INFO 204-04
INFO 204-13
Information Professions
Spring 2019 Syllabus

Dr. Deborah Hicks
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 pm Pacific time and by appointment 

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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.

Discussions and Activities
Students will perform a series of discussions and activities relating to course topics. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1, #2#3, #4#6)

LibSquare Essay
Using an arts-informed draw-and-write technique, students will engage with their own, their classmates’, and society's conceptualizations of the information professions. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1)

Organizational Analysis
Working together in small groups, students will create an organizational analysis for an information organization. The assignment consists of five parts. First, each team will create Group Ground Rules for working together. Second, each team will conduct an environmental scan and SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of their chosen information organization. Teams will then use this information to draft vision, mission and value statements for the organization. Third, based on the second part of the project, the group will articulate strategic directions for the information organization. Fourth, the team will present their strategic plan and associated planning documents to their classmates. Fifth, students peer review team member's individual contributions and performance. (Course Learning Outcomes: #2, #4#5, #6#7)

Leadership Philosophy
Using LIS databases, other relevant resources, as well as personal reflection, students will develop and articulate their personal leadership philosophy. (Course Learning Outcomes: #2, #4, #8)

Professional Synthesis
In a culminating synthesis, students will reflect and respond to the major themes of INFO 204. 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 2 points each
(30 points total)
Throughout the term
LibSquare Essay 10 points February 19
Organizational Analysis

1. Group Ground Rules - 5 points

2. Environmental Scan - 10 points

3. Strategic Plan - 10 points

4. Presentation - 10 points

5. Peer Review - 5 points

Part 1: March 5

Part 2: March 31

Part 3: April 23

Part 4: May 7

Part 5: May 13 

Leadership Philosophy 10 points March 19
Professional Synthesis 10 points May 13

Assignment Deadlines
All assignments must be submitted before 11:59 pm Pacific time on the due date.  Grades will be reduced for any late work, each day late, by ten percent. Please contact the instructor prior to a deadline in the case of illness or emergency. Additional late policy details available in Canvas. 


Module and Date

Topics Required Readings Activities and Assignments


January 24-29

Course Introduction

History of the Profession

Introduction to Organizations 


Chapter 1: The Transformative Information Landscape: What It means to be an Information Professional Today

Chapter 2: Libraries, Communities, and Information: Two Centuries of Experience 

Chapter 3: Librarianship: A Continuously Evolving Profession


Activity: Introductions and LibSquares. Due date: Jan. 29


January 30 - February 5 

Information  Sectors

Core Professional Values


Chapter 5: Diversity, Equity of Access, and Social Justice

And three of the following. Please ensure that at least one represents an information sector that you are interested in exploring for your future career and one that you are unfamiliar with: 

Chapter 6: Literacy and Media Centers: School Libraries

Chapter 7: Learning and Research Institutions: Academic Libraries

Chapter 8: Community Anchors for Lifelong Learning: Public Libraries

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

Chapter 10: Digital Resources: Digital Libraries 

Discussion: Core professional values in information organizations Due date: Feb. 5


February 6 - 12 

Traditional and Emerging Professional Roles


Chapter 11: Information Intermediation and Reference Services

Chapter 12: Metadata, Cataloging, Linked Data, and the Evolving ILS

Chapter 13: Analog and Digital Curation and Preservation 

Chapter 16: Teaching Users: Information and Technology Instruction

Activity: Resumes and cover letters. Due date: Feb. 12


February 13-19 

Organizational Environments 


Chapter 29: Information Policy

Chapter 31: Copyright and Creative Commons

Chapter 34: Information Privacy and Cybersecurity

Activity: Resume and cover letter peer review. Due date: Feb. 19

Due Feb. 19: LibSquare Essay

February 20-26

Leadership and Teams



37. Leadership Skills for Today’s Global Information Landscape 

Web Resources:

Community Tool Box. (2018). Building teams: Broadening the base for leadership. Retrieved from

Discussion: Virtual teams and the role of leadership. Due date: Feb. 26

February 27 - March 5

Leadership, Change, and Innovation

Organizational Culture 


Chapter 20: Change Management

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

Web Resource:

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

Activity: Organizational culture. Due date: March 5


March 6 - 12

Ethics and Decision Making 


Chapter 30: Information Ethics

Articles and Book Chapters:

Ferguson, S., Thornley, C., & Gibb, F. (2015). How do libraries manage the ethical and privacy issues of RFID implementation? A qualitative investigation into the decision-making processes of ten libraries. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47, 117-130.

Koufogiannakis, D. A., & Brittle, A. (Eds.) (2016). Being evidence-based in library and information practice. Retrieved from

Read: Chapter 2: A New Framework for EBLIP and one of the following:  
  • Chapter 9: Academic Libraries
  • Chapter 10: Public Libraries
  • Chapter 11: Health Libraries
  • Chapter 12: School Libraries
  • Chapter 13: Special Libraries  

Discussion: Ethics case study. Due March 12

March 13 - 19

Organizational Planning 


Chapter 19: Strategic Planning 


Buchanan, S., & Cousins, F. (2012). Evaluating the strategic plans of public libraries: An inspection-based approach. Library and Information Science Research, 34, 125-130. doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2011.1

Katopol, P. (2012). Managing change with environmental scanning. Library Leadership & Management, 29(1). Retrieved from

Activity: Analysis of planning documents. Due March 19

Due March 19: Leadership Philosophy 

March 20 - 26

Assessment and Evaluation 

Articles and Web Resources:

Farkas, M. (2013). Building and sustaining a culture of assessment: Best practices for change leadership. Reference Services Review, 41, 13‐31. doi: 10.1108/00907321311300857

Magnus, E., Belanger, J., & Faber, M. (2018). Towards a critical assessment practice. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Retrieved from

Reuter, K., & Silipigni Connaway, L. (2018). User-centered assessment: Leveraging what you know and filling in the gaps [Webinar]. Retrieved from (Please note: You will have to register with WebJunction to access this webinar. This is a free service). 

Activity: TBD. Due March 26


March 27 - 31; April 8-9

Spring Recess (April 1-5)

Financial Management  


Chapter 21: Managing Budgets

Book Chapters and Web Resources:

American Library Association. (n.d.). Making budget presentations. Retrieved from

Velasquez, D. L. (2013). Financial management. In D. L. Velasquez (Ed.), Library management 101: A practical guide (pp. 161-176). Chicago, IL: ALA Editions. Retrieved from

Activity: Budget cuts. Due date: April 9

Due March 31: Organizational Analysis Part 2 - Environmental Scan


April 10 - 16

Personnel Management 


Chapter 22: Managing Personnel


Alabi, J. (2015). “This actually happened”: An analysis of librarians’ responses to a survey about racial microaggressions. Journal of Library Administration, 55, 179-191. 

Barnhart, A. C., Cook, J. M., Critten, J., Pashia, A., Stanfiled, A. G., & Sullivan, D. (2014). The fittest: Interview techniques to build a strong team. Advances in Librarianship, 38, 155-175.

Discussion: HR case studies. Due date: April 16


April 17 - 23

Facilities Management 

Articles and Book Chapters: 

Berendt, L. (2013). Facilities management. In D. L. Velasquez (Ed.), Library management 101: A practical guide (pp. 253-269). Chicago, IL: ALA Editions. Retrieved from

Holderman, S. (2012). Be prepared: Writing a practical disaster manual. Library Leadership & Management, 26(2). Retrieved from

Activity: Disaster planning. Due April 23

Due April 23: Organizational Analysis Part 3 - Strategic Plan 


April 24 - 30

Technology Management 

Textbook (Required):

Chapter 26: Managing Data and Data Analysis in Information Organizations

Chapter 35: Managing Technology

Chapter 32: Information Licensing

Activity: TBD.Due April 30


May 1 - 7


Textbook (Required):

Chapter 27: Communication, Marketing, and Outreach Strategies

Chapter 28: Advocacy

Activity: Elevator Pitches. Due May 7

Due May 7: Organizational Analysis Part 4 - Presentation 


May 8 - 13 

Career Management  

Textbook (Required):

 Chapter 36: Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success

Activity: INFO 204 meme project. Due May 13

Due May 13: Professional Synthesis

Due May 13: Organizational Analysis Part 5 - Peer Review


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 prerequisite 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. (2018). Information services today: An introduction (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Available through Amazon: 1538103001arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) Chicago: 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;
    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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