prevents assignment deadlines from being met. Extenuating circumstance discussions are facilitated on a one-to-one basis and the instructor will determine whether consideration is granted and a time extension is granted for the assignment. Students should contact instructor as early as possible with potential problems or issues.

The instructor will always inform the student(s) if papers will take longer than 10 days to grade.

Grading Rubric/Individual Assignment Evaluation Forms
Rubrics have been worked into the gradebook in Canvas and I will provide evaluation forms to you when needed for specific assignments.


Week 10 - Tuesday, February 24th ( pts)
Guest Speaker(s)
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Pacific
Session is Mandatory

Week 13- Tuesday,  April 21st (20 pts)
Group Presentations
Issues in Intellectual Freedom and Youth
6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Pacific
Session is Mandatory

SLIS Competencies: D,I,M,N
Course Outcomes: 1,5,7,8 

I will provide instruction and details on every week in the semester. Those Weekly Outlines appear under Modules on the Canvas course website which opens January 22, 2015. These outlines will include the information in the chart below but will also have additional details including Discussion Threads, Lectures to listen to, Readings, Collaborate Session Information, Assignment Due Date Reminders and anything else of importance to that week.

I will post additional details for each assignment along with any resources that will aid you in successfully completing the assignment including examples (when possible) on January 22, 2015 when the Canvas course website opens.


Discussion Threads

22 Weeks 1,3,6,7,9,12,16

Guest Speaker Session (Collaborate)
More details and assignment requirements will be provided on the Canvas site in January.

8 February 24th

Selection Policy Paper
More details and assignment requirements will be provided on the Canvas site in January.

20 March 6th

Controversial Author Paper
More details and assignment requirements will be provided on the Canvas site in January.

15 April 10th

Collaborate Group Presentations – Issues Intellectual Freedom and Youth
More details and assignment requirements will be provided on the Canvas site in January.

15 April 21st

Rationales Paper
More details and assignment requirements will be provided on the Canvas site in January.

20 May 8th

NOTE: The instructor reserves the right to deduct points for any work not done on time, Collaborate sessions not attended and not participating in discussion threads.


Remember that additional posts are always welcome and show work that goes beyond just the required amount and into the “Exceptional” work category. 

SLIS Competencies: D,I,M,N
Course Outcomes:   1,5,6,7,8


Discussion 1 - Week 1 (1 pt)                       
January 22 to January 25

Introduce yourself to the class. This is your opportunity to tell us a few things about you. One of the things I’d like to know if where each of you is in the iSchool program and what are you doing in your professional life right now. Feel free to tell us other things about you but only if you are comfortable doing so - post pictures (we love to see and hear about dogs, cats, children, hobbies). (1 point/1 post)

1 post per student/due on Sunday, January 25th.

Discussion 2 – Week 3 (4 pts)                       
February 2 to February 8

Time for self-reflection – self-censorship happens even in our profession since each of us has topics, issues, situations that we are afraid of or find offense in. However, as a librarian we are charged with keeping our personal issues out of our professional life. Read through the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read principles and discuss your commitment to the ideas and principles described in both. What self-censorship issues do you think you personally need to address. Are you willing to share one with the group? This discussion thread and the answers you give here will help you see how different you may be thinking by the time you get to discussion thread #7 at semester’s end where you describe your reflections on the semester and what you have learned.

Here are a couple of things I want you to read to help you with the discussion:

Chapter 11 of Intellectual Freedom and Youth – PDF Module Week 2


A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship by Debra Whelan from School Library Journal, 2009. URL is:

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, February 3rd and Thursday, February 5th
2 responses to classmates’ posts by Sunday, February 8th 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 4

Discussion 3 - Week 6 (3 pts)                       
February 23 to March 1st

Speaking from the research done for the selection policy assignment what are insights do you have surrounding the purposes of selection policies and written procedures focused on getting material reconsidered?

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, February 24th and Thursday, February 26th
1 Response to classmates’ post due by Sunday, March 1st  5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 3

Discussion 4 - Week 7 (3 pts)                       
March 2 to March 8

Review the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Sund vs.The City of Wichita (or any other cases your can find) Discuss the significance of each of these as it pertains to our course of study. Draw your own insights into the discussion and using both references from your reading and your own opinion look at each as they impact Intellectual Freedom for Youth.

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 5th
1 response to classmates’ post due by Sunday, March 8th
Total posts = 3

Discussion 5 - Week 9 (4 pts)                       
March 16 to March 22           

Controversial Young Adult Fiction and Intellectual Freedom. Do a bit of research into what books are being banned or challenged in the genre of realistic fiction. Visit some of the more outspoken young adult authors websites and see what they are saying about censorship and YA (Crutcher, Blume, Hopkins, Halse Anderson, Brewer, Alexi, and more). Approach the discussion with a youth services librarian hat on and describe what the major issues are but make it more personal taking it down to what the authors themselves are saying about censorship and their viewpoints of it.

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, March 18th and Thursday, March 20th
2 responses to classmates’ posts by Sunday, March 22nd 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 4

Discussion 6 - Week 12 (4 pts)                       
April 6th to April 12

How young people behave in libraries is a major discussion topic across the country. What issues are out there for librarians to deal with in respect to what rights do young people have when visiting the library focusing on the following: freedom of expression, freedom of access and the right to read, etc. and what policies should libraries develop to address these? What examples can you find from your readings?

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, April 8th and Thursday, April 10th
2 responses to classmates’ posts by Sunday, April 12th 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 4

Discussion 7 – Week 16 (3 pts)           
May 4th to May 13th

Reflection – look back at the semester and tell major insights, changes in attitude, best practices for dealing with YA and Youth in either school or public library setting and anything else you’d like to add about your experience this semester.

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 5th
1 response to classmates’ post due by Sunday, March 10th
Total posts = 3 

Writing-Research Standards
Students will produce assignments that meet writing and research standards appropriate for students in a Master’s program of study. It is critical to proofread your work before turning it in. Graduate level writing standards do not tolerate spelling or grammatical errors of any kind. Students are encouraged to refer to a writer’s handbook - Strunk and White’s Elements of Style for example. APA is mandated for citations included within the text of the paper and reference/bib page(s). See class rubric under Lessons on the Angel class site for description of criteria/expectations.

Spelling and Grammar
I may not read entire paper for spelling and grammar mistakes; if, in their opinion, the assignment contains too many errors a reduction in points in that section of the rubric will occur.

Paper Composition/Blog Banner and general formatting information

  1. Prepare all assignments in MS Word. Blogs do not have this requirement.
  2. May not exceed the number of pages specified by the instructor.
  3. Must have a title page with the following information:  Title of paper, Class number and title, Name of Student, Name of Instructor, University and Date of Assignment. This applies to banner/homepages on blogs.
  4. Papers must be doubled spaced – this does not apply to the Blog formatted assignments.
  5. Reference page must be included and meet APA guidelines
  6. Citations within the paper itself must be done according to APA guidelines
  7. Page numbers and the name of the assignment must appear on all pages except the title page - does not apply to blogs
  8. All papers are to be written in formal style unless otherwise noted on the assignment description.
  9. Students and faculty are bound by the U.S. copyright regulations and need to cite the sources of the intellectual property of others, including information, images, or ideas that do not belong to us. Follow the regulations located in the Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials policy at
  10. Because this is an online class, students must pay particular attention to the Distance Learning (iSchool/SJSU), Copyright, and Fair Use, and Plagiarism Guidelines at Students need to pay special attention to the third bullet item at the website: Fair Use Guidelines for Educational Multimedia;
  11. If you submit work with words, images, or ideas that are not their original ideas, words, or images, you must cite the sources of those words, images, or ideas. It is important for students in library science courses to develop a respect for the work of others and to be responsible users of the work of others. Although the work of students does have some fair-use protection, you are never safe in using words, images, or ideas of others in a course in which we share our work with one another. Not only will you need to remember this when you are posting to the discussion forums, you must also practice responsible use of resources in your projects that you will be sharing with your colleagues.

Tips on how to create effective PowerPoint presentations are included under Content.

I have a zero tolerance policy in regards to plagiarism and will inform the University of any incidences of plagiarism for disciplinary action. All assignment documents are run through Turnitin through the Canvas site.

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 204, LIBR 260A or LIBR 261A

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify characteristics and topics that are frequently associated with challenged materials for children and young adults.
  2. Identify the elements needed to write a reconsideration policy for a school or public library.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with how to train library staff in reconsideration procedures and handling angry customers
  4. Write a rationale for a challenged book.
  5. State a personal philosophy of intellectual freedom.
  6. Discuss the value of books that present graphic material or controversial subjects.
  7. Describe the psychology of the censor, including emotions and motivations.
  8. Discuss the motivations of authors who write material that might be challenged, and why they are willing to risk censorship.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 267 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. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.
  4. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Auguste, M. (2013). Voya's guide to intellectual freedom for teens. Voya Press. Available through Amazon: 1617510076arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Library Association. (2010). Intellectual freedom manual (8th ed.). ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838935907arrow 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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