INFO 267-10
Seminar in Services to Children and Young Adults
Spring 2018 Syllabus

Elizabeth (Beth) Wrenn-Estes, Instructor
Cellphone: 510-410-1959
Office location: Home
Office Hours: By Appointment

Syllabus Links

Weekly Outlines
Discussion Threads
Points Allocation Table
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 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 in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course will focus on intellectual freedom issues with youth, the value of youth literature to enhance individuals’ lives, the ethics of intellectual freedom, the psychology of censorship and how to combat it, and how to defend materials for youth.

Course Requirements


NOTE: The Instructor uses “I” or “me” throughout the document.

This course will open on CANVAS January 24, 2018

  • Students are responsible to review the Syllabus and the Canvas course site.
  • These two important information sources (Syllabus and Canvas Course site) work in tandem to give students directions, requirements, and information needed to be successful in understanding issues in intellectual freedom for youth. You need to understand both.
  • Questions should be posted to the instructor through the "Ask The Professor" discussion tread on the Canvas site.
  • Each student is expected to check the CANVAS site at least once per day for course updates, additional resources, announcements, and other new information that may be posted by the instructor.
  • The student should read the Syllabus carefully and then visit the website and read through everything that is there. Compile questions or clarifications that you need ask and post to Questions and Answers Discussion Thread.
  • The instructor makes every effort to proofread the information in both the syllabus and the Canvas course website. However, errors may occur.

Why Group Work? - Beth Wrenn-Estes
I am a believer in the value of working in groups in my classes. Every job in youth services will involve working with groups of people some of whom you will know well and others that you won’t know well at all.

How well you work in a group or a team is determined by your understanding of group dynamics compounded by the fact that you are working in a distance education program where staying connected to one another and to me as your instructor is critical to success.

Just as in life when you work in a group or "being on a team” you will have weak members of the group/team and you will have strong group members (leaders) of the group/team. I expect each group member work to their fullest capacity on all group assignments.

I expect that as librarians or “librarians to be” that you have high ethical standards and that you will participate fully in the group work process, including but not limited to, collaborating with your group mates, researching your given part of the assignment and completing evaluations when asked to.

Questions, Comments, Concerns- Discussion Thread
Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the discussion thread under Modules on the CANVAS class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature send directly to the instructor’s email address (

E-mail Subject Lines/Naming of Assignment Files – Mandatory

  • Format for subject line for all email correspondence
  • Format the file name for all assignments:

Official iSchool Email Policy:

  • Instructor will respond to student emails within 24-hours of receipt. The instructor will inform the class is a longer response time is needed (instructor out of town, illness, etc.).

  • Students are expected to promptly answer emails from the instructor and fellow students.

Crisis or Emergency:

  • Please CALL, TEXT or EMAIL the instructor (in advance if at all possible) if a situation will prevent you from completing assignments or another class activity.
  • You will receive a zero for any coursework missed unless you have received permission from the instructor for an extension.
  • Most extensions are granted for extenuating circumstances only and not for being overwhelmed at work (for example).
  • The instructor reserves the right to deduct points (the number of points is determined by the instructor) for any work not submitted on time or lack of participation in any class activities or assignment.

Course Calendar - Subject to change with fair notice.

Technology Requirements You will need a high-speed connection (DSL, cable, etc.) to successfully participate in this class. Please see the Technology Requirements and Instructions for Success handout.

Grading/Grading Rubric

  • The instructor uses the rubric inside the Canvas Speedgrader. The instructor grades assignments as quickly as possible but it may take up to three weeks to get an assignment completely graded and returned to the class if class size is large and the instructor has additional classes to teach during the semester.
  • The instructor will post grading updates on the announcements page to let students know where in the grading process of a certain assignment the instructor is.

Grading: – see scale below
No Rounding Up – The instructor doesn’t round points up to the next whole number. If you receive an 89.6 you will get the grade equivalent for those points.

Please read through the entire Canvas course site when it opens on January 24th

Weekly outlines (appear on Canvas Course Site) will have more descriptive content than indicated on the Syllabus including but not limited to links for discussion threads, articles to read, websites to read, URL to readings or links to PDF’s on the course site, detailed descriptions of assignments and lecture/overviews and videos to watch.

Instructor will post additional details for each assignment along with any resources that will aid you in successfully completing the assignment including examples (when possible) on January 24, 2018, when the Canvas course website opens.

Assignment Points Due Date
Discussion Threads 23 pts Weeks 1,3,6,7,9,12,16

Topics and pt. distribution will be announced when Canvas Site opens
Zoom Session
Discussion/Guest Speaker(s)
Speakers will be announced during

Reflection Paper on Session
10 pts Session

2 pts Reflection

February 22nd (Week 5)

February 24th

Selection Policy Paper 15 February 15th (Week 4)
Rationales Paper 8 March 15th (Week 8)
Zoom Session
Discussion/Guest Speaker(s)
Speakers will be announced during

Reflection Paper on Session
10 pts Session

2 pts Reflection
April 12th (Week 12)

April 14th
Controversial Authors/Rationales Blog 15 April 19th (Week 13)
Group Presentations (asynchronous recording) 15 May 10th (Week 16)


  • The instructor reserves the right to deduct points for any assignment not turned in on time.
  • ZOOM sessions are MANDATORY to attend. If you miss a ZOOM session you will lose all points for the session (but see extensions for extenuating circumstances above).
  • Groups – students will sign up for groups when the Canvas site opens.

CONTENT ACCESSIBILITY: All assignments, overviews, and lectures, will be provided in written form and in audio and video formats if at all possible.

DISCUSSION THREADS – Instructor’s Role

  • The instructor will act as a facilitator for the threads. Instructor may comment from time-to-time but the discussions are student driven.
  • The instructor will include questions or prompts with each book discussion thread to get the conversation going but students are charged with keeping the discussion going throughout the week.

Discussion Posts

  • Do not post before the opening date of the thread.
  • The discussion thread dates, topics and point values will be on the Canvas site when it opens.
  • Full points will be awarded to students who write in-depth insights and opinions about the weekly topic and meet the required number of posts each thread.
  • If students do not post the required number of posts or do not include the level of detail in the substantial posts points will be deducted.
  • Points for DT - Different Values - Always Check - For the introduction thread the substantial post is worth .75 and the response to classmate .25. Reflection DT SUBSTANTIAL thread post is worth 2.50 and each of the responses .25. The 3 points discussion thread - Substantial posts are 1.25 each and responses are .25. The 4 point discussion threads - Substantial posts are 1.75 pts each and the responses .25 each. The 5 pt DT post = Substantial posts are worth 2.25 points each and the responses to classmates are worth .25 each.

Doing more than the minimum number of posts is greatly encouraged by the instructor – shows initiative and interest in the topics being discussed on a higher level. No points are lost for not posting more than the minimum.

Week 1 - Discussion 1 - (1 pt.) January 24 to January 28

Introduce yourself to the class. This is your opportunity to tell us a few things about you. One of the things I’d like to know if where each of you is in the iSchool program and what are you doing in your professional life right now. Feel free to tell us other things about you but only if you are comfortable doing so - post pictures (we love to see and hear about dogs, cats, children, hobbies). IF you are truly brave you can record an introduction for us and post to the thread. (1 point/1 post)

1 post per student/due on Sunday, January 28th.

Week 3 - Discussion 2 – (4 pts) February 5 to February 11

Time for self-reflection – self-censorship happens even in our profession since each of us has topics, issues, situations that we are afraid of or find offense in. However, as a librarian, we are charged with keeping our personal issues out of our professional life. Read through the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read principles and discuss your commitment to the ideas and principles described in both. What self-censorship issues do you think you personally need to address. Are you willing to share one with the group? This discussion thread and the answers you give here will help you see how different you may be thinking by the time you get to discussion thread #7 at semester’s end where you describe your reflections on the semester and what you have learned.

Here are a couple of things I want you to read to help you with the discussion:
Chapter 11 of Intellectual Freedom and Youth – PDF Module Week 2

A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship by Debra Whelan from School Library Journal, 2009. URL is:

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, February 6th and Thursday, February 8th
2 responses to classmates’ posts by Sunday, February 11th 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 4

Week 6 - Discussion 3 - (3 pts) February 26th to March 4th

Speaking from the research done for the selection policy assignment what insights do you have surrounding the purpose(s) of selection policies and written procedures focused on getting material reconsidered?

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, February 27th and Thursday, March 1st
1 Response to classmates’ post due by Sunday, March 4th 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 3

Week 7 - Discussion 4 - (3 pts) March 5th to March 11th

Review the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Sund vs.The City of Wichita (or any other cases you can find) Discuss the significance of each of these as it pertains to our course of study. Draw your own insights into the discussion and using both references from your reading and your own opinion look at each as they impact Intellectual Freedom for Youth.

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, March 6th and Thursday, March 8th
1 response to classmates’ post due by Sunday, March 11th
Total posts = 3

Week 9 - Discussion 5 - (5 pts) March 19th to March 25th

Controversial Young Adult Fiction and Intellectual Freedom. Do a bit of research into what books are being banned or challenged in the genre of realistic fiction. Visit some of the more outspoken young adult authors websites and see what they are saying about censorship and YA (Crutcher, Blume, Hopkins, Halse Anderson, Brewer, Alexi, and more). Approach the discussion with a youth services librarian and describe what the major issues are but make it more personal taking it down to what the authors themselves are saying about censorship and their viewpoints of it.

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, March 20th and Thursday, March 22nd
3 responses to classmates’ posts by Sunday, March 25th 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 5

Week 12 - Discussion 6 - (4 pts) April 9th to April 15th

How young people behave in libraries is a major discussion topic across the country. What issues are out there for librarians to deal with in respect to what rights do young people have when visiting the library focusing on the following: freedom of expression, freedom of access and the right to read, etc. and what policies should libraries develop to address these? What examples can you find from your readings?

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, April 10th and Thursday, April 12th
2 responses to classmates’ posts by Sunday, April 15th 5:00 p.m. PST
Total posts = 4

Week 16 - Discussion 7 – (3 pts) May 7th to May 13th

Reflection – look back at the semester and tell major insights, changes in attitude, best practices for dealing with YA and Youth in either school or public library setting and anything else you’d like to add about your experience this semester.

Substantial Post Due on Tuesday, May 8th and Thursday, May 10th
2 responses to classmates’ post due by Sunday, May 13th
Total posts = 3

General Writing Standards- ALL ASSIGNMENTS

  • Students must produce assignments that meet writing and research standards appropriate for students in a Master’s program of study. Write clearly!
  • It is critical to proofread your work and then proofread again before turning it in.
  • Graduate level writing standards do not tolerate grammatical errors of any kind.
  • You will lose points so please make sure you pay attention to sentence construction and other grammar.
  • Students are encouraged to refer to a style writing handbook of their choice- suggestions are Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. APA is mandated for citations included within the text of the paper and reference/bib page(s) BUT no other parts of the assignments

Spelling and Grammar Guidelines
Instructor may not read your entire assignment for spelling and grammar mistakes; if, in the instructor’s opinion, your assignment contains too many errors the instructor will reduce your points and stop grading the assignment for grammar and spelling and will go on to content and research, etc.

Blogs must have a banner on the homepage.

The following information must appear on the homepage of the blog:

    • Name of Student
    • Title of assignment
    • Class number and title
    • Name of Instructor
    • University Name
    • Date of Assignment
  • If you want to make up a name for your Blog you can do so but the Assignment Name instructor has given must appear first and then your title next.
  • You may use an existing blog that you have for assignments from other classes but instructor must have a clear path to the blog for this class and not have to do any un-necessary searching.
  • Blogs must look professional and have color themes, font choice, and navigation (live links to all sections of blog for instance from the homepage) picked to enhance the assignment.
  • Use the many features that the blog has and thoroughly review the blog you have chosen so that you know it will accommodate the requirements of the assignment.
  • Remember pictures create visual breaks for the reader and helps clarify points.
  • Books covers are especially important to include when appropriate. Use of illustrations, pictures or embedded video is encouraged.
  • Pictures should enhance text/narrative but images do not replace written content narratives.
  • Blogs do not have a specific page length but must be of sufficient length to adequately cover the assignment.
  • Blogs are written in formal style unless otherwise noted on the assignment description. Remember this isn’t a blog you are keeping for day-to-day personal reflection but an academic assignment. Think moderate but friendly academic level writing and focus on creating a blog that peers, colleagues, children and their parents would find useful. The blog is still a creative way to present the assignment content instead of creating an electronic document.
  • References and citations within narratives must be in APA format. References can be done as one blog posting at the end of the blog or you can put the references at the bottom of each section of your blog.
  • All images must have a credit for where you obtained it and that credit can be located under the specific image or at the end of the blog section.
  • Any other questions not answered in the points above contact the instructor through the discussion thread Questions and Concerns. Any other questions not answered in the points above please contact the instructor for further information or clarification.


  • Prepare all assignments in MS Word.
  • Do not exceed the number of pages specified by the instructor.
  • Title Page MUST have the following included on it:
    • Title of Assignment
    • Class number and title
    • Name of Instructor
    • Name of University
    • Date of Assignment
  • Papers must be doubled spaced and the font to use is 12 point Arial or Cambria
  • Page numbers and the name of the assignment must appear on all pages except the title page
  • Reference page(s) must be included and meet APA guidelines
  • Citations within the text must be in accordance with APA guidelines
  • All papers are to be written in moderately formal but friendly style unless otherwise noted on the assignment description.
  • Remember pictures within the document adds visual breaks for the reader and helps clarify points that you are making. Books covers are especially important to include when appropriate. Cite all sources that you take images from.

Any other questions not answered in the points above contact the instructor through the discussion thread "Ask The Professor."


Selection Policy Analysis (Paper)
DUE February 15th (Week 4) – 15 Points

Select a public or school library materials selection policy. It must be a real selection policy, not one that you “make up” for the assignment. You need to read through several before choosing the one you want to use for the analysis.

Analyze the selection policy for sections that are directly or indirectly applicable to “youth” (including selection philosophy, selection criteria, reconsideration policy and procedures, intellectual freedom and access to information and statement of privacy and confidentiality).

It may be necessary to call someone within the library district and explain your assignment and see if they can give you any insights on the development of their selection policies (children, youth librarians and potentially the library director.)

Compare and contrast your own thoughts regarding what you see in the selection policy you have selected with what ALA recommends to include in a selection policy. ALA is focused on school libraries in their documents but you can glean a lot from the recommendations with what you should include in a public library policy.

This paper is worth 20% of your grade so make sure that you are creating an in-depth look/analysis of the selection policy you choose as well as the look into what is to be included in a selection policy (theory and practice).

Paper should include the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • How do the policies different?
  • How are the policies similar?
  • Pay particular attention and include Internet, Special Collections, and Social Media policies. You may find during your research other specific policies to include.
  • Please provide any insights or comments about the value and necessity of having selection policy especially the collections focused on youth.
  • Conclusion
  • Papers should be approximately 15 pages in length (excluding title page and reference page(s).


An excellent resource for this assignment is Ensuring Intellectual Freedom and Access to Information in the School Library Media Program, Helen R. Adams, 2008

ALA Guidelines

CLO’s 1,2,3 – Competencies I, M, N


Written Rationales
Due March 15th - 8 points 

E-How: How to write a rationale

Writing a Rationale for a Controversial Common Reading Book

Other links will be provided when the Canvas site opens on January 24, 2018.

Example of assignment from previous semesters will be provided. 

Make sure you have a title page and any references are on a separate reference page(s)

Write two detailed rationales on two controversial children, tween or teen titles.

Students will adopt rationales for public libraries and of course school library environments.

Explain their value and usefulness, and why they should be included in a public/school library collection. Remember we are focusing on children, tweens, and teens not adult titles.

Papers are to be no more than 6-8 pages in length excluding title page and references.

CLO's 3,4,6 – Competencies I, M 


Controversial Author Blog
Due April 19th - 15 points

Choose a controversial (banned or challenged) children’s, tween’s or teen’s author and do an in-depth look at their life and works. The author must write for children’s, tween’s or teen’s. Adult authors can be chosen but they also must write for one of the groups we are focusing on in this assignment and it is better if they have multiple work in children's, tween, teen fiction or non-fiction. The author must have written enough children or young adult titles to sufficiently cover the paper’s focus.

The format for the assignment will be in the form of a blog.

Contents must include: 

  • Introduction
  • Author biographical information – you may be able to contact them and see if they would speak with you about censorship.
  • Major works should be or have been challenged or banned - you can include other titles by the author but the focus must be on the titles that define the author as a writer of controversial children's, tweens or teens fiction or non-fiction. This section should give the reader an idea of the major work plots and a critical evaluation or two of each of the titles. Be sure and check at least two reliable sources and make sure you cite the sources. You are encouraged to write your own critical evaluations of the author you chose since you may have read several of the major works they have written.
  • Author's opinions on censorship
  • Student's reason for choosing author
  • Conclusion that brings all the major points in the paper together

Controversial Authors

You can choose an American or an international writer.

Blog length should be the same as a written paper between 6 to 10 pages including title page and reference page(s).

CLO’s 1, 6, 8 – Competencies M


Group Presentations
Video Presentation – Record using ZOOM
URL DUE – May 10th (Week 14)- 15 points

The number of Groups and number of students in each group will be determined by final enrollment in the class. Students will be able to pick their group topics from the ones provided by the Instructor. Instructor will create a Google Doc on which to sign up. Deadline to sign up for a group is Thursday, February 1st (Week 2) 11:59 p.m.

Each group will research the topic and then groups will create a presentation using tools that are compatible with ZOOM. The URL (link) to the recording will be posted to a discussion thread provided by the instructor on Thursday, May 10th by 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

The length of the presentation video is no more than 20 minutes. You will need to be selective about content.

Each group selects one person who will communicate with the instructor and the group facilitator. This person is not charged with making group work happen, writing outlines, etc. The facilitator is the communicator for the group to the instructor. All work within the group is “group” generated. You all need to research, create slides and present.

Group Facilitator name to Instructor ( by Tuesday, February 6th.

Outline: Groups must turn in a skeletal outline of their presentation topics with who in the group will research what and what each will present topic wise during the presentation. Due on Monday, April 16th 11:59 p.m. PST

CLO’s: 1,5,6,7,8 - Competencies: D, M, N

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 200, INFO 204, INFO 260A, or INFO 261A

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify characteristics and topics that are frequently associated with challenged materials for children and young adults.
  2. Identify the elements needed to write a reconsideration policy for a school or public library.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with how to train library staff in reconsideration procedures and handling angry customers
  4. Write a rationale for a challenged book.
  5. State a personal philosophy of intellectual freedom.
  6. Discuss the value of books that present graphic material or controversial subjects.
  7. Describe the psychology of the censor, including emotions and motivations.
  8. Discuss the motivations of authors who write material that might be challenged, and why they are willing to risk censorship.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 267 supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  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:

  • Auguste, M. (2013). Voya's guide to intellectual freedom for teens. Voya Press. Available through Amazon: 1617510076arrow 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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