INFO 204-15
INFO 204-16
Information Professions
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours by appointment.

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Getting Started

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

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.

Students will perform a series of activities relating to the information professions and their organizational analysis. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #3, #6)

Exploratory Essay
Using LIS databases and other relevant resources, students will read, analyze and respond to a recent scholarly article on transferable skills and competencies in the modern knowledge economy for library and information science (LIS) professionals. (Course Learning Outcomes: #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 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 culminating assignment. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #8)


Assignment Points Due Date
Discussion Forum 3 points each
(30 points total)
ongoing (due at the end of the week in which the discussion is assigned)
Exploratory Essay 15 points September 18
Organizational Analysis 30 points

October 30 (Part 1)

November 14 (Part 2)

Career Development 10 points December 2
Professional Synthesis 15 points December 10

Assignment Deadlines

All assignments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Pacific time on the due date. Grades will be reduced for any late work by 10% 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.


Week Topic/Module Assignment
1: August 21

Chapters 1, 3, 5

1. The Transformative Information Landscape:  What It Means to Be an  Information Professional Today

3. Librarianship: A Continuously Evolving Profession

5. Diversity, Equity of Access, and Social Justice

Discussion 1: Introductions including any particular area of current/future interest in the information professions and organizations. Due date: August 27
2: August 28

Chapters 6-8

6. Literacy and Media Centers: School Libraries

7. Learning and Research Institutions: Academic Libraries

8. Community Anchors for Lifelong Learning: Public Libraries


Additional readings on accountability, responsibility, and delegation:

Cawthorne, J. (2010). Leading from the middle of the organization: An examination of shared leadership in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(2), 151-157.

Cuddy, A.J.C., Kohut, M., & Neffinger, J. (2013 July-August). Connect, then lead. Harvard Business Review, 9(7), 54-61. <p >McNamara, C. (no date). How to delegate to employees. In Free Management Library. Retrieved from:

Matthews, S. (2012, September 11). Librarian leaders delegate! In 21st Century Library Blog. Retrieved from 

Discussion 2: Scholarly article summary and key takeaways on the topic of accountability, responsibility or delegation. Due date: September 4

3: September 5

Chapters 9-10

9. Working in Different Information Environments: Special Libraries and Information Centers

10. Digital Resources: Digital Libraries

Discussion 3: Online Career Resources and post current job description/opening to be used in Week 14's Career Development assignment. Due date: September 11

4: September 12

Chapters 11-13

11. Information Intermediation and Reference Services

12. Metadata, Cataloging, Linked Data, and the Evolving ILS

13. Analog and Digital Curation and Preservation 

Additional readings on Legal Issues and Library Management and Decision Making:

Mellers, B. A., Schwartz, A. A., & Cooke, A. J. (1998). Judgment and decision making. Annual Review Of Psychology, 49(1), 447-470.

*Please just scan the sites that are comprehensive toolkits

American Library Association. (2014). Privacy toolkit. Retrieved from

Cornell University Law School. (no date). Contracts. In Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from (no date). Contracts. In Learn Law. Retrieved from 

Ontario. Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. (2015). Information and communication about accessibility standards. Retrieved from

United States. Justice. (2001). Americans with Disabilities Act: Questions and answers. Retrieved from 

Due: Exploratory Essay September 18
5: September 19

Chapters 15-16

15. Accessing Information Anywhere and Anytime: Access Services

16. Teaching Users: Information and Technology Instruction

Videos and tips sheets on Building Teams:

Bernier, A. & Stenstrom, C. (2014). Small group strategies: A guide to working in teams. Unpublished paper. (will be distributed in class) 

Steiner, V. (2014). Online teams. In <em >SJSU's School of Information LIBR203: Teamwork Resources. Retrieved from

Optional viewing:

Haycock, K. (2007). Working in teams [Web]. Retrieved from 

Discussion 4: Successful virtual teams. Due date: September 25
6: September 26

Chapters 19-20

19. Strategic Planning 

20. Change Management

Additional readings on The Planning Process and Effective Leadership:

Goleman, D. (2004). What makes a leader? Harvard Business Review, 82(1), 82. 

Matthews, J.R. (2005). Chapter 1: What are strategies? In Strategic Planning and Management for Library Managers [electronic resource]. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Matthews, J.R. (2005). Chapter 7: Strategic planning process options. In Strategic Planning and Management for Library Managers [electronic resource]. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Queensland. Library. (2009). Strategic plan development guide. Retrieved from 

Sinek, S. (2009, September). How great leaders inspire action. In TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Retrieved from

WebJunction. (2012). Writing a mission statement. In Planning and Coordination. Retrieved from

Discussion 5: Leadership characteristics. Due date: October 2

Progress Report due for Organizational Analysis October 2

7: October 3

Chapters 17, 23

17. Hyperlinked Libraries

23. Innovative Library and Information Services: The Design Thinking Process


Additional readings on Communicating and Change Management:

Bateh, J., Castaneda, M., & Farah, J. (2013). Employee resistance to organizational change. International Journal of Management & Information Systems, 17(2), 113-116.

Germano, M. (2011). Library leadership that creates and sustains innovation. Library Leadership & Management (Online) 25(3), 1. 

Kieserman, R. (2013). Overcoming the them and us syndrome in libraries. Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 26(3), 103-106.

Rowley, J. (2011). Should your library have an innovation strategy?. Library Management, 32, 251.
No discussion; continue work on Part 1 of Group Project
8: October 10 Chapters 21-22
21. Managing Budgets
22. Managing Personnel
Discussion 6: 20% budget cut. Due date: October 16
9: October 17

Chapters 24-25
24. Managing Collections
25. Managing Technology

Discussion 7: Prepare for the worst: Sharing an emergency/disaster plan. Due date: October 23

10: October 24

Chapter 26
26. Managing Data and Data Analysis in Information Organizations

Additional reading:

Educause. (2018). NMC Horizon Report. Forthcoming. 

 Due: Part 1 of Organizational Analysis October 30

Discussion 8: Emerging Technology - The Horizon Report. Due date: October 30

11: October 31

Chapters 27-28

27. Communication, Marketing, and Outreach Strategies

28. Advocacy

Additional reading on Advocacy:

Stenstrom, C. & Haycock, K. (2015 July/August). Public library advocacy. Public Libraries, 54(4), 38-41. 
Discussion 9: Marketing and Advocacy for the contemporary LIS organization. Due date: November 6
12: November 7

Chapters 18, 29

18. Creation Culture and Makerspaces

29. Information Policy

No discussion; Due: Part 2 of Organizational Analysis November 14
13: November 15

Chapters 31-33

31. Copyright and Creative Commons

32. Information Licensing

33. Open Access

No discussion
14: November 26

Chapters 34, 36

34. Information Privacy and Cybersecurity

36. Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success

Discussion 10: Cover Letter and voting. Due date: December 2

Due: Career Development assignment (resume submitted and two artifacts loaded to ePortfolio in Canvas) December 2

15: December 3 Chapter 37
37. Leadership Skills for Today’s Global Information Landscape

Due: Professional Synthesis December 10

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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