INFO 204-15
INFO 204-16
Information Professions
Fall 2016 Syllabus

Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours by appointment

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Getting Started

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 24th, 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.

Course Description

Examines the organizations and environments in which information professionals work.  This course explores different specializations and career paths, professional communities, networks and resources, ethical and legal frameworks. This course also introduces management and leadership theories and concepts and applies them to different information environments. A special focus is placed on management responsibilities in order to emphasize the importance of these skills in the professional workplace.

Note: iSchool requires that students earn a B in this 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.

Course Requirements

Complete INFO 203 Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success
This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the iSchool program. For more information, see:

Writing Requirement
If the instructor finds that a student's writing is unacceptable, the instructor will require the student to sign up for online writing tutoring. The student will ask the tutor to confirm with the instructor that he or she is attending sessions.

Students will perform a series of activities relating to the information professions and their organizational analysis. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #3, #6)

Exploratory Essay
Using LIS databases and other relevant resources, students will read, analyze and respond to a recent scholarly article on transferable skills and competencies in the modern knowledge economy for library and information science (LIS) professionals. (Course Learning Outcomes: #8)

Organizational Analysis
Working together in small groups, students will assume roles on teams to create an organizational analysis, in two parts, for an information organization. In the first part, each team will draft vision, mission and value statements for the organization. In addition, teams will produce a literature review and conduct an environmental scan including a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Based on findings of the first part of the project, the group will articulate strategic directions for the information organization in the second half of the project. Goals will be measured by appropriate criteria specified and presented by the team to their classmates. An annotated bibliography will also be included in this second part of the report. A peer review regarding individual contributions and performance on the team will be included and considered in the final grade for the team project.  (Course Learning Outcomes:  #2, #5, #8)

Career Development
Students will be introduced to the extensive School Career Development online resources and will asked to submit their resume. In addition, students will also utilize the ePortfolio function in the Canvas learning management system. (Course Learning Outcomes: #4, #7)

Professional Synthesis
A culminating synthesis allows students to reflect and respond to the major elements of INFO 204 and the information professions, supported and informed by the course and supplemental scholarly material. Students will utilize an alternate format (e.g. website, wiki, podcast, video, Powerpoint, Prezi, etc.) to produce and present their culminating assignment. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #8)


Assignment Points Due Date
Discussion Forum 3 points each
(30 points total)
December 12
Exploratory Essay 15 points September 21
Organizational Analysis 30 points

October 26 (Part 1)

November 17 (Part 2)

Career Development 10 points December 4
Professional Synthesis 15 points December 11

Assignment Deadlines
All assignments must be submitted by 11:59pm Pacific time on the due date. Grades will be reduced for any late work, each day late, by ten percent. Please contact instructor prior to a deadline in the case of illness or emergency.


Week Topic/Module Assignment
1: August 24 Chapters 1, 2, 4
1. The Transformative Information Landscape:  What It Means to Be an  Information Professional Today
2. Libraries and Information Organizations: Two Centuries of Experience  
4. Diversity, Cultures and Equity of Access
Discussion 1: Introductions including any particular area of current/future interest in the information professions and organizations.
2: August 31 Chapters 5-7
5. Librarianship: A Continuously Evolving Profession
6. Literacy and Media Centers in the 21st Century: School Libraries
7. The Learning and Research Institution: Academic Libraries

Additional readings on accountability, responsibility, and delegation (TBA);
Exploratory Essay assignment instructions shared
Discussion 2: Scholarly article summary and key takeaways on the topic of accountability, responsibility or delegation.

3: September 8

Chapters 8-10
8. Community Anchors for Lifelong Learning:  Public Libraries
9. Information Centers:  Special Libraries
10. Digital Resources: Digital Libraries
Discussion 3: Online Career Resources and post current job description/opening to be used in Week 14's Career Development assignment.

4: September 15

Chapters 11-12
11. Expanding the Horizon of the MLIS  
12. Information Needs: Understanding and Responding to Today’s Information User

Additional readings on Legal Issues and Library Management and Decision Making (TBA)
Due: Exploratory Essay September 21
5: September 22 Chapters 13-14
13. Finding Information: Information Intermediation and Reference Services
14. Organizing Information: Technical Services

Videos and tips sheets on Building Teams; Organizational Analysis teams announced and assignment instructions shared
Discussion 4: Successful virtual teams
6: September 29 Chapters 15-16
15. Accessing Information Anywhere and Anytime: Access Services
16. Teaching Users: Information and Technology Literacy Instruction

Additional readings on The Planning Process and Effective Leadership (TBA)
Discussion 5: Leadership characteristics; Progress Report due for Organizational Analysis October 5
7: October 6 Chapters 18, 20, 21
18. Hyperlinked Libraries
20. Infinite Learning
21. Management Skills

Additional readings on Communicating and Change Management (TBA)
No discussion; continue work on Part 1 of Group Project
8: October 13 Chapters 22-23
22. Managing Budgets
23. Managing Personnel

Career Development assignment instructions shared
Discussion 6: 20% budget cut
9: October 20 Chapters 24-25
24. Managing Facilities
25. Managing Collections
Discussion 7: Discussion 7: Prepare for the worst: Sharing an emergency/disaster plan; Due: Part 1 of Organizational Analysis October 26
10: October 27 Chapters 26-27
26. Managing Technology
27. Managing Communications, Marketing and Outreach
Discussion 8: Emerging Technology - The Horizon Report
11: November 3 Chapters 28-29
28. Demonstrating Value: Assessment
29. Information Policy 

Additional readings on Advocacy (TBA)
Discussion 9: Marketing and Advocacy for the contemporary LIS organization
12: November 10 Chapters 31-32
31. Copyright and Creative Commons
32. Information Licensing

Instructions for Professional Synthesis shared
No discussion; Due: Part 2 of Organizational Analysis November 17
13: November 18 Chapters 33-34
33. Open Access
34. Analog and Digital Curation and Preservation
No discussion
14: November 28 Chapters 35, 37
35. Information Privacy and Cybersecurity
37. Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success
Discussion 10: Cover Letter and voting; Due: Career Development assignment (resume submitted and two artifacts loaded to ePortfolio in Canvas) December 4
15: December 5 Chapter 39
39. Leadership for Today and Tomorrow
Due: Professional Synthesis December 11

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 204 has no prerequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the role of information and the information profession in various contexts, and from historical, current and future perspectives.
  2. Identify and discuss the professional values and ethics of library and information science.
  3. Explore a number of professional opportunities and related supports available to information professionals.
  4. Identify, discuss and compare key management concepts such as leadership, change, advocacy, and decision making, as well as the roles and activities of managers and leaders.
  5. Understand analytical and strategic planning processes and skills.
  6. Identify various information stakeholders and the information environments that provide for their needs.
  7. Experience and assess working in teams.
  8. Review, use and properly cite the professional and research literature of management and leadership.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 204 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. B Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.
  3. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  4. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.
  5. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Hirsh, S. (2015). Information services today. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Available through Amazon: 1442239581arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Chicago: American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1433805618. arrow 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 or Informatics) — 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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