INFO 204-04
Information Professions
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Dr. Deborah Hicks
Office Hours:
Virtual office hours. See Canvas for times. 

Syllabus Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21, 2019, 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.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

As they respond to the information needs of clients and communities, information organizations face complex and exciting challenges. This course will help prepare students to take on these challenges by providing them with an understanding of the organizations and environments in which information professionals work, traditional and emerging professional roles, and core management and leadership theories. This knowledge will help students understand the similarities and differences among information organizations, explore different specializations and career paths, apply professional values to ethical decision-making, and to develop core management and leadership skills. This course prepares students to be active participants in their professional communities and networks and to become collaborative professionals ready to take on management and leadership roles.

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, including Collaborate.  For more information, see INFO 203 Online Learning.

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.

Weekly Schedule



Required Readings

Activity and Assignment Due Date


August 21 - 27

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 1: Introduction and LibSquares

Due August 27


August 28 - September 3


Working in Teams



Chapter 37: Leadership Skills for Today’s Global Information Landscape

Web Resource:

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

Activity 2: Virtual teams and the Role of Leadership

Due September 3


September 4 - 10

Information Sectors

Core Professional Values


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

And, three of the following. Please ensure that 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

Activity 3: Core Professional Values in Information Organizations

Due September 10



September 11 - 17

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 4: Resumes and Cover Letters

Organizational Analysis Part 1: Group Ground Rules

Due September 17


September 18 - 24

Organizational Environments



Chapter 29: Information Policy


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

Activity 5: Environmental Scanning Process

Due September 24


September 25 - October 1

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

Activity 6: Analyze Strategic Plans

Leadership Philosophy 

Due October 1


October 2 - 8

Leadership, Change, and Innovation

Organizational Culture


Chapter 20: Change Management

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

Activity 7: Organizational Culture

Due October 8


October 9 - 15


Decision Making


Chapter 30: Information Ethics

Book Chapters:

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 

Activity 8: Ethics Case Study

Organizational Analysis Part 2: Environmental Scan 

Due October 15 




October 16 - 22

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

Activity 9: Assessing Services

Due October 22


October 23 - 29 

Financial Management


Chapter 21: Managing Budgets

Book Chapter and Web Resource:

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 10: Budget Cuts

Due October 29



October 30 - November 5 



Chapter 27: Communication, Marketing, and Outreach Strategies

Chapter 28: Advocacy

Activity 11: Elevator Pitches

Organizational Analysis Part 3: Strategic Plan

Due November 5 


November 6 - 12

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.

Activity 12: HR Case Studies

Due November 12




November 13 - 19

Facilities Management

Book Chapter and Article:

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

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

Activity 13: Disaster Planning

Due November 19


November 20 - 26

Technology Management


Chapter 25: Managing Technology

Chapter 26: Managing Data and Data Analysis in Information Organizations 

Chapter 32: Information Licensing

Activity 14: Advocate for a Technology Trend

Organizational Analysis Part 4: Presentation

Due November 26


December 4 - 9

Wrap Up


Chapter 36: Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success

Activity 15: LibSquares Revisited

Organizational Analysis Part 5: Peer- and Self-Reviews

Due December 9

Professional Synthesis

Due December 11


Discussions and Activities
Students will perform weekly discussions and activities relating to course topics. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1#2#3#4#6, #7, #9)

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, #6, #9)

Organizational Analysis
Working together in small groups, students will create an organizational analysis for an information organization of their choice. 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 its strategic plan and associated planning documents to their classmates. Fifth, students peer review team member's individual contributions and performance. (Course Learning Outcomes: #2#3#4#6#7,, #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#6#9)



Point Value

Due Dates

Weekly discussions and activities

2 points each (30 points total)


Leadership Philosophy

15 points

October 1

Organizational Analysis

Part 1. Group Ground Rules – 5 points

Part 2. Environmental Scan – 10 points

Part 3. Strategic Plan – 10 points

Part 4. Presentation – 10 points

Part 5. Peer- and Self-Review – 5 points

Part 1 - September 17

Part 2 - October 15

Part 3 - November 5

Part 4 - November 26

Part 5 - December 9

Professional Synthesis

15 points

 December 11

Other Relevant Information:

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 (10%). Please contact the instructor prior to a deadline in the case of illness or emergency. Additional late policy details available in Canvas.

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 similarities and differences between various information organizations and professional roles from historical, current, and future perspectives.
  2. Recognize the roles and activities of managers in information organizations.
  3. Explain strategic planning processes and skills.
  4. Identify and choose appropriate assessment tools for evaluating organizational effectiveness.
  5. Synthesize (including reviewing, using and properly citing) the professional and research management and leadership literature.
  6. Demonstrate leadership abilities through collaborative teamwork.
  7. Analyze and assess their own and others leadership abilities through self-reflection and peer review.
  8. Apply management theories and principles, professional values, and ethical frameworks to organizational issues and decision-making using scenarios and case studies.
  9. Create and deliver high quality reports, presentations and organizational documents that communicate to internal and external stakeholders organizational values, missions, and priorities.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 204 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of those principles within that profession.
  2. B Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.
  3. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  4. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  5. 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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