INFO 230-01
Issues in Academic Libraries
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Todd Gilman, PhD
Office Location: Virtual
Phone: (203) 432-1761
Office Hours: M-F 9-5 EST

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available starting August 21st at approximately 6:00 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

Investigation of current issues impacting the functioning of the academic library. Topics covered include issues related to social and political environments, clientele, services, collections, physical settings, financing and staffing, and future trends in the academic library sector. The course runs from Tues. Aug 21 to Mon. Dec 10, 2018. 

Course Requirements

Contacting the Instructor
I shall have no specific online office hours, but shall be available to answer questions submitted either through our Canvas course site or directly to me via e-mail. Please note that I live in Connecticut and am on Eastern Standard Time, so you should expect to receive a reply to any questions within 48 hours of receipt, and not when Californians may ordinarily be awake but I may ordinarily be asleep. If you do not receive a reply to an email question you have sent me within 48 hours, please phone me at (203) 432-1761. While I rarely fail to reply to a student's email question, it's possible your question got trapped in my spam filter and deleted. Any extended absences on my end that might affect response time will be announced through the Canvas course site.

Primary Requirements
Primary requirements consist of:

  • Successfully completing assignments related to the objectives listed above.
  • Reading assignments must be completed each week. Readings not in the course books will be provided through Canvas, King Library, or via the open Web.

Evaluation Criteria
In addition to the specific requirements for each assignment, I shall evaluate ALL written work according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of the presentation--neat and error-free
  • Quality of the writing--clear, direct, and correct
  • Quality of the organization--smooth, logical flow, and content
  • Quality and amount of reflection, analysis, and evaluation

Assignment Submissions
All papers must be typed, double-spaced, with a font size of at least 12 points. They must also conform to APA style. You should own a copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition (2009), available via the iSchool e-Bookstore. For further information, see the iSchool APA Style Resources page. 

Late Assignments
Let the instructor know in advance if you will be unable to participate during a given week. Late assignments will be accepted up to five days past the deadline, with a penalty of 1 point (1% of course grade) per day. With an appropriate reason stated BEFORE the due date, students may be allowed additional time FOR UP TO THREE ASSIGNMENTS without penalty. I shall not accept any paper that is more than five days late.

Technical Requirements
You must have access to the following: Internet/World Wide Web, Java-enabled Web browser, Microsoft Office (particularly Word), and Adobe Acrobat Reader (current version).

You must be able to send and receive e-mail, including attachments. You should plan to check your e-mail and the Canvas course site regularly for announcements.
For more detailed information, consult the iSchool's home computing environment page.

This course is run via Canvas. Please go to Canvas

There are 100 possible points for this course, divided as follows:

Assignments Total Point Value
4 Article Reviews=5 points each x 4 [supports CLO#1 and CLO#3] 20 points
2 Investigations [i.e., in-depth explorations of specific features of academic libraries]=10 points each x 2 [supports CLO#1 and CLO#3] 20 points
ONTIME PARTICIPATION in 15 Discussion Forums (there will be 1 or 2 Threaded Discussion contributions due for each Unit, based on that Unit's topic; in Units where you see 2 Discussion Threads, you must contribute to BOTH Threads to earn full credit)=1 point each Unit x 15  (ONTIME=You must participate by midnight of the day before the next Unit begins) [supports CLO#1 and CLO#3] 15 points
2 Papers (the first is 1500 words; the second, 3000 words)=15 points and 30 points [supports CLO#1, CLO#2, and CLO#3] 45 points

Specific requirements for each assignment, including due dates, will be posted in the course site via Canvas.


EXTRA SPECIAL NOTE: Every semester students lose points by neglecting to double-check that their work has been submitted properly. DON'T LET THIS BE YOU!! To avoid disappointment, after you submit any work via Canvas, make sure you look at it once more from within the course site in Canvas, noting (1) that the file is visible; (2) that it opens correctly (no error messages); and (3) that it is the file you meant to upload. Do not rely on your instructor to catch these errors. This is YOUR responsibility.

Additional Information
Each student will:  

  • assume responsibility for his/her learning
  • use the provided learning guides and resources; conduct searches for information when necessary
  • manage his/her time (maintain a calendar, plan a schedule, and practice effective time management)
  • ask for assistance when needed; avoid unnecessary frustration and confusion
  • remain active in Discussions and email
  • prepare all work at graduate performance levels
  • enter each Unit beginning the date that Unit starts. He/she is then free to access that Unit as many times as he/she likes through the end of the course
  • follow good online etiquette ("netiquette")

Please note:

  • You must have access to a “bricks and mortar” (i.e., physical, not just virtual) library that houses a standard academic library collection—ideally an ARL (Association of Research Libraries) member library.
  • I prefer not to use the Chat function for this course, though you are welcome to; formal interaction of the class as a whole will take place via the Discussion Board.
  • So that I am not inundated with email, please limit the number of emails you send me to two per week if possible. That means saving up questions, perhaps, for several days.
  • Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the assignment in question (see more on plagiarism below). 

The instructor will:

  • welcome the class to each Unit on the day it opens and include updates and other announcements
  • provide assistance/knowledge in facilitating understanding of the course content
  • guide students through the course
  • provide feedback
  • maintain records
  • respond to messages on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Supplementary Readings
Supplementary readings, available through the Canvas course site, King Library, or free on the Web, will be identified for each Unit where applicable.

Ordering Textbooks
Please note that for your convenience and cost savings, the iSchool, King Library, and your instructor have collaborated to make both of the Required Texts freely available to SJSU students in electronic format. Just click on the hyperlinks below and enter your SJSU student login id and password.

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 200INFO 202INFO 204

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify strategic issues, trends, challenges, and opportunities that are specific to today's academic library, and explain how these issues will impact the future of libraries in postsecondary institutions.
  2. Analyze and evaluate the information needs of various user populations within the academic community.
  3. Apply critical thinking and analytical methods to the solution of problems related to academic libraries.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 230 supports the following core competencies:

  1. B Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.
  2. 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.
  3. I Use service concepts, principles, and techniques to connect individuals or groups with accurate, relevant, and appropriate information.


Required Textbooks:

  • Gilman, T. (Ed.). (2017). Academic librarianship today. Rowman & Littlefield. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Hurlbert, J. M. (2008). Defining relevancy: Managing the new academic library (1st ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591584191. 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;
    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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