INFO 275-10
Library Services for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities
Spring 2018 Syllabus

Dr. Ziming Liu
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail or in person by appointment

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 24, 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

This course focuses on developing skills for planning, implementing and evaluating programs for addressing the information needs of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities. Reviews the major national, state and local studies.

Course Requirements

Assignments and Grading
The assignments for this course are:

Online Discussions 20% Supports CLO #1, CLO #2
Visit Reports 10% Supports CLO #3
Critical Notes 20% Supports CLO #4
Term Paper 50% Supports CLO #1, CLO #2, CLO #3


Outline & Readings

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

*Note: required readings

Part I. Background/Issues

*Caidi, N.; Allard, D. (2005). Social inclusion of newcomers to Canada: An information problem? Library and Information Science Research, 27(3), 302-324.

*Courtney, N. (2001). Barbarians at the gates; A half-century of unaffiliated users in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27(6): 473-480.

Cunningham, A. (2004). Global and local support dimensions for emerging community languages. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 17,113-124.

Freiband, S. J. (1992). Multicultural issues and concerns in library education. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 33(4): 287-294.

*Mestre, L. S. (2010). Librarians Working with Diverse Populations: What Impact Does Cultural Competency Training Have on Their Efforts? Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6), 479-488.

Neely, T. & Lee-Smeltzer, K. (2001). Diversity now: People, collections, and services in academic libraries. Haworth Press, Inc.

*Shen, L. (2002). The dilemma of urban library service for the homeless.
Current Studies in Librarianship, 26(1/2), 77-83.

*Stern, S. (1991). Ethnic libraries and librarianship in the United States: Models and prospects. Advances in Librarianship, 15, 77-102.

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Part II. Groups

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Part III: Services/Programs

(collection development; bibliographic instruction; reference; recruitment)

*Cichanowicz, E.; Chen, N. (2004). Planning for multilingual chat reference service in a suburban public library system. The Reference Librarian. 85, 115-126.

*Clay, E. S. (2006). They don't look like me: Library multicultural awareness and issues. Virginia Libraries, 52(4), 10 - 14.

*Collins, L.N., Howard, F, and Miraflor, A. (2009). Addressing the needs of the homeless: A San Jose Library partnership approach. The Reference Librarian, 50(1), 109-116.

*Friedman, A. (2006). Defining images: Redefining outreach to new Americans. Virginia Libraries, 52(2), 31-33.

*Gavier, M.J. & Scobey, S.E. (2001). Enhancing and promoting library services to attract diverse populations. Colorado Libraries, 27(4), 12-15.

*Gomez, M. (2000). Who Is Most Qualified to Serve Our Ethnic-Minority Communities? American Libraries, 31(11), 39-41.

Lloyd, A., Kennan, M., Thompson, K., & Qayyum, A. (2013). Connecting with new information landscapes: Information literacy practices of refugees. Journal of Documentation, 69(1), 121-144.

*Marquis, S. (2003). Collections and services for the Spanish-speaking: Issues and resources. Public Libraries, 42(2), 106-12.

Scarborough, K. (1991). Collections for emerging majority. Library Journal, 44-47 (6/15/91)

Shipman, J., Daly, D., Henry, J. (2004). Partnering with the community: A women’s health network for multicultural communities. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 8(4), 27-39.

Shirley, G. (2003). Correctional libraries, library standards, and diversity. Journal of Correctional Education, 54 (2), 70-74.

Tetteh, B. (2011). Serving African immigrants in Colorado public libraries. Colorado Public Libraries Journal. 35(4). Available at:


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Part IV: Impact of New IT

*Moe, T. (2004). Bridging the “digital divide” in the Colorado Libraries. Public Libraries, 43(4), 227-232.

*Weiss, R. J. (2012). Libraries and the digital divide. Journal of the Library Administration & Management Section, 8(2), 25-47.

Zickhur, K. & Smith, A. (2012). Digital differences. Available at:

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

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics, challenges, issues, needs, interests, and concerns associated with providing information services to diverse groups.
  2. Develop skills and methods for identifying appropriate resources and communication channels for service delivery to these patrons.
  3. Design, implement, and evaluate effective and responsive programs and services.
  4. Review readings and studies reflecting major national, regional, state, and local trends for providing culturally appropriate library services to racially and ethnically diverse groups.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 275 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity.
  2. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.


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 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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