INFO 204-04
Information Professions
Fall 2017 Syllabus

Dr. Maria Otero-Boisvert
Office: Suburban Chicago
Phone: 630-865-5195
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours. Telephone and in-person advising by appointment

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Mission of the School
The School of Information (iSchool) at San Jose State University educates professionals and develops leaders who organize, manage and enable the effective use of information and ideas in order to contribute to the well-being of our communities.

Getting Started
iSchool utilizes a content management system called Canvas for class communications, submitting assignments, and grade records. This course will be available on Canvas.

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 23rd, 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.  (Student Learning Outcomes: #1, #3, #6)

Interview with a Library Leader

Students will identify a managerial or administrative leader with whom to conduct an interview. The experience will be shared in a reflection paper posted to the class discussion forum. Depending on the specific focus of the interview, this assignment will address one or more of the Student Learning Outcomes. In addition, the assignment addresses Core Competency B.

(Student 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.  (Student Learning Outcomes:  #2, #5, #8)

Career Development
Students will be introduced to the extensive School Career Development online resources and will be asked to submit their resume.  In addition, students will also utilize the ePortfolio function in the Canvas learning management system. (Student 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.   (Student Learning Outcomes: #1, #8)


Assignment Due Date Points % of Total Grade

Discussion Forum


See Calendar

5 points each
(50 points total)
Interview with a Library Leader Week 4 15 points 15%
Organizational Analysis

Part 1: Week 9

Part 2: Week 13

30 points 25%
Career Development Week 15 10 points 20%
Professional Synthesis Week 16 15 points 20%

Assignment Deadlines
All assignments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Pacific time on the due date.  Grades will be reduced for any late work by 10% for any portion of each 24-hour period past the 11:59 pm deadline.  Please contact instructor 48 hours prior to a deadline in the case of illness or emergency. The expectation is that students will plan their work so that last minute emergencies will have only slight impact on completion.


Week Topic/Module Assignment




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

Read:  Chapters 1, 2, 4 in course textbook.

Discussion 1: Introductions including any particular area of current/future interest in the information professions and organizations.



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

Read: Chapters 5, 6, 7 in course textbook.

Discussion 2: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of a minimum of two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.



8. Community Anchors for Lifelong Learning: Public Libraries

9. Information Centers: Special Libraries

10. Digital Resources: Digital Libraries

Read: Chapters 8, 9, 10 in course textbook.

Discussion 3: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of a minimum of two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.



11. Expanding the Horizon of the MLIS

12. Information Needs: Understanding and Responding to Today's Information User

Read: Chapters 11, 12 in course textbook.

Due: Interview with a Leader (upload to Canvas)


Post your paper on the Interview with a Leader assignment to the class discussion board. Respond to at least one classmate.



13. Finding Information: Information Intermediation and Reference Services

14. Organizing Information: Technical Services

Read Chapters 13, 14 in course textbook.

Discussion 4: Successful virtual teams (special supplementary reading list)

Instructions for Organizational Analysis assignment released on Canvas



15. Accessing Information Anywhere and Anytime: Access Services

16. Teaching Users: Information and Technology Literacy Instruction

17. User Experience

Read: Chapters 15, 16, 17 in course textbook.

Discussion 5: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of a minimum of two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.



18. Hyperlinked Libraries

20. Infinite Learning

21. Management Skills

Read: Chapters 18, 20, 21 in course textbook.

No discussion. Continue work on Part 1 of Group Project.



22. Managing Budgets

23. Managing Personnel

Read: Chapters 22, 23 in course textbook.

Discussion 6: Case Study: 20% Budget Cut. 

Career Development assignment instructions shared.



24. Managing Facilities

25. Managing Collections

Read: Chapters 24, 25 in course textbook.

Discussion 7: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of at least two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.

Due: Part 1 of Organizational Analysis



Reading Break  



26. Managing Technology

27. Managing Communications, Marketing, and Outreach

Read: Chapters 26, 27 in course textbook.

Discussion 8: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of at least two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.



28. Demonstrating Value: Assessment

29. Information Policy

Read Chapters 28, 29 in course textbook.

Discussion 9: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of at least two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.



31. Copyright and Creative Commons

32. Information Licensing

Read Chapters 31, 32 in course textbook.

Discussion 9: Respond to discussion prompts citing your reading of at least two supplementary articles. Respond to at least one classmate.

Due: Part 2 of Organizational Analysis

Instructions for Professional Synthesis assignment shared.



33. Open Access

34. Analog and Digital Curation and Preservation

Read: Chapters 33, 34 in course textbook

No discussion



35. Information Privacy and Cybersecurity

37. Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success

 Read: Chapters 35, 37 in course textbook.

Discussion 10: Cover Letter.

Due: Career Development assignment (resume submitted and two artifacts loaded to ePortfolio in Canvas)



 39. Leadership for Today and Tomorrow

Read: Chapter 39 in course textbook.

Due:  Professional Synthesis

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 prequisite 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. 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.) 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 or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — 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.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 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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