LIBR 234-01
LIBR 234-10
Intellectual Freedom Seminar
Fall 2015 Greensheet

Dr. Carrie Gardner
Other contact information: I am not in San Jose.  Please use my cell phone: 717-329-4159 Office location: Remote
Office Hours: You are welcome to call anytime from 9am to 9:30pm Remember, I'm on the EAST COAST.

Greensheet Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 20th, 6 am PDT 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 on the first day that the class meets. Course sites will close on February 28, 2016.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Focuses on current intellectual freedom issues and the centrality of intellectual freedom to librarianship. 

Course Requirements

Course Calendar



Date Assignment Available to Students

Due Date

Library Bill of Rights (Supports CLOs #1#2and #5)

This assignment provides an opportunity to examine the tenets ALA puts forward in the Library Bill of Rights.


August 20, 2015

September 13, 2015

Librarian Interview (Supports CLOs #1-5)

This assignment provides an opportunity to learn how a working librarian handles the issues involved with intellectual freedom.


August 20, 2015

December 6, 2015

Resource Selection Policy (Supports CLO #1 and #2)

This assignment provides an opportunity to examine library resource selection policies’ influence on the intellectual freedom of patrons.


September 6, 2015

October 18, 2015

Filter Assignment (Supports CLOs #1-4)

This assignment provides an opportunity to examine the legal and ethical issues involved with deploying filter software in a library setting.


October 11, 2015

November 15, 2015

Privacy and Confidentiality (Supports CLOs #1 and #5) This assignment provides an opportunity to explore how library policies uphold and undermine patron privacy.


November 8, 2015

December 6, 2015

Class Participation via Canvas Discussion Board (Supports CLOs #1-5)


All semester long

At least one post each week per the weekly instructions posted on Sundays.

Detailed information about assignments can be found in the Canvas software.

Modules included in the course include but are not limited to:

  1. First Amendment in American libraries.
  2. The role librarians can take in providing access to information.
  3. The role librarians can take in preventing access to information.
  4. The ALA Library Bill of Rights
  5. Banned Books Week.
  6. Selection policies.
  7. Reconsideration policies.
  8. The ethical and legal issues around deploying filter software in libraries.
  9. Privacy and confidentiality of the personally identifiable information of patrons.
  10. Organizations that promote the removal and/or restriction of information from American society and/or libraries.
  11. The impact of patron behavior policies.

Course Grading

  • No extra credit is available.
  • Points will be deducted for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Please use the APA Style manual for all citations.
  • Two points will be deducted for each day an assignment is late.
  • Course modules open every Sunday. It is highly recommended that you log in early in the week in order to learn what is required for the module.

Other readings will be provided by the instructor. 

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

INFO 200

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the concept of patron privacy and demonstrate familiarity with relevant state and federal laws.
  2. Describe how the First Amendment and numerous laws relate to libraries and patron access to information.
  3. Identify the philosophical underpinnings of selection and censorship of library resources.
  4. Describe how Internet filtering software influences access to information.
  5. Define intellectual freedom and describe how the American Library Association illustrates its existence in library service.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 234 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that profession.
  2. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.


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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