MARA 211-10
Records Access, Storage, and Retrieval
Fall 2018 Syllabus

Lisa Daulby PhD., CRM, IGP
Office Hours: by appointment; e-mail; call.

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21st at 6 am PDT 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

Examination of records systems, storage, retrieval; filing systems; fundamentals of information retrieval; active file systems and operation; records center operations; special storage; archival reference and access concepts; legal and ethical considerations; privacy and copyright; user communities; Not repeatable.

Course Requirements

Course Calendar



Unit Topic


August 21 - September 2

Introductions; Course Overview; Course Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Overview of Archival and Records Management Access, Storage and Retrieval Fundamentals, Terms, Definitions, and Concepts


September 3 - 9

Access Legal Considerations; Confidentiality and Rights of Access; Freedom of Information, Open Record, Intellectual Property; Privacy and Copyright; the Legal Requirements Involved in Record Access Management for Information Management Professionals


September 10 - 16

The Ethics of Access; Approaches to Access; Access Ethics; Barriers to Access; Access Restrictions; Ownership of Records; Information Security/Privacy and Access; Access Policies; Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Access.

Assignment #1 Records /Archival Management and Federal, State, and City access, privacy, copyright, and open records legislation review assignment

Due: Sept 16


September 17 - 23

Access, Storage, and Retrieval of Contemporary Records

Active/Inactive Record Storage; Filing Methodologies; Taxonomies Classification; Conducting Business and Functional Analysis; Uniform File Classification Systems; Industry Standards and Best Practices, File System Management and Maintenance


September 24 - September 30

Physical Storage -Records Center Facilities and Operations; Commercial Records Centers, Outsourcing Record Operations, Transferring and Retrieving Records; and Vendor Management


October 1 - 7

Electronic Storage - Information Capture and Storage Technologies, Cloud Storage


October 8 - 14

Access, Storage, and Retrieval of Archival Record

Archival Storage and Protection Fundamentals

Course Review/ Reflections


October 15 - 21

Archival Record Retrieval; Archival Description; Descriptive Standards and Tools; Finding Aids; Bibliographic Records, Encoded Archival Description (EAD)

Assignment #2 Record Storage Case Study

Due: Oct 21


October 22- 28

Archival Access; Archival Reference Services; Mediation


October 29 - November 4

Archival Access and Contemporary Digital Media; Creative Engagement with Digital Technologies

Final Assignment Topic Approval

Due: Nov 4


November 5 - 11

Understanding Information Users; User Information Seeking Behaviour; Evaluation of Services; User Studies; User Education; Public Perceptions


November 12 - 18

Accessibility and Access; Serving Underrepresented Populations; Community Archives

Final Topic – Preliminary Reference List

Due: Nov 18


November 20 - 26

NO Class Thanksgiving


November 26 - December 2

Archival Outreach: Public Programming; Advocacy; Community Engagement


December 3 - 10

Course Review/Reflections/Conclusions

Final Assignment

Due: Dec 9

Dates and assignments are subject to change with notice

Grading will be based on a total accumulation of possible 100 points, distributed as follows:

  • Class Participation and Discussion - 30 points (30% of final grade)
    Participation in weekly discussion boards
    Due: Weekly
    (Supports CLOs #1-7 and Core Competencies C H E G H)

  • Records in the News/Media - 10 points (10% of final grade)
    Lead a records in the news discussion
    Due: Date will be assigned by instructor
    (Supports CLOs #1-7 and Core Competencies C H E G H)

  • Assignment #1 – 15 points (15% of final grade)
    Records /Archival Management and Federal, State, and City access, privacy, copyright, and open records legislation review assignment
    Due: Sept 16 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    (Supports CLOs #1, 5 and 7 and Core Competencies C D G)

  • Assignment #2 – 15 points (15% of final grade)
    Record / Archival Plan and Case Study
    Due: Oct 21 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    (Supports CLOs #2, 3 and 4 and Core Competencies D E G H)

  • Final Course Assignment - Research Paper OR Project – 30 points (30 % of final grade)
    A critical extended essay OR project of 15-20 pages on a topic relevant to the course proposed by the student and accepted by the instructor.
    • Due: Topic/Project Instructor Approval Nov 4 (11:59 pm Pacific Time)
    • Due: Preliminary Citations Nov 18 (11:59pm Pacific Time) 5pt
    • Due: Final Paper Dec 9 (11:59pm Pacific Time) 25pts
    (Supports CLOs #1-7 and Core Competencies C H E G H)

  • Mid-Course Review and Reflections (Optional)
    Due: Week 7


Late assignments will not be accepted. In extreme circumstances, and in consultation with the course instructor, late assignments may be accepted, however, late assignments submitted after the assignment deadline will receive a 10%-point reduction for each day up to 5 days based on the total point value of the assignment. No points will be awarded after 5 days late.

Discussion board postings will not be accepted for credit after the module's discussion has ended.

All course materials must be completed by the last day of the class.

NOTE: Students should provide their initial discussion board posts by the first Thursday of each module by 11:59 PM (Pacific Time), to leave ample time for follow-up discussion. Please participate early and actively in the required discussions.

Details for all of the discussions and assignments will be provided in Canvas.

Assignments Due
Unless otherwise noted, each module begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. Assignments will be due by 11:59 PM (Pacific Time) on the due date.

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

MARA 200MARA 204

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Devise and apply basic filing systems for records.
  2. Apply the fundamentals of information retrieval concepts to archives and record repositories.
  3. Articulate the need for effective active file management, and demonstrate fundamental knowledge and application of active file systems, facilities and operations considerations.
  4. Analyze and conduct a records storage assessment.
  5. Compare, contrast and apply different methods of evaluating use and users of records and the varying factors that contribute to open or restricted access and retrieval of records by users.
  6. Understand how archival description, finding aids, EAD, description standards, controlled vocabulary, taxonomies assist in archival retrieval.
  7. Demonstrate fundamental understanding of the importance of legal compliance and ethical considerations as they apply to the use of records and their applicability to and impact on various user communities.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

MARA 211 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Describe the evolution of systems that manage data, information, communication, and records in response to technological change.
  2. D Apply basic concepts and principles to identify, evaluate, select, organize, maintain, and provide access to physical and digital information assets.
  3. E Identify the standards and principles endorsed and utilized by data, archives, records, and information professionals.
  4. G Describe the legal requirements and ethical principles involved in managing physical and digital information assets and the information professional#s role in institutional compliance and risk management.
  5. H Describe current information technologies and best practices relating to the preservation, integrity, and security of data, records, and 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;
    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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