INFO 248-01
Beginning Cataloging & Classification
Fall 2016 Syllabus

Gregory Cotton
Office Hours: Call as needed
Phone (Day): (319) 330-7058
Phone (Evening): (319) 330-7058

Syllabus Links
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 23, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or 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

Theory and practice of bibliographic control including the study of representative cataloging using AACR2/RDA, machine-based representation using the MARC formats and other standards, and subject analysis and classification using LCSH, Dewey, and LCC with the principal focus on monographic and serial literature.

Course Requirements

Assignments and exams cover:

Graded exercises/Exams Due date & Submission instructions
Dewey Decimal Classification Monday, September 25, via Canvas
Library of Congress Subject Headings/authority control Monday, October 16, via Canvas
Exam I Monday, October 23, via Canvas
Descriptive Cataloging Monday, November 13, via Canvas
Exam II Monday, December 11, via Canvas

Two examinations cover both theoretical and practical application of cataloging principles.

Graded Exercises 40% (ca. 13% each)
Examinations 60% (30% each)

Late Assignments
Late assignments are not accepted except by prior consent of the instructor. No points will be awarded for late assignments not previously arranged.

Course Communication
This course will meet in asynchronous mode. Lecture notes (usually with one or more accompanying practice exercises) will be posted each Friday. Students are encouraged to make extensive use of the course discussion boards for questions related to lectures or assignments.  We will have five non-required Elluminate Q&A sessions throughout the semester, one before each graded exercise and exam.
Reminder: Students must self-enroll for this course on Canvas. Please address course-related e-mail to NOTE: Be sure to put 248 in the subject line of the message!

Students who cannot fulfill all the work for a course may be assigned an Incomplete only if arrangements are made with the instructor. If the instructor agrees to assign an Incomplete, then the student must obtain an Incomplete Form from:

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 202

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply standardized cataloging tools to catalog and classify materials in different formats.
  2. Describe the basic workings of automated catalogs and how the process of cataloging and classification impacts them.
  3. Define the impact of cataloging decisions on user retrieval.
  4. Identify current issues in cataloging, cataloging policy, and organization of new formats.
  5. Describe basic cataloging and how it fits into the profession of librarianship.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 248 supports the following core competencies:

  1. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.


Required Textbooks:

  • Chan, L. M., & Salaba, A. (2016). Cataloging and classification: An introduction (4th ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Available through Amazon: 1442232498arrow 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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