INFO 265-01
Materials for Young Adults
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Penny Peck

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

This course will allow students to take an in-depth look at materials in a variety of formats for teens, including fiction, popular nonfiction, graphic novels, movies, computer games, websites, other media, and determine how they can meet developmental needs.

Course Prerequisites: INFO 200, INFO 260A or INFO 261A.

Course Requirements

Course Format

This is a web-based course.  All of our interaction will take place on the iSchool Canvas site Course materials will be available primarily through the Canvas site, books, and media from a public library, and journal articles available on the SJSU library database.  Assignments for the course should be posted electronically in the Canvas assignment dropbox.  Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be conducted using the Canvas Discussion Forum - your responses to a different discussion question posted each week.  You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just “I agree”) and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week. 


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.

Class Discussion
Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be your responses to a different discussion question posted each week. Always post to the Discussion Question by the dates listed on each forum on Canvas. You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just "I agree") and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week. Last day to post to the Discussion Board is Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Related competencies: A, M.  Related course objectives:  16.

Course Assignments

Other assigned reading:  Be sure to see the Canvas site for the list of the assigned readings for the class, including the journal articles assigned for the class.  You will also see a sequence of lectures, the weekly topic for the discussion question, and more extensive descriptions of the assignments as well as some sample assignments.

Standards: All assignments should be in your own words (no descriptions or booktalks from other sources – no cutting and pasting of descriptions of events, programs, books used, etc.). All assignments must demonstrate research was done and a list of sources must be at the end of each paper. Also, spelling and grammar count.

This course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class and in the text, as well as to practical applications of methods. Students will work individually and participate in group discussions on Canvas.

  • Assignment 1:  Due Wednesday, September 25, 2019, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 2:  Due Wednesday, October 9, 2019, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 3:  Due Wednesday, October 30, 2019, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 4:  Due Wednesday, November 27, 2019, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 5:  Due Wednesday, December 11, 2019, by 11:59 pm.

All assignments should be a Word file or PDF posted to the Canvas site in the assignment dropbox.   All assignments must use APA format for sources and all assignments must have sources to demonstrate that research was done.

Assignment 1:  Genre Fiction:

Goal of this assignment is to show familiarity with the current state of Young Adult publishing. Read and review five novels (fiction) aimed at 9th-12th graders.  These should be books considered “literature;” not a paperback series knock-off but an award-winner or runner up, or by someone considered a good writer in the field (Printz Award books for example). The five should be by different authors and represent a wide array of genres (not all fantasy for example). If you are not sure, email me the titles so I can okay them.  Read each book and write an evaluative review at least 250 words in length (not just a plot description, but what you thought of the book). Begin each review with the book’s full bibliographic data (see sample assignment). Include a sentence on how this book could be used in a library program, such as a book discussion group, or an activity it would inspire. These should by novels published as Young Adult literature, not “classics,” not books published for adults, not graphic novels. These reviews should be in your own words and should not include quotations from other reviews, and very limited (if any) quotes from the book. These are professional reviews so please do not refer to yourself – it should be about the book, even when you are including your opinion of the book. List all the sources you used, including reviews of the books, and lists or websites that recommended these books.    Related competencies: A, F. Related course objectives: 156.

Assignment 2:  Online Research Resources Teen Use:

Goal of this assignment is to demonstrate that you can offer a class or workshop to help teens do research and help teens judge which online sources are reliable. Currently, there is a need for librarians to assist teens in figuring out what is true, and what is not, when they do online research. Accusations that solid sources such as the New York Times are “fake news” abound, but real “fake news” has incited violence and perpetrates mistrust and paranoia.  Write a lesson plan you would use with a high school level class visiting your library (school or public), to help them discern real news from “fake news” or other inaccurate resources. You must choose a current event to use as the example for the lesson, such as Climate Change, or other newsworthy topic that has been seen in “fake news” accounts. The lesson plan should include why you chose the topic, your lecture on how to judge if sites are accurate and reliable (spell out the standards one needs to use to ascertain accuracy such as the CRAAP test), at least two “fake news” sites on the topic (sites that purposefully mislead), and three accurate sites, so students can see examples of each (explain why each site was chosen– how is it related to the topic, show how you used your standards for judging sites to decide a site was reliable or not). Be aware that satiric sites like The Onion are not “fake” news sites for you to use; you want things that purposefully mislead people like Breitbart or Infowars. Finally, pose at least three essay/discussion questions you would ask of them, to let them show you they understand the concept. Include other aspects of the lesson, including your introduction and lecture. List all the sources you used.   Related competencies:  I. Related course objectives: 156.

Assignment 3:  Media - Films, Audio-recordings, Video games: 

Goal of this assignment is to show knowledge of current entertainment media used by teens, so you can do media collection development and use media in library programming. Choose three Films (DVDs, downloadable commercial films), three videogames, and three audio-recordings (music, podcasts, or audiobooks) that are made for Teens – these can be feature films, documentaries, instructional DVDs, music CDs or album downloads, audiobooks, Nintendo, online games, and so forth, but the primary audience for the media items must be Teens.  Write reviews of these nine recordings, talking about the plot, whether they are well-made (good acting, direction, graphics, etc.), how they could be used in a library program, and Teens’ reactions to the media items (check customer reviews on Amazon,, teen blogs, etc.). Because items will potentially be used in a library program, no “R” rated films should be chosen unless you can justify the need for this film to be used. Begin each review with the item’s full bibliographic data (see sample assignment). If it is rated, such as PG-13 for a film, or T for Teen for a videogame, or if the music recordings have a parental advisory sticker, please include that information. Each review should be approximately 250 words (you can make it longer, but I wouldn’t make it shorter), and review a wide range of materials (not three DVDs in the same series, or items by the same performer).  Media for the Teen market is a billion-dollar industry so we need to know not just what is popular but why, and if it is well-made. Be sure to list all your sources!    Related competencies: A, F.  Related course objectives: 13.

Assignment 4:  Informational/Nonfiction Books and Media:  

Goal of this assignment is to show you can choose nonfiction for teens to add to your library, a common collection development skill. Choose a nonfiction/Dewey Decimal numbered subject area to do a “collection development” project.  This area should be somewhat limited; i.e. “Knitting and Crocheting” not crafts, or “Jazz,” not music.  Other topics could include poetry from a specific culture (African-American, Latino, Asian-American, etc.), history from a certain time period (Ancient Egypt, the Civil War), biographies of a specific focus (contemporary American women), etc.  Select ten items to suggest for purchase on that subject, for a high school library or public library that serves high school students.  All of the items should be “in print” (not out of print, but for purchase new from the publisher or major library vendor), and at least one of the ten items should be a DVD, CD, or other non-book media you would purchase. These all should be relatively new items, not classics. Compile these into a list, with each item having a one or two paragraph annotation that includes both what the book is about and why you chose it, as well as descriptions of the book design, photos, illustrations, and back matter. Each entry should begin with the item’s full bibliographic data (see sample assignment). Write up a 2 or 3-page description of the selection tools, review journals, and other sources you used to select the items; which were most helpful?  What tool(s) did you use to determine if an item is still in print (Books in Print, vendor, publishers’ websites)? How did you decide what to choose?  What did the local library have or lack in this area?  Which items did you actually read or see? How did you choose the media item – what led you to it?  These should all be items a library would purchase, not websites. Be sure to give a list of all the sources you used. Related competencies:  F, M.  Related course objectives: 234.

Assignment 5:  Readers' Advisory Notebook/Database: 

Goal of this assignment is to demonstrate wide knowledge of library items of interest to teens. Create an entry for 30 items (books, music recordings, and films but not websites or videogames) appropriate for teens ages 15-18. Each entry should include the full bibliographic information (see sample assignment), a brief plot description, your personal thoughts on the book (yes, you need to read each book), and mention of any books that are similar in style, content, theme or characters. Also, include any of the following items that you think might help you with reader's advisory activities in the future: 

  • Subjects/themes
  • Awards
  • Series Information
  • Character names/descriptions  
  • Anything else you'd like to add

Be sure to include ideas for using each item in a library program, such as a book discussion, inspiration for a craft program or movie showing, special display, panel discussion, author visit, or other library program.

Complete project should include entries for all different book genres discussed in class, music recordings, and films (but no games or websites). Complete project should include several recent (2000+) award-winning titles (Printz, National Book Award, etc.).  You must include at least (but not limited to) 10 prose novels (young adult fiction, all by different authors). The other 20 can be a mix of nonfiction, poetry, biography, graphic novels, magazines, DVDs, or audio recordings for our age group (but not games or websites). Be sure to include your opinion of the book or media item and not just a plot description! And be sure to have a sentence on how the item could be used in a Teen library program.

Entries must be formatted using Microsoft Word. You may not use any of the books or media used in your other assignments.  These are 30 other books and media items besides those.  List all your sources.  Related competencies: F, M. Related course objectives: 234.

Course Grading
Class discussions are worth 20 percent of your grade.  Assignments 5 is worth 30 percent, Assignments 1 and 3 are worth 10 percent each, Assignments 2 and 4 are worth 15 percent each. Assignments submitted late are not accepted.

Extra Credit
No extra credit options are available.

Penalty for Late or missed work
Missed work is an "F;" late work is ONLY allowed by agreement of the instructor BEFORE the due date; late work must be turned in no more than two days late and that is ONLY if the instructor has agreed ahead of the due date and you will be penalized one letter grade for being late.

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 200, INFO 260A or INFO 261A

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the external (societal) and internal (developmental) forces that influence teens' choices of recreational and informational sources and materials.
  2. Evaluate selection tools, and use appropriate resources to develop a collection of materials for older teens, including all appropriate formats (print, nonprint, computer software, music, etc.).
  3. Critically examine representative materials designed for older teens, including print and nonprint formats, books, graphic novels, television, movies, music, and a wide variety of computer software, including social networking software; apply criteria to evaluate materials in relation to developmental needs, multicultural concerns, and meeting the informational and recreational needs of this age group.
  4. Create an appropriate materials collection for older teens, including print and nonprint materials and a variety of the digital resources currently available for this age group.
  5. Exhibit knowledge of published resources about print and nonprint materials for older teens, such as reference materials, selection tools, and Web sites.
  6. Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their older teen children.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 265 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. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  3. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.
  4. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.


Required Textbooks:

  • Cart, M. (2016). Young adult literature: From romance to realism (3rd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 0838914624arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Chance, R. (2014). Young adult literature in action: A librarian's guide (2nd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1610692446arrow 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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