LIBR 234-01
LIBR 234-10
Intellectual Freedom Seminar
Fall 2009 Greensheet

Dr. Carrie Gardner
Cell Phone: 717-329-4159
Office location: Off Campus
Office Hours:By Appointment  

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Angel information: This course will use Angel.  Enrollment information will be sent via MySJSU messaging after August 21st.  

Course Description

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

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200, 204 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, the student will:

  • Understand the concept of patron privacy and be familiar with relevant state and federal laws.
  • Understand how the First Amendment and numerous laws relate to Libraries and patron access to information.
  • Know the philosophical underpinnings of selection and censorship of library resources.
  • Understand how Internet Filtering software influences access to information.
  • Define Intellectual Freedom and understand how the American Library Association illustrates it’s existence in library service

LIBR 234 supports the following MLIS Core Competencies:

  • articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use.

In addition, this section supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Course Calendar

Assignment Points

Date Assignment Available to Students

Due Date
Library Bill of Rights 20 August 24, 2009 September 20, 2009
Librarian Interview 10 August 24, 2009 December 6, 2009
Resource Selection Policy 20 September 13, 2009 October 11, 2009
Filter Assignment 20 October 4, 2009 November 8, 2009
Privacy and Confidentiality 20 November 1, 2009 November 29, 2009
Class Participation via Angel Discussion 10 All semester long  

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

Subject to change with fair notice.

Course Grading

  • No extra credit is available.
  • I reserve the right to deduct points for late work, poor grammar and spelling mistakes. 
  • Please use the APA Style manual for all citations.

Textbooks and Readings

Presenting the Course Using A Constructivist Approach
Constructivist learning is based on the student's active participation in problem solving. Students construct their own knowledge by testing ideas and approaches based on past knowledge, experiences and new concepts. The social interaction of class and team members will add to the experiences as the student constructs their learning. Learning is assessed through performance based projects. The teacher acts as a guide for the students in their learning.

Many people find the topic of intellectual freedom controversial. It is expected that all students will respect the opinions of their fellow students by debating opinions and facts while avoiding personal attacks. 

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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