INFO 265-10
Materials for Young Adults
Spring 2020 Syllabus

Lisa Houde, Lecturer
Mobile: Locate this in our Canvas course site
Office Hours: Contact through email, text, or mobile number 6 am to 6 pm Pacific

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Canvas Information

INFO 265-10 will be available beginning January 23, 2020, at 6 am Pacific unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the course will be open on the first day that the class meets.

Week #1 for this class is Thursday, January 23, 2020, to Sunday, January 26. Weekly units end on Sundays at 11:59 pm Pacific when most assignments will be due.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Prepare for a wondrous, delight-filled, and informative journey into young adult** materials: fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, movies, TV series, and more! This course will engage students in multiple formats of young adult materials; students will read, watch, and listen, and the preponderance of materials will be student-selected. By the end of the course, students will be well-versed in YA materials and will have an understanding of young adults' information-seeking behaviors and developmental needs and how those materials meet their needs. As with any worthwhile endeavor, the effort students put into the course will directly impact the benefits.

As part of the course, students will read two recently published novels together; for each of these two novels, students will have a chance to "meet" the authors at live Zoom sessions. Two additional Zoom sessions are scheduled; at the first, students will have the chance to hear about and share their own favorite YA titles and discuss trends with a panel of YA librarians. At the second, students will have the opportunity to engage with a young adult graphic novel expert. Note: It is highly recommended that students attend these live sessions, but recordings will be available for mandatory viewing; dates for these sessions will be available in Canvas.

**The term young adult as used in this course refers to adolescents in grades 9 - 12; other terms used include teens, YA, adolescents, or older teens.

Course Requirements and Information

How to Reach Me

Please e-mail me as a first option. I will respond quite quickly - likely by the evening of the day you contact me, and certainly within 24 hours of your email unless I've otherwise noted the need to extend that timeframe. If you have an urgent situation, please text or call me; my mobile number will be available in our course site. Preferred contact times are 6 am to 6 pm Pacific - thank you!

Course Format

This course is offered on the iSchool Canvas site and all interactions for the class will be through that site and will include links to journal articles and other web-based offerings; most will be easily accessed in the San Jose State Library. Assignments will be uploaded in the Canvas site, and class discussions will take place using the Canvas discussion forum. Detailed assignment and discussion post information, formatting requirements, and rubrics will be available in Canvas.

Class Discussions, Activities, Time Management, and Weekly Topics

Class Discussions
Due Dates: Posts to be completed by 11:59pm Pacific on Sundays unless otherwise noted; there will be discussion questions for 13 weeks / Weight = 26%  CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS A, F, J, M

Nearly every week, students will be expected to contribute to the class discussion providing a substantive and thoughtful response to weekly topics. Discussion topics and weekly readings and activities will cover a wide range of subjects pertinent to young adult development and materials. See the calendar below for weekly topics. In order to enhance discussions, students are required to create a unique post and also respond substantively to at least one other student.

It is critical that students create a reading schedule for this course; the final assignment entails reading/viewing, annotating, and creating a speed-round book talk (or DVD talk, etc.) on 40 materials for young adults. Please note that all books and materials used for other assignments in this course may be applied to the 40-material requirement. By steadily progressing through the semester using self-imposed benchmarks, students will ensure successful assignment completion. In addition to working on the final assignment, other reading will include weekly topic articles, and students will also be doing a weekly reading in Cart's Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism, and Chance's Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarian's Guide.

Each module in Canvas represents a week in our course:

  • Module 1: Jan 23 to Jan 26 - Getting to Know You: Introductions
  • Module 2: Jan 27 to Feb 2 - Adolescent Psychology Part I: Defining Older Teens & Their Critical Issues (includes YA librarian panel Zoom session on favorite books and trends in YA literature)
  • Module 3: Feb 3 to Feb 9 - Adolescent Psychology Part II: What's Up with the Wired Brain? (Assignment #1 due February 9)
  • Module 4: Feb 10 to Feb 16 - Defining Young Adult Literature
  • Module 5: Feb 17 to Feb 23 - Materials Focus: Science Fiction and Fantasy featuring La Sala's Reverie (includes author Zoom session) (Assignment #2 due February 23)
  • Module 6: Feb 24 to Mar 1 - Burning, Banning, and Removal: Intellectual Freedom, Censorship, and Professional Ethics (Assignment #3 due March 1)
  • Module 7: Mar 2 to Mar 8 - Selection Development Resources, Award Winners, and How to Weed Your Garden: It's all about the Real Estate (Assignment #4 due March 8)
  • Module 8: Mar 9 to Mar 15 - YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik: What's in an App? Technology and non-print offerings (also, mid-course instructor feedback required)
  • Module 9: Mar 16 to Mar 22- Materials Focus: Realistic Fiction and Romance featuring Lauren's Autoboyography. (includes author Zoom session)
  • Module 10: Mar 23 to Mar 29 - Materials Focus: Nonfiction and Adventure
  • March 30 to April 5 - Spring Break and Cesar Chavez Day -Enjoy!
  • Module 11: Apr 6 to Apr 12 - Materials Focus: Graphic Novels (includes Zoom session with Robin Brenner of No Flying, No Tights blog) (Assignment #5 due April 12)
  • Module 12: Apr 13 to Apr 19 - Diversity in YA Literature
  • Module 13: Apr 20 to Apr 26 - Materials Focus: Short Story Collections and Verse Novels
  • Module 14: Apr 27 to May 3 - Materials Focus: Mysteries, Thrillers, and Horror
  • Module 15: May 4 to May 10 - Materials Focus: Controversial Materials and Historical Fiction (Assignment #6 due May 7)

           Note: Zoom sessions subject to change depending on the speaker schedule

Class Assignments

Students are expected to work independently on assignments and participate in group discussions. All materials submitted must be the sole work of the student and must not be copied from other sources. Student's final work will be in APA format and will be graded on content as well as writing quality, grammar, usage, and spelling; graduate-level writing is expected.

Students will complete six assignments that demonstrate the ability to research carefully, cite appropriately, and show the ability to connect these assignments to practical library applications. Assignments will be uploaded in the Canvas site as Word files or links to external work.

Assignment #1 - What's Up with Teens? Adolescent Behavior and a Timely Topic Facing Teens
Due Date: Sunday, February 9, 2020 by 11:59pm Pacific / Weight = 10%
Students will research a timely topic facing adolescents in grades 9 to 12 - examples include, but are not limited to, online bullying, puberty, peer pressure, digital connectedness, gangs, dating, or a related topic subject to instructor approval. Students will write a 3 to 5 page paper on adolescent development and will provide well-researched information on a current issue that teens face. Students will be assigned foundational readings as a springboard to this assignment. Completion of this assignment ensures student understanding of adolescent development and issues that teens face. CLOs 1, 3, 6 / COMPS A, J

Assignment #2 - Mirrors and Windows...Let's Look at Literary Fiction: A Genre Study
Due Date: Sunday, February 23, 2020 by 11:59pm Pacific / Weight = 10%
Students will create a blog in which they report on five young adult literary novels by different authors and in different fiction genres (for example, realistic fiction, romance, mystery, dystopian, etc.) that have either won a Printz, Stonewall or other award or honor. After reading each title, students will research the title's book reviews, teen blog reviews, and other online information - any reliable information that informs their own evaluation of the title - and should include their local library circulation statistics; they will then write a 250-word literary analysis for each title, including but not limited to, their own perceptions of the book, how teens appear to have received the title, and what critics have claimed. Completion of this assignment provides evidence that students have an awareness of award-winning books being published for teens, how teens receive these titles, and the ability to assist caregivers or parents with reader's advisory. CLOs 1, 3, 5, 6 / COMPS F, J, M

Assignment #3 - On the Right Track? Submit Two Entries for Assignment #6's Mini Library Collection
Due Date: Sunday, March 1, 2020 by 11:59pm Pacific / Weight = 4%
Utilizing the formatting and writing requirements for assignment #6, students will submit two completed entries for the final assignment; one should include a book entry, the other may be any other media entry of their choice. Completion of this assignment ensures that students have the correct formatting and appropriate writing style for the culminating course assignment. CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS A, F, M

Assignment #4 - Reel to Reel: Exploring Films, Audio, and Videogames
Due Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020 by 11:59pm Pacific / Weight = 10%
Students will select a total of nine media items intended for teens in high school, and on each, will write a 250-word review which includes basic plot, quality of the media, teen reaction/interest in the media, and how they might be used in the library for young adult programming. Each review will be presented in a written paper. The nine items must include three movies (either DVD or streaming), three audio recordings (at least one audiobook, but may also include music or podcasts), and three videogames. Completion of this assignment provides students with an understanding of popular entertainment media for teens as well as the ability to develop a library collection in these formats to meet teens' informational needs. CLOs 1, 3, 4 / COMPS F, J, M

Assignment #5 - Let's Get Real: Nonfiction/Informational Books & Media
Due Date: Sunday, April 12, 2020 by 11:59pm Pacific / Weight = 10%
Students will select a Dewey Decimal subject area to create a mini-collection of ten items as a collection development exercise. The subject area should be narrowed significantly rather than being too broad. For example, rather than select philosophy and psychology (Dewey number 100) or music (Dewey number 700), students might focus their collection on astrology (Dewey number 133.5) or kinds of music (Dewey number 781.5). The ten items should be currently in publication and available for purchase; students are creating an updated, current nonfiction collection. The collection will include books and at least one DVD or other media. Completion of this assignment indicates the ability to curate a nonfiction collection for young adults. CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 / COMPS F, M

Assignment #6 - If You Build it, They Will Read! Create a Carefully Curated Mini Young Adult Library Collection
Due Date: Thursday, May 7, 2020, by 11:59 pm Pacific / Weight 30%
Students will create a mini library collection blog of 40 diverse materials and formats; students may apply materials from other assignments to the final total. Students will select only materials they have not previously read or viewed; thank you in advance for adhering to this requirement. Materials will include books, movies, audiobooks, music, and other materials that are currently available for a library to purchase, and should be relatively recently published. Each material's entry will include bibliographic information, student assessment, a creative use for a library program, and a speed-round book talk, but more information and specific details on this will be available in our Canvas site. Completion of this assignment provides evidence that students have explored and understand the wide range of genres and formats of young adult materials available, and are able to assess each item as well as assist parents or caregivers concerning the appropriateness of the materials. They will also show the ability to connect materials to library programming. CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS F, M

Writing Standards

Writing assignments will be created in Word, will be double-spaced, with 12-point Arial or Calibri font. Documents must include the following:

  • Title Page - Assignment title (use instructor's title first, then be creative and name the assignment if you'd like), course title/number, instructor name, university name, assignment due date
  • Headers with page numbers, your last name and first initial (no numbering on title page)
All assignments should be carefully proofread (consider reading your work aloud; you'll be surprised how much more you catch!), are the sole product of the student, include others' images and ideas which are properly referenced in text and on the reference page, meet APA standards for citations, etc., and are within the page limit established by the instructor.
Blog Home Page Guidelines include:
  • Student name
  • Assignment title (use instructor title first, then be creative and name the assignment if you wish)
  • Course title and number
  • Instructor name
  • University name
  • Assignment due date
Within the blog, students must utilize the writing guidelines for Word documents. Academic presentation and writing are essential; blogs created in this course are not intended as journal assignments. Consider a moderate academic writing approach that would appeal to peers, colleagues, parents or caregivers, and teens. The blog content should have a professional appearance utilizing creativity in color, theme, and images. It will contain user-friendly site navigation and will include a separate reference page with proper APA formatting.
Extra Credit
There is no extra credit available in this course.
Late Work Policy / Other Course Guidelines
Assignment due dates are easily viewed in this syllabus and in Canvas. Please be sure to back up your work as a preventative measure, and retain copies of all assignments until the end of the semester.
Late work will not be accepted; however, you may have ONE free pass, meaning that you may turn in one assignment up to a week late without any penalty (this free pass does not extend to discussion forum requirements). To use the free pass, you must inform me that you will be using this pass BEFORE the assignment due date. All other assignments must be turned in on time. Missed work is an "F."
Please contact me as soon as possible if a family emergency or medical situation arises so we can make appropriate arrangements.
All assignments must be turned in by Thursday, May 7th so that I can meet the grade submission date.

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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