INFO 220-12
Resources and Information Services in Professions and Disciplines
Topic: Medical and Health Sciences Librarianship
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Charles Greenberg, MLS MEd AHIP
Phone (work): +86-57755870651
Phone (cell):
available to enrolled students
Instant Messaging: Skype or WeChat  (available to enrolled students)
Office Location: Skype or Zoom (available to enrolled students)

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 21, 2019, at approximately 6:00 a.m. 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.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Optional Live Attendance Recorded Class Topic Presentations take place with SJSU Zoom once a week (August 24th  to November 16th, followed by student presentations in the final weeks of the semester), based on a posted Canvas or class calendar. Students are required to view the recorded presentation if you cannot attend, as well as contact the instructor if your assignment or a concept cannot be understood. Optional Instructor Office hours at least once a week during the semester.  Extra credit will be available for active and engaged attendance at optional presentations or office hours, but not more than one attendance extra credit in a given week. 

NOTE: Attendance at the scheduled Zoom recorded discussions is OPTIONAL but encouraged.  Use of SJSU Zoom to present your individual research paper topic is REQUIRED during the November 23rd - December 7th final course sessions. Please take advantage of the live topic presentations and office hours to practice with Zoom.  "Audience" attendance at the student Zoom presentations at the end of the semester is expected unless a work or family-related attendance exemption is requested in advance. Unpredicted class cancellations will be posted in Canvas Course announcements; when I am traveling for work-related reasons, some presentations may be pre-recorded or precepted by a guest speaker or Zoom teaching assistant.

Use of an instructor-assigned Diigo student account is required for one group assignment. Use of free Jing desktop recording software is required for submitting a self-introduction during the first week of class.

Assignment due dates subject to change with fair notice.

Students are required to use and access a designated preferred email account on a daily basis during the course, as well as Mr. Greenberg’s Skype, email, or WeChat at any time to seek clarification of calendar dates and assignments. Official class announcements or updates will be posted as announcements in CANVAS and sent through CANVAS mail; the personal email you designate to received forwarded CANVAS mail will be the most frequent way that Mr. Greenberg will deliver personal email so that you can also check and receive it in CANVAS.

Course Description

INFO 220-12, Resources and Information Services in Medical & Health Sciences Librarianship, will offer contemporary knowledge and skills on topics such as health sciences library history, medical subject classification, finding quality health information, biomedical database practice, consumer health programming, evidence-based health care, and cooperative medical library organizations and activities. Collaborative learning and assignments are featured.

Several facets have been added to this course in recent years, based on student feedback:

  • All assignments will have immediate submission deadlines, with immediate grading and deduction for late submission.  This will provide students with immediate performance feedback and is intended to ensure that students will not fall behind covering the substantial amount of material in this course.
  • Groups formed for group assignments will have volunteer facilitators.  Facilitators will receive extra credit for satisfactory performance. Peers will provide confidential facilitator performance feedback to determine if extra credit is earned.
  • Attendance at weekly topic lectures is optional, but attending or watching the recording is required.  Extra credit will be awarded for live attendance, provided that the attendee is actively participating. Extra credit will also be awarded for appearing in Office hour and asking questions.  Only one extra credit attendance counts for any week, either the Presentation or the Office Hour.
  • Class participation creates a rich learning environment. 10% of the course grade will be explicitly determined by class participation in discussion forums, using this rubric that will be available in CANVAS

Course Requirements


  • Week 1: assignment supports  CLO #1 and CLO #8
  • Week 2: assignment supports  CLO #2
  • Week 3: assignment supports  CLO #7
  • Week 4: assignment supports  CLO #6
  • Week 5: assignment supports  CLO #4
  • Week 6: assignment supports  CLO #5
  • Week 7: assignment supports  CLO #3
  • Week 8: assignment supports  CLO #9
  • Week 9: assignment supports  CLO #4
  • Week 10: assignment supports CLO #1
  • Week 11: assignment supports CLO #3
  • Week 12: assignment supports CLO #1

Assignments and Evaluation Criteria

  • Group assignments 15% of final grade;  All members of the group will receive the same grade. Group collaboration is required, using Zoom, Skype, Instant messaging, conference call, or another real-time communication technology.  All costs associated with non-iSchool communication tools are student responsibilities. Instructor will establish group members.  A volunteer facilitator will exist in each group.  Group assignments will include (1)  a treasure hunt for defined relevant health sciences resources and creating annotated evaluations of discoveries; (2) Group comparison and comparative grading of several health sciences database resources; and (3) Group indexing assignment to add appropriate and relevant medical subject headings to articles that do not get indexed by the National Library of Medicine.
  • Project-written 20% of final grade. (see description below)
  • Presentation 10% of final grade (Students will present a 15-20 minute live presentation of their paper topic, using Zoom, during the last 2-3 weeks of the semester).
  • Account of interviewing a health information professional- 15% of final grade; Interview a health sciences librarian or other health information professional, then write up your interview and share with the class.
  • Evaluating Health websites: 10% of final grade; evaluate two health information websites with a provided rubric.
  • Commentaries: 10% of final grade; required short essays or commentaries posted to a topic discussion forum, demonstrating your understanding of how topic readings relate to iSchool school-wide competencies.
  • Medical database searching: 10% of final grade; Perform two required evidence-based practice search strategies electronically, using PubMed.
  • Class participation in CANVAS Discussion forums: 10% of final grade.

Written project requirements:
There will be three choices for the individual assignment:

  1. Create an original short thematic written research paper. (2000 words)
  2. Create a Springshare CampusGuide with at least six separately tabbed pages on a topic of high relevance to Medical Librarianship.
  3. Create a thematic blog on a topic of high relevance to Medical Librarianship with at least 15 entries, using the Wordpress or Blogger platform.

Evaluation criteria for the written project include:

  • Theme, Hypothesis, or Topic statement
  • Evidence of wide variety of sources related to Medical Librarianship
  • Technical accuracy of Research Material
  • Appearance
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Overall neatness
  • Citation Format:  International Biomedical Style (Vancouver Style), available with King Library subscription to RefWorks. Please note that this class will not use the APA format.

The evaluation of the final presentation will be based on the criteria of organization, content knowledge, visuals, mechanics (presentation), and delivery (performance).

The evaluation of the interview of a health information professional will be based on the criteria of organization, effective interview questions, 600 words maximum, description of person's occupation, institution, accomplishments, and challenges.

The commentaries, evaluation of response to readings, will be assessed on a satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or honors basis, based on principles of effective written communication, discussion which compares or contrasts readings, and conciseness. Reading responses should be between 250-400 words. A response of fewer than 250 words and greater than 400 will be a possible cause for grade reduction. Responses may include references, particularly as an instrument to reduce an essay length. The instructor will provide feedback and comments for individual reading responses.

Medical database searching will be evaluated on use of controlled vocabulary and evidence-based filtering.

Three group assignments will be researched and performed in groups. One assignment requires use of Diigo social bookmarking technology.  Instructor will issue a private Diigo group invitation. If you have a Diigo account, we will ignore it for this class. Students in each group will receive the same grade. The Group Facilitator will encourage and facilitate assignment submission, group productivity, and timely assignment completion.  Peers will provide confidential facilitator performance feedback to determine if extra credit is earned.

Incompletes will be granted only in rare and extreme emergency situations. Students who cannot fulfill all the work for a course due to a medical or family emergency may be assigned an Incomplete only if arrangements are made through the Registrar's Office and informing the instructor. Please see the iSchool policy on incompletes.


Required and Suggested Readings
Required and suggested readings, search and interview assignments, and website evaluations are assigned on a weekly basis through CANVAS.

Many readings are selected from the complete run (1901-present) of the Bulletin and Journal of the Medical Library Association, available at

Additional Readings
Additional readings and assignments will be posted in CANVAS.

Student access accounts will also be obtained for relevant commercial biomedical databases that are not already part of SJSU Library holdings.

Course Calendar

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

First Day of Fall 2019 Instruction; Receive access to CANVAS for course. Complete instructor survey and submit personal introduction link created with Jing on CANVAS site by Saturday, August 25th, 11:59 pm PST

Saturday, August 24th, 2019 First OPTIONAL Zoom Topic Presentation 6:00pm-7: 00 pm PST (additional schedule to be distributed) Recording will be immediately posted. Course overview and instructor expectations.
Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 First Zoom Office Hour 7:00pm-8: 00 pm PST (additional schedule to be posted on course calendar) Individual appointments for students can be sought at any compatible time.
Saturday, October 5th, 2019 Deadline to declare paper/presentation topic in CANVAS Discussion Forum. (Topic Approval required before posting)
Nov. 23rd, Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th, 2019(subject to modification) Zoom Sessions Expanded ( TBD, probably 6:00-7:30 PST) for student presentations (all students expected to attend all of their colleagues' final presentations, except for work or family obligations.  Sessions may be reduced or increased, based on total class enrollment)
December 9th, 2019 Last Day of Fall Semester. Final Project Due and all late assignments due, 11:59 pm PST, emailed to Instructor

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 220 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the history, current roles, and opportunities for medical and health sciences libraries and librarianship.
  2. Describe the need for and benefits of a national medical information infrastructure.
  3. Identify primary clientele for health sciences libraries in particular contexts.
  4. Identify and assess resources for clinical, research, and consumer health collections.
  5. Locate, describe, and compare a variety of biomedical databases.
  6. Perform basic searches in biomedical databases.
  7. Locate and use subject vocabularies or classification tools and schemes in health specialties.
  8. Describe the concept of and potential challenges to ethical behavior in a medical librarian.
  9. Describe the principle of best (available) evidence.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. B Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.
  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.


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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