INFO 220-12
Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Topic: Consumer Health Librarianship
Summer 2018 Syllabus

Charles Greenberg, MLS MEd AHIP
Phone (work): +86-57755870651
Phone (cell):   +86 18267770875 (cell, wechat)
Office Location: Skype or SJSU ZOOM (available to enrolled students)

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 4th, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. INFO220-12 Consumer Health Information is an intensive one-unit course that begins on  June 4th and ends on July 2nd.  The CANVAS course site will open at 6 am PT on the first day of class, June 4th.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Optional Class Topic Discussion hours (June 4th to July 2nd), with SJSU ZOOM: One optional-attendance and recorded SJSU Zoom Discussion per topic, based on a schedule to be posted.

NOTE: Attendance at the scheduled SJSU Zoom discussions is OPTIONAL but encouraged.   Unpredicted class cancellations will be posted in Canvas Course announcements and announced via CANVAS email; when I am traveling for work-related reasons, some discussions sessions may be prerecorded or precepted by a guest speaker and/or SJSU Zoom teaching assistant. Use of free Jing desktop recording software (or any desktop/audio recording utility)is required for submitting a self-introduction with a URL for other students during the first week of class.

Assignment due dates subject to change with fair notice.

Students are required to use and access the SJSU email account (which may be set to forward to a personal email account) on a daily basis during the course, as well as Mr. Greenberg’s Skype account or cell phone at any time to seek clarification of calendar dates and assignments.  The instructor's work email ( or may occasionally be blocked by Hotmail and AOL services as a spoofed spam originator, which is why he will normally send class communications through SJSU email, accessible in the CANVAS course system.

Course Description

Information professionals can provide health information to consumers of all ages who are increasingly concerned with managing their own wellness or improving communication with their health providers. Consumer health librarianship is practiced in academic, public, school, community, and hospital settings.  220-12 Consumer Health Librarianship focuses on the librarian-patient/caregiver interaction and the provision of resources and services for patients/caregivers in academic, public, school, community, and patient advisory hospital settings.

Course Requirements


Evaluation of Student Performance: Criteria 

Grading: This is a 1 credit course. There are a possible 100 points, using the standard SJSU SLIS Grading Scale.

A semester project must be completed within the 4 and a half week semester. There will be two format choices for the individual assignment that accounts for 40 points of the semester grade.

  1. Create an original thematic article on an issue, trend, or aspect of consumer health libraries and/or librarianship. You must state the target publication for this article manuscript in a footnote on the cover sheet. No less than 1000 and no more than 1500 words, including bibliography and cover sheet, using the Vancouver style for citing your sources ( RefWorks or Zotero 5.0 is able to format a paper in this Vancouver style.  The King Library supports RefWorks. Zotero has tutorials here:  (Note:  Any violation of the academic integrity policy (e.g. plagiarism) in LIBR 220-xx will result in a “0” for the assignment containing the violation, in addition to any other sanctions applied by the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development.)
  2. Start a thematic blog on a topic of high relevance to consumer health librarianship at Wordpress ( or Blogger ( with at least 10 entries.  An entry should not be shorter than 150 or longer than 200 words. There should be considerable use of links, images, or other media which take the topic and blog entries beyond text, without being gratuitous. Example of a Consumer Health Librarianship blog submitted as a semester assignment:

Additional Individual Assignments:

  • 20 pts- Reference interview and essay about experience
  • 10 pts- Household Product Lookup and essay
  • 10  pts- Pubmed Search and myNCBI collection
  • 10 pts- Evaluate two consumer health websites
  • 10 pts- Canvas discussion class participation grade

Written project requirements:

    1. Evaluation criteria for written paper or blog include:
      • Theme, Hypothesis, or Topic statement
      • Evidence of wide variety of sources related to Consumer Health and Librarianship
      • Technical accuracy of Research Material
      • Appearance
      • Spelling
      • Grammar
      • Punctuation
      • Overall neatness
      • Citation Format:  International Biomedical Style (Vancouver Style), available with King Library subscription to RefWorks.
    2. The evaluation of the reference interview and essay will be based on the criteria of organization, effective interview questions, 400 words.
    3. The evaluation of the Consumer Health website evaluations will be based on justification for rating and evidence presented according to the instructor-provided rubric. Your assignment will be posted in CANVAS for comments by your classmates.
    4. The evaluation of the Household Product review will be based on justification for rating and evidence presented according to the instructor-provided form.  Your assignment will be posted in CANVAS for comments by your classmates.
    5. The evaluation of the PubMed search and myNCBI Collection will be based on demonstration of an advance searching combination and the assignment of relevant citations to the Collection, which should be available and shared with a publicly shared URL for your classmates.

Incompletes will be granted only in rare and extreme emergency situations. Students who cannot fulfill all the work for a course due to a medical or family emergency may be assigned an Incomplete only if arrangements are made with the instructor. Please see the iSchool policy on incompletes.

Recommended Readings:

Additional suggested readings will be posted in Canvas.

Course Calendar


June 4th

First Day of Summer Intensive 220-12 Instruction; Receive access to CANVAS for course. Submit personal introduction created with Jing on Canvas site by June 7th, 11:59 pm PST


June 9th

First OPTIONAL SJSU ZOOM Topic Presentation Time to be announced on June 4th.  Recording will be immediately posted. 


June 12th

First SJSU ZOOM Office Hour. Time to be announced on June 4th.  Recording will be immediately posted. [no posted recordings if no students attend office hour]
Saturday, June 16th
Deadline to declare paper/blog topic in Canvas forum. After approval from instructor, topic must be posted to discussion group so other students know that topic is taken.


July 2nd

Last Day of Summer 1-credit semester. Final Paper or Blog address submitted, 11:59 pm PST, submitted as a CANVAS assignment. 

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 220 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, organize, and evaluate appropriate health information resources and services for consumers and care givers in particular contexts.
  2. Understand the ethical concerns of providing health information without health training.
  3. Conduct a consumer health reference interview.
  4. Explain the history, current roles, and opportunities for providing accurate and useful health information to consumers.
  5. Promote and market electronic resources to constituent communities.
  6. Conduct health information outreach and education in presentation contexts, individually and collaboratively.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.
  2. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional work including collaboration and presentations.


Required Textbooks:

  • Spatz, M., & Medical Library Association (2014). The Medical Library Association guide to providing consumer and patient health information. Rowman & Littlefield. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow 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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