INFO 220-13 (2-Units)
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Visual Resources Curation and Arts Librarianship
Fall 2020 Syllabus

Maggie Murphy

Other contact information: 336-338-8629 (Google Voice)
Office location: Virtual (Greenbsoro, NC)
Office Hours: Virtual office hours available by appointment 

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19, 2020, at 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 August 19th - 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 art 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 as well as information about fine arts, design, architecture, and related fields. Weekly readings, 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 create a lesson plan, resource guide, or digital exhibit as a final project, drawing on best practices for teaching, reference, and curation in the field. 

Course Requirements


  1. Weekly reading quizzes (CLOs 1-4)due weekly on Sunday by 11:59 pm PT
  2. Personal reflection blog posts (CLOs 1-4) - due weekly on Tuesday by 11:59 pm PT
  3. Practice exercise: art information reference or evaluation of an open-access digital image collection (CLOS 2, 3) - due Tuesday, 9/29, by 11:59 pm PT
  4. Final project: lesson plan, resource guide, or digital exhibit (CLOs 2, 3) - status update due Tuesday, 9/15, by 11:59 pm, final project submission due Monday, 10/11, by 11:59 pm 

Course Calendar

Please note that each class week runs from Wednesday to Tuesday. Reading quizzes are due each week on Sunday night to ensure that students have time to reflect on readings in their weekly blog posts, due each week on Tuesday night. The following schedule is subject to change with fair notice. 

UNIT 1: Introduction

Week 1 (Aug. 19 - Aug. 25): Welcome & Overview

  • Overview of work settings
  • Overview of professional organizations and standards
  • Overview of professional ethics and practitioner identity

Week 2 (Aug. 26 - Sept. 1): Core Competencies & Information Seeking

  • Core competencies of art information and visual resource professionals
  • Information needs and information seeking behaviors of studio art students, professional artists, art history scholars, art industry professionals, art museum curators, and image collection users


Week 3 (Sept. 2 - Sept. 8)Academic & Fine Arts Libraries
  • Art information reference services 
  • Collections and resource types
  • Library instruction for art history (and related fields)
  • Copyright and scholarly communication issues 

Week 4 (Sept. 9 - Sept. 15): Art & Design School Libraries

  • Critical visual literacy
  • Library instruction for studio art and design (and related fields)
  • Fair use and information ethics in the visual arts
  • Archives, special collections, and exhibits 
Week 5 (Sept. 16 - Sept. 22): Visual Resources & Digital Image Collections
  • Visual resource collection planning, development, and management
  • Digital collection platforms and tools
  • Metadata standards and description practices
  • Database design and user experience
Week 6 (Sept. 23 - Sept. 29): Art Museum Libraries & Museum Image Collections
  • The role of museum libraries within art museums
  • Auction catalogs and provenance research
  • Donors and bequests
  • Museum image collections and licensing 

UNIT 3: Looking AHEAD

Week 7 (Sept. 30 - Oct. 6): Professional Development & Learning Opportunities

  • Finding your niche in professional organizations, committees, and special interest groups
  • Identifying relevant professional development and service opportunities
  • Pursuing continuing education (formal and informal)
  • Professional websites and social media presence

Week 8 (Oct. 7 - Oct. 13): The Future of Visual Resources/Art Info Professions

  • Social justice, protest, and art
  • The impact of COVID-19 and mandatory remote learning on the status quo
  • Emerging trends, challenges, and conversations in the field
  • Major anticipated reports and standards revisions


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

  • Weekly reading quizzes (10%)

  • Personal reflection blog posts (30%)

  • Practice exercise: art information reference or evaluation of an open-access digital image collection (20%)

  • Final project: lesson plan, resource guide, or digital exhibit (40%)

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.


Recommended 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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