INFO 287-01
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Library Services and Tools for the Digital Age
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Ellyssa Valenti (Kroski)
Office location: Online
Office Hours: M-F 9 am - 7 pm

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21st at 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.

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Course Description

While not all LIS professionals need to be digital natives, it is absolutely essential that today’s librarians are digitally literate as well as possess an understanding and awareness of recent advancements and trends in information technology as they pertain to the library field. This course discusses emerging technology concepts and issues that librarians need to know about in order to offer value to today’s tech-savvy patron through improved services, and looks ahead to what’s on the horizon for libraries in the future.  Students will learn how forward-thinking libraries are tackling traditional library practices such as reference, collection development, technical services, and administration in this new “digital age”.

Course Requirements

Each week, a topic and various technologies will be discussed and demonstrated.  Students will be assigned an exercise which will utilize that technology.  Students will be expected to complete that exercise by the next week and be prepared to share their work with the class.  They will also be expected to share weekly (either on a message board or through social media, TBD), about the technology they are learning about and/or about its implementation in libraries. 

Each student is required to:

  • Participate in weekly exercises – 40%
    • Helps to fulfill course learning outcomes #2, and #4
  • Weekly sharing via message boards – 35%
    • Helps to fulfill course learning outcomes #1-4
  • Final Projects – 25%
    • Helps to fulfill course learning outcomes #2, and #4

Final Projects
Students will work individually or in groups to create a prototype for an actual library service or product using Web/emerging technology which will enhance a library program, solve a specific problem, or offer a new service.  Along with the finished prototype, students will craft a brief overview (1 page) describing their new service, what it is, what type of library it is designed for, what need it fills, etc.  Some suggestions for projects include, but are not limited to:

    • Conduct a usability test in the form of a Card Sort and present a synthesized analysis of findings with a data set.
    • Install and implement an ERM (electronic resources management) system.
    • Create a staff intranet using a wiki.
    • Create a 3-5 minute instructional screencast and host it on a (library) branded video sharing website.
    • Create and edit a video tour of a library and host it on a (library) branded video sharing website.
    • Create an instructional podcast program and host it on a (library) branded audio sharing website.
    • Create a gamification screencast and/or program for library instruction.
    • Create a library LibGuide covering a subject area.
    • Create a data visualization with Tableau Public
    • Create a Library game with Twine
    • Build a library website with WordPress

Helps to fulfill course learning outcomes #1-4

Course Calendar with Due Dates


Week One - 

Libraries in the Digital Age

  • Major emerging tech concepts and underlying principles will be discussed in this introduction to the course. 


  • Students will be asked to set up Twitter accounts.
  • Students will begin sharing in message boards weekly throughout the course, posting about the technology discussed that week and implementations of the technology by libraries.
  • Students will be expected to read & comment on classmates posts.

Week 2 - 

Reference 2.0

  • IM & SMS reference services. 
  • Information gathering applications such as RefTracker, Zoho, etc. 


  • Evaluate 2 virtual reference services

Week 3 - 

Library Statistics and Data Collection

  • Students will learn about data collection and statistics in libraries.


  • Students will be expected to create a reference statistics database.

Week 4 -

Data Visualization and GIS in Libraries

  • Data Visualization, Geographic Analysis (GIS), and Infographics Tools


  • Students will be expected to create a data visualization map 

Week 5 - 

Infographics in Libraries 

  • Students will learn how to utilize major infographics software.
  • Students will gain an understanding of the current and potential uses of these new technologies and their implementation in/for libraries. 


  • Students will be expected to set up an interactive timeline.
  • Students will be expected to create an infographic.

Week 6 - 

Library Management Systems in the Digital Age

  • Students will learn about the current technology landscape for the library automation arena including:
    • Library management systems
    • Electronic resources management (ERM) applications
    • Web Scale Discovery & Federated Search
    • and more.


  • Students will add resources to an ERM system. 

Week 7 - 

The Library Website 2.0

  • Content Management Systems (CMS’s)
  • Discussion of new development trends, e.g. HTML 5, etc.
  • Discussion of seamless information design: social media integration, embedding widgets, creating custom RSS feeds, etc.


  • Students will Compare Content Management Systems. 

Week 8 - 

Cloud Computing and LibGuides in Libraries

  • Students will learn about cloud computing and its applications for libraries.
  • Students will know how to create their own Web-based subject guide by the end of the week through lectures, readings, and hands-on interaction.
  • Students will create their own LibGuides subject guides.

Week 9 - 

UX, HCI, and Usability Testing

  • User-driven information design
  • Taxonomy Development
  • Usability Testing, e.g. card sorting, focus groups, etc.


  • Students will take part in an online card sort.

Week 10 - 

Mobile Technologies and Libraries

  • Location-aware services
  • Augmented Reality
  • iPads and Mobile-Device Management
  • Mobile Library Websites and Native Apps


  • Students will use an AR app to create an augmented reality layer.

Week 11 - 

Week 12 - 

Library Instruction and Gamification

  • Students will understand library instruction trends in the digital age.
  • Students will learn about instructional tools and applications through lectures and hands-on evaluation
  • Students will learn about gamification and its possible implementations in libraries


  • Students will create a screencast demonstrating the use of an application or database.

Week 13 - 

NextGen Collection Development

  • Students will understand changes in collection development in the digital age.
  • eBooks in Libraries - evaluation, pricing models, licensing issues.


  • Students will evaluate ebooks programs.

Week 14 - 

Knowledge Management

  • Content Collaboration Tools in Libraries, e.g. wikis, GDocs, shared calendars, start pages, hosted storage.
  • Intranets


  • Students will create accounts with collaboration tools.

Week 15 - 

Makerspaces in Libraries

  • Students will understand the growing trend of makerspaces in libraries.
  • Students will learn about makerspace services, equipment, and spaces through lectures and hands-on evaluation
  • Students will know how to create their own plan to build a library makerspace by the end of the week through lectures, readings, and assignments.


  • Students will develop a plan to start a makerspace

Week 16 - 

Technology Solutions Planning and Emerging Tech Wrap-Up

  • Students will understand how to plan for, evaluate, and purchase a major technology solution for their library.
  • Students will learn about strategic planning.
  • Students will gain insight into emerging technologies by sharing their favorite tech from the term.


  • Students will post their Final Projects.


  • Grading: There are 100 possible points for the six assignments:
    • Weekly exercises – 40 points
      • Grading: There are 13 weekly exercises worth 3 points each.  Students will be graded on how complete their exercise was on an individual assignment basis.  If they complete all the assignments they will receive 1 additional bonus point to equal a total of 40 points.
    • Weekly posting to message boards– 35 points
      • Grading: Students will be expected to post each week for 14 weeks.  Each post and tweet is worth 1 point for a total of 28 points.  They are also expected to read and comment on their classmates' posts.  Comments and replies are worth .5 points with a total of 7 additional points possible.  The goal is an interactive class discussion resulting in each student commenting or replying each week for a total of 14 times.
    • Final Projects – 25 points
      • Grading: The final project is a deep dive into one of the areas of study from the previous weeks. Students must demonstrate a solid advanced understanding of not only the technology they are using but how it can be used by libraries and what need it fills which will be communicated through the overview document.  I will have detailed criteria for each of the listed projects that students must fulfill such as for the staff intranet built on wiki software there will be a navigational menu expected with at least 3 levels of parent/child pages, populated content including text and Web 2.0 embedded widgets, stored pdf, and word documents, etc.  Students will receive at least 20 points for turning in a completed project and overview essay that meet that criteria.  

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 287 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Students will comprehend major emerging technology concepts and theories, and understand how they are relevant to library services.
  2. Students will learn how to utilize major Web and open-source technologies and will participate in their use throughout the course.
  3. Students will gain an understanding about the current and potential uses of these new and emerging Web technologies in libraries.
  4. Students will learn about emerging technology best practices and develop skills which will help them evaluate these technologies in order to make solution decisions appropriate for their library.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.


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 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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