INFO 281-15 (2-Units)
Seminar in Contemporary Issues:
Examination of Global Library Issues Using Project-Based Learning 
Summer 2020 Syllabus

MA Gonzalo Oyarzun
Office Hours: Virtually, via e-mail.

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1, 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 is a 2-unit course that runs from June 8th - August 3rd. It will be available on Canvas on June 8th.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

Libraries are key institutions in contemporary communities, around which cultural activities take place and, at the same time, they are places where the social, economic and political life of its inhabitants can unfold with force, strengthening the sense of belonging of their users, producing circulation of information, generating knowledge and finally creating community.

This course provides students with a broad overview of the influence of libraries in a global context, especially in developing countries, through innovative projects and programs that have a real impact on the communities served. The course promotes the involvement of students in worldwide issues of libraries working with their communities, so students have an overall view, thinking like global librarians to imagine an active role in a multicultural world. 

A project-based learning methodology is used to support student investigations of specific community needs.

Course Requirements


The course considers theoretical and practical classes. The professor will hold instructional materials that will include instructor recordings and supplementary readings available in the course Canvas site, where the resources will be housed so that they can be viewed or downloaded.

The participation of the students in relation to the classes and contents uploaded in the Virtual Classroom will be considered, especially valuing the relevance of that participation and the contributions made. This participation will be evaluated.

Students will carry out an individual work based on a real library case associated with a reading.

Students will design, as a group, an innovative project.

  • Participation (Supports CLO1, CLO2, CLO3)
    Students are required to contribute to four class discussions and display an understanding and critical analysis of the readings and materials (30 points).
  • Individual analysis (Supports CLO1, CLO2)
    Students are required to write a comparative analysis between an existing library and a reading and comments on the weekly course topics. (15 points).
  • Paper (Supports CLO1, CLO2CLO3)
    The document may include thoughts, ideas, comments on the weekly course topics, readings, guest speakers, current global events, news items, related to globalization and information, and the information society (20 points).
  • Final Group Project (Supports CLO1, CLO2CLO3)
    Students are required to: present an innovative project that could be implemented in an existing library. The focus of the work is innovation. The proposal, the interpretation of the contents seen in the subject, and how this proposal contributes significantly to that library. The work includes a paper and a final presentation. (Final paper 15 points, Proposal 10 points, Presentation 10 points (total 35 points).

Further information about the assignments is given on the Canvas course website.

Course Calendar


Topic and assignment due dates

Unit 1
June 8 - June 14

Introductions, syllabus, course requirements

Unit 2
June 15 - June 21

The library in contemporary society


Unit 3
June 22 - June 29

The library in public space


Units 4
June 29 - July 5

Library and community 


Unit 5
July 6 - July 12

Global library initiatives 

#Talk with guest speakers

Unit 6
July 13 - July 19

Library and human development 


Unit 7
July 20 - July 26

Library and economic development


Unit 8
July 27 - August 3

Innovation Group Project Proposal, Paper & Presentation




30 pts

June 8 – July 26

Individual analysis

15 pts

June 29


20 pts

July 19

Final Group Project 

Proposal, Paper, and Presentation

35 pts

 August 3

All assignments must be submitted by midnight (Pacific Time) on the day the assignment is due. Late assignments will be reduced by 10% of point value per day late. Please contact professor Oyarzun if a medical, family or personal emergency prevents you from submitting an assignment on time.

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 281 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Develop detailed project plans collaboratively and effectively with a team, and then execute those plans collegially and thoughtfully with that team.
  2. Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of a chosen library issue by sourcing, evaluating, and synthesizing information to develop a coherent, accurate background paper as part of the final team project.
  3. Analyze the information synthesized on that issue to develop a community-focused, highly contextualized, and realistic set of recommendations/solutions/products.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  2. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  3. O (For students entering from Spring 2015 onwards) Understand global perspectives on effective information practices that are supportive of cultural, economic, educational, or social well-being.


Recommended Textbooks:

  • Dority, G.K. (2016). Rethinking information work: A career guide for librarians and other information professionals (2nd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1610699599arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Gordon, R. S. (2007). Information Tomorrow: Reflections on Technology and the Future of Public and Academic Libraries. Information Today. Available through Amazon: 1573873039. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Ritzer, G. & Dean, P. (2015). Globalization: A basic text (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. Available through Amazon: 1118687124arrow 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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