INFO 204-12
INFO 204-13
Information Professions
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Robert Boyd
Home Phone:
(408) 554-5398
Office Hours:
by appointment

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Mission of the School
The School of Information 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
The iSchool utilizes a content management system called Canvas for class communications, submitting assignments, and grade records.

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21st, 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

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 Core Courses and Electives (

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.

More detail on each assignment will be provided in Canvas.

  • Discussion/Class Participation
    Students will perform a series of activities relating to the information professions and information organizations.   Discussion contributions are due on Fridays before midnight. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #3, #6)
  • Exploratory Essay
    Using LIS databases and other relevant resources, students will explore a field of interest in the information professions and provide a review of the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics of this possible career path for library and information science (LIS) professionals. (Course Learning Outcome: #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 the 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. (Course 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. (Course 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 final assignment. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #8)

All assignments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on the due date. Grades will be reduced for any late work by 20 percent for any portion of each 24-hour period past the 11:59 pm PT deadline. Please contact the instructor prior to a deadline in the case of illness or emergency. 

Writing Requirement
If an instructor finds that a student's writing ability 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 the student is attending sessions.

Course Calendar
The following dates are tentative and subject to change with fair notice.

  • Week 1  
    The Transformative Information Landscape (Ch. 1),  and Librarianship: A Continuously Evolving Profession (Ch. 3)
  • Week 2 
    Diversity, Equity of Access and Social Justice (Ch. 5), Literacy and Media Service Centers (Ch. 6) and Learning and Research Institutions: Academic Libraries (Ch. 7)
  • Week 3 
    Community Anchors for Lifelong Learning: Public Libraries (Ch. 8), Working in Different Information Environments: Special Libraries and Information Centers (Ch. 9) and Communications, Marketing and Outreach Strategies (Ch. 27)
  • Week 4 
    Digital Resources: Digital Libraries (Ch. 10) Information Intermediation and Reference Services (Ch. 11) and Metadata, Cataloging, Linked Data and the Evolving ILS (Ch. 12)
  • Week 5 
    Analog and Digital Curation and Preservation (Ch. 13), Strategic Planning (Ch. 19) and Change Management (Ch. 20)
  • Week 6 
    Accessing Information Anywhere and Anytime:  Access Services (Ch. 15) and Teaching Users: Information and Technology Literacy Instruction (Ch. 16)
  • Week 7 
    Hyperlinked Libraries (Ch. 17), Creation Culture and Makerspaces (Ch. 18) and Leadership Skills for Today's Global Information Landscape (Ch. 37)
  • Week 8 
    Managing Personnel (Ch. 22) and Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success (Ch. 36)
  • Week 9 
    Advocacy (Ch. 28)
  • Week 10 
    Managing Budgets (Ch. 21), Managing Collections (Ch. 24) and Information Licensing (Ch. 32)
  • Week 11 
    Managing Technology (Ch. 25) and Managing Data and Data Analysis in Information Organizations (Ch. 26)
  • Week 12 
    Innovative Library and Information Services: The Design Thinking Process (Ch. 23)
  • Week 13
    Information Policy (Ch. 29)
  • Week 14
    Copyright and Creative Commons (Ch. 31) and Open Access (Ch. 33) 
  • Week 15
    Information Privacy and Cybersecurity (Ch. 34)


Assignment Percentage Due Date
Discussion/Class participation 30% Ongoing
Exploratory Essay  15% September 14, 2018
Organizational Analysis, Part 1 15% October 19, 2018
Organizational Analysis, Part 2  15% November 16, 2018
Career Development 10% November 30, 2018
Professional Synthesis 15% December 7, 2018

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. (Ed.) (2018). Information services today: An introduction (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow 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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