INFO 220-13
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Visual Resources Curation and Arts Librarianship (2 units)
Fall Semester 2019 Syllabus

Maggie Murphy
Other contact information: 336-334-4525 (office phone)
Office Location: Virtual 
Office hours: Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm (Eastern time)/4-6 pm (Pacific time)

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

This 2-unit course runs from October 14th - December 9th. The class will open on October 14th.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course will offer an overview of visual resources and arts information professions, including visual resources curation, art and design school librarianship, academic liaison librarianship, and museum librarianship. Throughout the course, students will explore the history, background, and core competencies for describing, organizing, and providing access to visual materials in all media and information about fine arts, design, architecture, and related fields. Weekly readings, discussions, reflection blog posts, and practice exercises are designed to introduce students to tools, resources, and services for working with users of visual materials and art information in different professional settings. Additionally, each student will choose an emerging issue or ongoing conversation to investigate, culminating in a final project that explores theoretical and practical concerns in the fields of visual resources and art information.

Course Requirements


  1. Weekly readings & discussions (CLOs 1-4) discussion post due weekly on Thursday by 11:59 pm*; replies due weekly on Sunday by 11:59 pm 
  2. Personal reflection blog posts (CLOs 1-4) due weekly on Friday by 11:59 pm*
  3. Art information reference exercise (CLO 2) - due Nov. 3 by 11:59 pm*
  4. Evaluation of an open-access digital image collection (CLO 3) - due Nov. 24 by 11:59*
  5. Exploration of an emerging issue - final project (CLO 2-3) - topic selection due Oct. 25 by 11:59 pm*; status report due Nov. 15 by 11:59 pm*; final project due Dec. 3 by 11:59 pm*

    *All times in PT

Course Calendar

The following calendar provides a general overview of course units and topics by weeks. This schedule is subject to change. Please see Canvas for the most current version of the course schedule, with details about assignment and activity due dates. 

Unit 1: Overview

Week 1 (Oct. 14 - Oct. 20): Intro to Visual Resources and Arts Information Professions

    • Overview of work settings
    • Overview of professional organizations/standards
    • Overview of core competencies

Unit 2: Information Services

Week 2 (Oct. 21 - Oct. 27): Academic Art Liaison Librarianship

    • Art information reference
    • Image databases
    • Open access & open educational resources
    • Visual literacy 
    • Digital humanities
Week 3 (Oct. 28 - Nov. 3): Art & Design Libraries
    • Library instruction for visual art students
    • Images as information
    • Fair use/remix
    • Teaching from the archives
Week 4 (Nov. 4 - Nov. 10): Art Museums and Museum Libraries
    • Provenance, documentation, auction catalogs
    • Digital collections
    • Special collections/rare books
    • Donors and bequests
    • Image licensing

Unit 3: Digital Collections and Public Services

Week 5 (Nov. 11 - Nov. 17): Digital Imaging and Preservation

    • Policies, planning, and funding approaches
    • Technical standards and equipment
    • Fair use and copyright for collection development

Week 6 (Nov. 18 - Nov. 24): Visual Resources Description and Management

    • Digital collections platforms
    • Metadata standards
    • Subject description 
Week 7 (Nov. 25 - Dec. 1): Online Collections and Public Programs
    • Online content and social media strategies
    • Digital exhibits (curation and platforms)
    • Education and outreach programming
    • User testing

Unit 4: Looking Ahead

Week 8 (Dec. 2 - Dec. 8): The Future of Visual Resources/Art Info Professions
    • Professional organizations
    • Professional development and service opportunities
    • Continuing education 

The assignments in this course carry the following weights (as a percentage of your final grade):

  1. Weekly readings & discussions (20%) 
  2. Personal reflection blog posts (20%) 
  3. Art information reference exercise (10%) 
  4. Evaluation of an open-access digital image collection (10%)
  5. Exploration of an emerging issue - final project (40%) 
Because this is an 8-week course, it is essential that each student stays on schedule. Late work for weekly discussions and blog posts will not be accepted. Extensions for major assignments (3, 4, 5) may be offered at the discretion of the instructor but must be requested at least 48 hours before the due date. Under no circumstances will extensions be granted after an assignment due date has passed.

Other Relevant Information:

I cannot emphasize enough that participation is essential for success in this course; group discussions not only demonstrate comprehension of class materials but also help foster community and provide opportunities for peer learning. Students in this course will be expected to make weekly discussion board posts and respond to classmates' postings in addition to writing weekly reflection blog posts on a class Wordpress site. Details and guidelines for both of these activities are available in the Canvas site. 

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. Articulate the distinguishing characteristics and required core competencies of different visual resources and arts information professions, including visual resources curation, art and design school librarianship, academic liaison librarianship, and museum librarianship.
  2. Recognize emerging issues and ongoing conversations in visual resources and arts information professions, such as those around open access, copyright, and fair use of visual materials; services and support for digital arts and humanities research; integration of visual literacy competencies in information literacy instruction; and best practices for digital preservation of student work in art and design programs.
  3. Explain and promote tools, technologies, and resources for visual resources, digital exhibits, and art scholarship to users in a range of settings, such as visual artists, arts and humanities researchers, and museum users.
  4. Identify professional organizations and opportunities for professional development in visual resources and arts information professions.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 220 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  2. 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.


Required Textbooks:

  • Glassman, P., & Dyki, J. (2017). The handbook of art and design librarianship (2nd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow 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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