INFO 204-11
INFO 204-14
Information Professions
Spring 2017 Syllabus

Dr. Sue Alman
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours: Synchronous advising by appointment

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26, 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.

Core Competencies
In addition to the core competencies listed here, this course section supports an additional competency due to a major assignment (see below):

  • O: Contribute to the cultural, economic, educational, and social well-being of our global communities. 

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, including Collaborate.  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.

Two-Part Assignment

  • Part 1: Discussion Posts (45 points)
    • Post a response to the weekly topic/question(s).This is an opportunity for you to share thoughts, ideas and opinions with the entire class. 
  • Part 2: Final 3-Page Summary of Topics (10 points)
      • Culminating paper that describes the key management issues that you have identified this term.
  • Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #4, #5, #6
  • Core Competencies: A,B,D,M,O

Planning for the Future Essay (15 points)

  • This essay will enable you to look for scholarly resources that will help to prepare you to participate in strategic planning.  The theme of this paper is on the ways to plan for future library services by examining the environment, preparing vision and mission statements, setting goals and objectives, and determining outcome measurements.
    • Course Learning Outcomes: #8
    • Core Competencies: D, N

Organizational Analysis (20 points)

  • You will self-select a team of 3-5 members to conduct a comparative analysis of the strategic plans of two libraries (one must be an international library) resulting in a 12-15 page report. Details will be available at the beginning of the term.
  • 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:  #5, #7
    • Core Competencies: D, M, N, O

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: #3
    • Core Competencies: B


Assignment Points
Part 1: Discussion Postings 3 points each
(45 points total)
Part 2: Final 3-page Summary 10 points
Planning for the Future Essay 15 points
Career Development 10 points
Team-based Organizational Analysis 20 points

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

Calendar: Students will be expected to read the materials, complete the assignments, and participate in class discussions according to the dates listed below.

January 26 – May 16

Week   Topic/Module
1A January 26-29 Introductions & Logistics
1 January 30 - February 5 Chapters 1;39
2 February  6 - 12 Chapters 18; 21; 22; 23
3 February 13 - 19 Chapters 24; 25; 26
4 February 20 - 26 Chapters 7; 10; 28
5 February 27 - March 5 Chapters 12; 13; 16; 17
6 March 6 - 12 Chapters 14; 15
7 March 13 - 19 Chapters 29; 35
8 March 20 - 26 Chapters 31; 32
9 April 3 - 9 Chapters 33; 34
10 April 10 - 16 Chapters 11; 37
11 April 17 - 23 Chapters 5; 6; 9
12 April 24 - 30 Chapters 8; 19; 20
13 May 1 - 7 Chapters 4; 27
14 May 8 - 14 Chapters 30; 36
15 May 15 - 16 Wrap-up

Dates and assignments are subject to change in the final syllabus

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. B Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.
  2. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  3. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.
  4. 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

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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