INFO 210-12 (1 unit)
Reference and Information Services
Topic: Reference Collections in the 21st Century
Spring 2016 Greensheet

Dr. Johanna Tunon
E-mail -- For class-related communications, use the Canvas e-mail.
Home phone: (954) 249-1449
Office location: Richmond, VA
Office hours: By appointment by phone or via Collaborate. NOTE:  You are welcome to call before 9 pm ET.

Greensheet Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 28th, 6 am PT 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.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

The course will be automatically available to students on Jan. 28, 2016.

NOTE: Early birds can email me if you would like the list of video lecture links for the class before the course starts.

Course Description

Catalog Description: A process-oriented examination of how information professionals select and evaluate reference collections. The selection criteria and related collection development policies required for building and maintaining reference collections are stressed.

Course Requirements

  • Assignment 1 : discussions (3 X 9%) + 3% sharing post
    Discussions (D1, D2, D3, S4)
  • Assignment 2 (70%)
    Annotated bibliography of core reference sources, budget, reflections

Course Calendar

Week Overview of Class Readings, Activities, and Assignments Due Dates
Wk 1
  • Getting started:
    • Post introductions
    • Course overview page and video
    • Week 1 overview page and video
  • Digging in:
    • Reading -- Chapter 17 pdf (Cassell & Hiremath)
    • Leondard, E. (2014).  The State of Reference Collections
    • Video lectures 1, 2
    • Optional video lectures on research methods that can be used to assess reference collections (Flash videos)
    • Useful websites and sources
  • Discuss:
    • D1 -- discussions on Portal articles (9%)
Feb. 3
Wk 2
  • Getting started:
    • Week 2 overview page and video
  • Digging in:
    • Video lectures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    • Useful websites and exemplars of policies
  • Discuss:
    • Week 2 discussion topic (D2) -- 9%
Feb. 10
Wk 3
  • Getting started:
    • Week 3 overview page and video
  • Digging in:
    • Video lectures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  
    • Useful websites and sources
  • Discuss:
    • Week 3 discussion topic (D3) -- 9%
Feb. 17
Wk 4
  • Getting started:
    • Week 4 overview page and video
  • Digging in:
    • Video lecture: 1
    • Useful futurist websites and sources
  • Applying what you learned:
    • Assignment 2 (A2) -- Annotated bibliography (70%)
    • Sharing post (3%)
Feb. 24
  • Course ends Feb. 24th:
    • All work must be submitted by midnight of the last day of class except for Assignment 2. The two-day no-questions-asked grace period applies for A2.
    • The course content will be available for a couple of additional weeks.

*Due dates are subject to change with fair notice. 

Description of Assignments and Grading Criteria
NOTE: If you have some special circumstance that makes completion of some activities difficult, contact me about possible alternative activities.

  • Assignment 1: Discussions (9% X 3 weeks) + Sharing post (3%) = 30%
    Discussion topics take place in the first three weeks of class, and the discussion topic for Week 3 does require you to visit a library and speak with a librarian or staff person. All the weekly activities require more than posting your own personal opinions on the topic under discussion.  Address the posted discussion questions using substantive content by utilizing, analyzing, and synthesizing what you learned in the textbook, class readings, etc.
    In Week 4, share something with the rest of the class. It can be anything from an interesting article or website to an interesting tip for job hunting or even some example of library humor.
    See the scoring rubric for  the grading criteria.
    • INFO 210 Course Learning Outcomes addressed: 
      • CLO 3: Describe the relationship between information needs, collection development policies, and the evaluation of reference collections.
      • CLO 4: Describe current issues and trends in selecting appropriate reference sources.
    • NOTE: A number of the topics for the weekly discussions may serve as evidence to support various core competencies for your e-portfolio.

  • Assignment 2: Annotated Bibliography of Core Reference Sources (70%)

    Part 1: Annotated Bibliography (50%)
    Brian Kenney's 2015 article, "Where Reference Fits in the Modern Library, (Links to an external site.)" raises some important questions about the need for reference collections in the 21st century. For this assignment, I want you to develop an annotated bibliography of core reference resources that you think are critical for reference librarians to have access to today.

    • Identify the size and type of the library setting. 
    • Select 25 core reference resources. Your resources can be in print, digital, or online formats. All types of reference resources can be included
    • In the annotations, provide a description of each item. Include information on the purpose, scope, audience, format, and cost.
    • In the annotations, provide a clear justification for your reason for purchasing each resource, particularly if your selected resources are similar to free items that are available via the web. You can use professional reviews, awards, lists of core collections for your type of library, recommended sources in the Cassell and Hiremath textbook or subject guides as well as recommendations by reference librarians at SJSU or local libraries in your selection process. 
    • The annotated bibliography can be provided in a print format or using some technology such as a blog or LibGuide if you prefer.  (If you want a LibGuide shell created, email me with your email address, and I can create a shell for you.)

    Part 2: Budget (5% of final grade) Write a paragraph that provides a rationale for the cost of purchasing your 25 proposed items based on the size and needs of your library and/or academic institution.  Discuss any budgetary issues or implications that you took into consideration when making your selections.

    Part 3: Reflections
    (15% of final grade)
    Your reflections should address the following:

    • Discuss why you think your selected items are important enough for a library to purchase those sources.
    • Reflect on  the selection criteria you used for selecting your core list of reference resources.
    • Describe how your choices support a diverse and changing population in the 21st century. 
    • Discuss what you learned in the process of completing this assignment and how what you learned pertains to any relevant core competencies.

    See the scoring rubric and Panopto video for Assignment 4 for details, examples, and grading criteria.

    • INFO 210 Course Learning Outcome addressed:
      • CLO 1: Identify and assess the characteristics and functions of various types of reference sources.
      • CLO 2: Use appropriate collection development tools for selecting and evaluating reference sources.
      • CLO 5: Evaluate reference sources that address the needs of a diverse and changing society.
    • NOTE: See video on using this assignment may serve as a possible artifact for the e-portfolio.

Course Grading

  • See the description of the assignments in Canvas and the grading rubrics.
  • All work is due by the date listed, but there is a two-day no-questions-asked grace period for all assignments. If you are unable to complete the work by the end of the grace period, there is a 10% penalty unless you contact me and formally make special arrangements for an extension.  
  • Check the grading criteria provided in the scoring rubrics before submitting assignments to be sure that you are addressing all of the elements that should be included in the assignments. 
  • The details of the assignments, grading criteria, and grading rubrics are subject to minor adjustments with fair notice. 
  • With the exception of the standard two-day, no-questions-asked grace period, no work will be accepted after the end of the course unless you have made arrangements that meet the university criteria and have been approved by me in writing or by email. 

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 210 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and assess the characteristics and functions of various types of reference sources.
  2. Use appropriate collection development tools for selecting and evaluating reference sources.
  3. Describe the relationship between information needs, collection development policies, and the evaluation of reference collections.
  4. Describe current issues and trends in selecting appropriate reference sources.
  5. Evaluate reference sources that address the needs of a diverse and changing society.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 210 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Recommended Textbooks:

  • Cassell, K. A., & Hiremath, U. (2013). Reference and information services: An introduction (3rd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 1555708595arrow 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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