Seminar in Archives and Records Management
Summer 2020 Syllabus
Canvas Login and Tutorials
Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1st, 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.
This course presents an overview of research methods and resources for conducting genealogy in the United States and will equip students with a strong foundation for providing library services to genealogy patrons. While genealogy is an incredibly popular hobby, we will also look at genealogy as a scholarly pursuit and as a profession.
The course will proceed along two parallel tracks:
- Basic genealogical research and methodology. Lectures, required readings, discussions, and assignments will support your learning in this track.
- Librarian-specific topics that have to do with what librarians need to know in order to serve genealogy patrons. Guest instructors, facilitated Q&A discussions, and assignments will support your learning in this track.
Thank you to Drew Smith, MLS (MALIS), for providing his own course description, outline, assignments, and rubrics for me to use as a model for developing this course! Drew is the 2016 recipient of the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship, presented at the National Genealogical Society annual conference.
Grades are based on 2 main assignments, mandatory weekly activities, and 4 asynchronous question & answer sessions with guest instructors. Specific details and rubrics will be posted in Canvas the first day of instruction.
This course carries a heavy assignment load due to being a 10 week accelerated class.
Weekly Activities (40 total points, 4 per week)
Each module will include mandatory activities (as well as relevant voluntary activities and assessments). These mandatory activities include a mix of discussions and brief reports. Each activity directly supports one or more of the 2 Individual Assignments.
Supports CLOs #1, #2, #3, #4, #5.
Guest Instructor Q&A Sessions (12 total points, 3 per session)
Four of my colleagues, representing different areas of professional genealogy librarianship, will join us as guest instructors—each for a designated week–to discuss the nature of their work and to answer questions in the discussion forums. Participation in these Q&A sessions is mandatory. My recorded interviews will be made available two weeks prior to each assigned week, for students who want to work ahead of schedule. The interviews and Q&A sessions are all conducted asynchronously.
Supports CLOs #4, #5.
- Drew Smith, Librarian, Academic Services, University of South Florida (USF) Tampa Library, and co-owner of Aha! Seminars.
- Amy Lenertz, Owner, Raincross Genealogy.
- Allison DePrey Singleton, Librarian, The Genealogy Center, Allen County Public Library.
- Melissa Barker, Certified Archives Manager, Houston County, Tennessee Archives.
Main Assignments (48 total points)
- Select one of the following (18 points):
- Genealogy Instruction Screencast
Supports CLOs #1, #2, #4.
- Genealogy Reference Interview
INFO 210 is not required.
Supports CLOs #1, #2, #4, #5.
- Kinship Determination Project (30 points)
Supports CLOs #1, #2, #3.
This course calendar outlines the general topics covered in each module and is subject to change with fair notice.
Main Assignments (ASSM) are due on the last day of each week (Sunday).
Graded Guest Instructor Q&A Sessions (Q&A) and Graded Activities (ACT) have two-part deadlines, with the first part due on Thursday of each week, and the second part due the last day of that week (Sunday).
|1||The Foundations of Good Research||ACT|
Major Online Repositories
Genealogical Records, Part I
Genealogical Records, Part II
|4||Genealogical Records, Part III||ACT|
Genealogical Records, Part IV
KDP Intro & Lab, Part I
Genealogy Librarianship, Part I
Genealogy Records, Part V
Genealogy Librarianship, Part II
KDP Lab, Part II
Genealogy Librarianship, Part III
KDP Lab, Part III
Intro to Genetic Genealogy, Part I
Genealogy Librarianship, Part IV
KDP Lab, Part IV
Intro to Genetic Genealogy, Part II
All assignments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on the date due. Due dates may change to accommodate class needs. Sufficient notice will be provided for any change in due dates.
This course carries a heavy workload, so I am allowing late submissions on some activities and assignments only, based on observations from prior semesters.
- Regular Weekly Graded Activities (ACT): Can receive 75% credit if turned in one day past the due date and time, and 50% credit if turned in two days past the due date and time. No credit for later submissions.
- Assignment 1 (ASSM1): Can receive 75% credit if turned in one day past the due date and time, and 50% credit if turned in two days past the due date and time. No credit for later submissions.
- Guest Instructor Q&A Sessions (Q&A): No late submissions accepted. Guest instructors are only available with us for a set number of days.
- Assignment 2 (ASSM2): No late submissions accepted, as this is due the final date of instruction.
Aside from the aforementioned situations, late assignments are only accepted in the case of an emergency. Please contact instructor BEFORE or ON a deadline in the case of serious illness or emergency. No make-up task to be offered for missed assignment(s).
The following table includes the course assignments, points, and due dates.
|Guest Instructor Q&A Sessions (4)||12||TBA|
|Assignment 1: Genealogy Reference Interview or Genealogy Instruction Screencast||18||7/19/20|
|Assignment 2: Kinship Determination Report||30||8/07/20|
|Total Points Possible||100|
Required Reading & Viewing
In addition to the required textbook, each module will include a series of required readings and viewings. These will be provided in Canvas.
Course Citation Styles
Instructor Citation Style
The instructor uses the Evidence Explained (EE) citation style throughout this course since it is recognized by the genealogy profession to be the scholarly style for genealogy scholarship. Evidence Explained is an extension of the Chicago Manual of Style, which is the style used by historians. More will be discussed in Module One.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to
Cyberspace, 3rd ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015)
Students are not required to learn or use Evidence Explained for this course, since:
- that falls under more advanced methodology than what this “overview” course has time to cover, and,
- while still in library school, you should be focusing your time and energy on citation styles that are more general to the library profession and the disciplines that librarians generally specialize in (you have enough on your plates!).
Student Citation Style
Students may use any of the standard citation styles accepted by the School of Information, or as noted as the suggested citation format by a particular repository.
All work submitted throughout the course must include citations when appropriate. These citations will be reviewed (with feedback), but will not be graded.
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.
INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204, other prerequisites may be added depending on content.
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Exhibit familiarity with major types of historical records and research techniques for conducting genealogy in the United States.
- Discuss the main concepts, methodology, and standards behind scholarly genealogy, with particular attention to intellectual freedom issues.
- Apply these concepts, record types, techniques, methodology, and standards to a Kinship Determination Project.
- Describe the role of the librarian in orienting patrons to the library's genealogical resources and services, and in instructing patrons in their use.
- Apply the reference interview to the specialized needs of genealogy patrons.
Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)
INFO 284 supports the following core competencies:
- 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.
- 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.
- Morgan, G.C. (2015). How to do everything: Genealogy (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. Available through Amazon: 0071845925. Available in both print and Kindle. Instructor uses Kindle version. All lecture references to textbook cite Kindle version.
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|
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).
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: http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/syllabusinfo/. 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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