LIBR 200-06
Information and Society
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Scott Walter

Office Hours: Virtually via e-mail

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel during these dates: August 19-25. You will be required to use a password access code which I will provide using the MYSJSU Messaging system.

Course Description

Explores the complex and interrelated historical, social, economic, cultural, political, and technological influences that shape information and society. Emphasis is on the various roles and responsibilities of information organizations and the values and ethics of information professionals.

Note: Effective Spring 2009, LIBR 200 must be completed with a grade of "B" or higher.

Course Objectives

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

  • Describe the role of information from historical, current, and future perspectives;
  • Identify the various information stakeholders and the information environments that provide for their needs;
  • Describe and evaluate issues involved in creating and disseminating information in society;
  • Identify and discuss the major values and codes of ethics associated with the information professions;
  • Describe the impact of cultural diversity on the provision of user services by librarians and other information professionals;
  • Discuss important economic and policy issues related to the creation,  dissemination, and use of information;
  • Explain what information literacy is and how it helps users evaluate and use information;
  • Compare the different genres of, and venues for, scholarly and professional writing.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Know the foundations and structure of the information profession;
  • Locate, evaluate, and utilize scholarly and professional literature;
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of major issues in library and information science.

LIBR 200 course supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • Articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  • Compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • Recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • Understand the nature of research, research methods and research findings; retrieve, evaluate and synthesize scholarly and professional literature for informed decision-making by specific client groups.

Course Requirements

LIBR 203: Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools
All new SLIS students must complete this mandatory, 1-unit course during the first 4 weeks of their first semester in SLIS. LIBR 203 introduces students to various e-learning tools used in the SLIS program, including Elluminate and Second Life. For more information, see

As a graduate student, you are expected to:

  • Complete and carefully consider all assigned readings.
  • Fully participate in all class activities and discussions.
  • Complete all assignments on time.
  • Inform the instructor if you have an illness or emergency that requires you to be absent from our online learning environment for an extended period of time or to request an extension on an assignment.

This is a Web-based course. All class activities will take place through Angel and Elluminate.

Angel will be used throughout this course. The Angel site for this class will open for self-enrollment by August 19th. You will receive a password access code for self-enrollment through the MySJSU messaging system. You should be enrolled in the Angel class site by August 25th.

Elluminate will be used regularly throughout this course. There is one synchronous session scheduled and required for this class:

  • Tuesday, September 1st, 7:00 - 8:00 pm (Pacific Time)

In addition to this required session, there will be optional sessions scheduled in order to allow review of class materials, engage in discussion regarding topics of interest or concern, and to ask questions of classmates and the instructor. Optional Elluminate sessions will be announced on Angel and recorded for later review by those unable to attend.

As this class includes only one required synchronous session, it is crucial that you log into the Angel site on a regular basis in order to participate in asynchronous discussions and to receive announcements and updates to course requirements and the course calendar. An introduction to the Angel Learning System is available on the SLIS Listing of Angel Tours and Tutorials.

If this is your first class using Elluminate, please complete an orientation session prior to your first login. You may need to have a microphone attached to your computer in order to participate in Elluminate-supported class activities. It is recommended that you log in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of a class session to check the audio. A list of training times and other helpful information can be found in the SLIS Student Guide to Using Elluminate.

The SLIS Angel site is located at

The SLIS Elluminate site is located at

Technical Requirements
For a complete description of requirements, please see the guidelines for the SLIS Home Computing Environment.

You should plan to check your e-mail and the Angel class site regularly for announcements. You are also responsible for assuring that your contact information in Angel is current and that messages sent to you through Angel, if forwarded to your e-mail, are not being caught by your SPAM filter.


  • Class Participation (20%)
    All students are expected to participate fully in the course. Active participation in all synchronous and asynchronous discussions is expected of all students, and each student is expected to maintain individual contact with the instructor regarding course requirements, concerns, etc. Participation in threaded discussions will be crucial to success in this course and will be evaluated using the "Guidelines for Critical Engagement" described in course presentations and assignments sheets available on the Angel class site.
  • Review of a Professional Association (10%)
    You will prepare a 2-4 pp. overview of a professional association relevant to work in the field of Library & Information Science. In this overview, you should identify resources made available by the association relevant to this class (e.g., professional ethics or standards, job resources, competency statements), as well as identify professional and/or social issues of key concern to the association. You may select any association from those listed on the SLIS Professional Associations in the Information Sciences page, or in Appendix B of the Rubin textbook, but note that national or international associations are the most likely to have the depth and breadth of resources required to complete this assignment effectively. The Review of a Professional Association will be due on September 15th.
  • Review of a Scholarly Journal (10%)
    You will prepare a 2-4 pp. overview of a scholarly journal in the field of Library & Information Science. In this overview, you should identify the major themes in the published literature over the past 3-5 years, as well as exemplary essays that explore research questions relevant to this class (e.g., recruitment and retention, professional ethics, information policy, social or historical issues in libraries). You may select any of the starred (refereed) journals listed on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Journals for LIS Research page, or in Appendix A of the Rubin textbook. A short list of “Core Journals” is also provided on this Greensheet. The Review of a Scholarly Journal will be due on October 6th.
  • Article Review (10%)
    You will provide a concise, critical review of a research article related to one of the topics covered in this class. The article should be drawn from a peer-reviewed journal in the field (or in a related field) and should extend our discussion of the topic in class, either through additional example or by introducing an aspect of the topic not highlighted in any of the required readings. The article should report on the results of a well-defined research study, e.g., those typically found in journals such as College & Research Libraries and Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice. This assignment is designed to continue your introduction to relevant literature in the field, and to allow you to contribute additional ideas and insights related to LIS research and practice into class discussion. Article Reviews will be discussed throughout the semester, beginning after October 6th. Please review the Course Calendar available on Angel to identify the most appropriate time to present your Article Review. Reviews should be posted to the Angel class site (along with a discussion question) during the lesson relevant to your article.
  • Group Project: Perspectives on the Information Organization (20%)
    In this group project, you will work with 2-3 of your classmates to prepare an overview of key issues, concerns, and trends in one of the major "library types" identified in your textbook: public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries. This assignment is designed to allow you to work with classmates to explore a topic of mutual interest, identify issues of concern within that topic, and share responsibility for learning in our class. The Group Project will be due on November 17th.
  • Research Paper (30%)
    You will write a 20-page paper on an issue relevant to this course. This assignment is designed to introduce you to the scholarly and professional literature of Library and Information Science and to provide you with an opportunity to explore an area of personal interest in greater depth while demonstrating the ability to evaluate, synthesize, and present information from a variety of sources. A proposal and initial bibliography will be due on October 27th. The Research Paper will be due on December 8th.

Detailed instructions for each assignment will be posted on the Angel class site.

Correct usage of academic English, spelling, grammar, and composition are expected, and all sources should be cited according to the most recent (5th) edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. For further information, see the SLIS APA Style Resources page.

Submitting Assignments
All assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time) on the dates noted above. Assignments may be submitted either through Angel, or by e-mail attachment to your instructor. Dates on which assignments are due may be modified with appropriate notice. Please consult the Course Calendar available on the Angel class site. Any changes to the Course Calendar will be announced via Angel.

Course Calendar
A complete Course Calendar will be available on the Angel class site. Major due dates for class assignments are as follows:

  • September 15th  Review of a Professional Association
  • October 6th  Review of a Scholarly Journal
  • October 27th  Research Paper Proposal and Initial Bibliography
  • November 17th  Group Project
  • December 8th Research Paper

In addition, you will complete one Article Review between October 7th - December 6th (with the due date based on the topic and where it falls on the Course Calendar).

Finally, you will be expected to complete discussion question assignments throughout the semester, and may be asked to complete additional assignments related to course topics.

Any changes to course assignments or to due dates will be announced via Angel.

Course assignments will be given the following weight in determining your final grade in LIBR 200:

  • Class Participation (20%)
  • Review of a Professional Association (10%)
  • Review of a Scholarly Journal (10%)
  • Article Review (10%)
  • Group Project (20%)
  • Research Paper (30%)

Assignments must be submitted on or before their specified due dates. Any assignment turned in after the due date, without the permission of the instructor, will have its total score reduced by one point per day from the date due. Any assignment turned in more than one week after the due date, without the permission of the instructor, will not be accepted for grading, and a grade of "Zero" will be recorded for that assignment.

A course grade of "Incomplete" will be assigned only in cases of medical or family emergency. For more information, please see the SLIS Policy on Incompletes.

Textbooks and Readings

Recommended Texts

  • American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Note: The new edition of the APA Publication Manual is scheduled for publication in July 2009. While the 5th edition is recommended for this class owing to the timing, you may wish to review the availability of the 6th edition before making your purchase (as that will be the edition to which you will be asked to refer in future classes).

Additional Readings
Readings in addition to your textbook will be available through the Angel class site, or will be accessible through the SJSU electronic journal collection.

Core Journals
Finally, you should begin to become familiar with professional journals that address issues relevant to this course and appropriate to your career plans, e.g.:

  • College & Research Libraries (Z671 C6)
  • Communications in Information Literacy (online)
  • Evidence-Based Library & Information Practice (online)
  • Journal of Academic Librarianship (Z671 J58)
  • Journal of Information Ethics (Z682.35.P75 J68)
  • Public Libraries (Z673.A5 P88)
  • Reference Services Review (Z1035.1 R43)
  • School Library Media Research (online)

The call numbers listed above are drawn from the library catalog, and they may help you to locate materials, if available, at any academic library to which you may have access. Each of the titles above is also available through the SJSU electronic journal collection or through open access.

Required Textbook:

  • Rubin, R. E. (2004). Foundations of Library and Information Science. Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555705189. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain


This course satisfies the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

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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