INFO 265-10
Materials for Young Adults
Summer 2021 Syllabus

Lisa Houde
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: 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.

Week #1 for this class is Tuesday, June 1 to Friday, June 4. Weekly units begin on Saturdays and end on Fridays at 11:59 PM Pacific when discussion posts and 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! Students will survey fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, movies, TV series, and more. This course will engage students in multiple formats of self-selected young adult materials as they read, view, and listen to a variety of genres. By the end of the course, students will likely be fans of YA materials and will have an understanding of young adults' information-seeking behaviors and developmental needs and how those materials meet their needs. Assignments build to and culminate in a 40-item mini-library collection of young adult materials. As with any worthwhile endeavor, the effort students put into the course will directly impact the benefits.

Please note that this course requires a lot of reading; there's no way around it in a materials course! As such, a carefully created schedule and strong discipline are required - especially as this is a 10-week course.

As part of the course, students will attend three synchronous Zoom sessions unless there are scheduling conflicts; in this case, students will be required to view the recordings. The first Zoom session will be held with a panel of YA librarians, at the second, students will engage with a graphic novels/comics expert, and the third will feature an intellectual freedom specialist.  These presentations are subject to change based on presenters’ schedules.

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

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 José 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, Weekly Topics & Due Dates, Assignments, and Time Management

Class Discussions

Seven discussion posts to be completed by 11:59 PM Pacific on Fridays / Weight = 20% 

Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions with substantive and thoughtful responses to seven topics. Discussion topics, weekly readings, and activities will cover a wide range of subjects pertinent to young adult development and materials - see the list of weekly topics below. In order to enhance discussions, students are required to create one unique substantive post and respond thoughtfully to at least two other studentsCLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS A, F, J, M

Weekly Topics



Module 1

6/1 – 6/4

Introductions / Adolescent Psychology Part I: Defining Older Teens & Their Critical Issues

Module 2

6/5 – 6/11

Adolescent Psychology Part II: What's Up with the Wired Brain?

Module 3

6/12 – 6/18

Materials Focus: Realistic and Historical Fiction, Romance, Mysteries, Thrillers and Horror

Guest Speakers – New Hampshire Young Adult Librarian Panel: June 15, 2021 @ 5:30 PM Pacific/8:30 PM Eastern*

Module 4

6/19 – 6/25

Defining Young Adult Literature

Module 5

6/26 – 7/2

Selection Development Resources, Award Winners, and How to Weed Your Garden: It's all about the Real Estate

Module 6

7/3 – 7/9

Materials Focus: Graphic Novels

Guest Speaker Robin Brenner, Graphic Novel Expert: July 6, 2021 @ 5:30 PM Pacific*

Module 7

 7/10 – 7/16

Burning, Banning, and Removal: Intellectual Freedom, Censorship, and Professional Ethics

Module 8

7/17 – 7/23

Materials Focus: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Short Stories, and Verse Novels

Guest Speaker Jamie LaRue, Intellectual Freedom Expert: July 20, 2021 @ 5:30 PM Pacific/8:30 PM Eastern*

Module 9

7/24 – 7/30

Diversity in Young Adult Literature

Module 10

7/31 – 8/6

Teens and Technology & Materials Focus: Nonfiction

*attendance required, but if schedules absolutely don’t permit live attendance, a recording will be available. Guest speaker dates subject to change due to presenter’s schedules. 

Assignment and Discussion Post Due Dates


Grade Percentage

Due Dates

7 Discussion Posts and Responses


June 4, June 18, July 2, July 9, July 16, July 30, August 6

#1 - What's Up with Teens?  Adolescent Behavior and a Timely Issue Facing Teens (Short Paper)


June 11

#2 - On the Right Track? Two Entries for Assignment 6's Mini Library Collection (Two Blog Entries)


June 18

#3 - Reel to Reel: Exploring Films, Audio, Videogames, and Podcasts (Blog Entries & Reflection Paper on Nine Items)


June 25

#4 - Let's Get Real: Building a Tiny Young Adult Nonfiction Collection (One Blog Entry & Reflection Paper on Ten Items)


July 9

#5 - Evaluating Award-Winning Young Adult Literature: Literary Merit vs. Popularity (Blog Entries & Short Reflection Paper)


July 23

#6 - If You Build It, They Will Read! Mini Young Adult Library Collection & Readers' Advisory Tool (40-Item Culminating Blog Project)


August 6

Assignment Details

Assignments begin with an examination of young adults and the issues they face.  With that as a foundation, we’ll embark on a journey into young adult literature and other materials. In the second assignment, students will create the blog platform that forms the foundation of our course, and assignments will work towards building that final project. The exception is assignment #4 which will provide students the opportunity to create a small, focused library collection utilizing collection development resources.

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 Issue Facing Teens
Students will research a timely topic/issue 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 5 to 7-page paper including an overview of 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 136 / COMPS A, J

Assignment #2 - On the Right Track? Two Entries for Assignment 6's Mini Library Collection
Utilizing the formatting and writing requirements for assignment #6, students will create their blog and submit two completed entries for the final assignment; one print material entry and one media item. It is required that the blog submission for this assignment includes four indexes, a landing page with an introduction to the project as well as the biographical information of the creator, and both entries will be fully prepared per the final project requirements.  Completion of this assignment ensures that students have the correct formatting, entries, and appropriate writing style for the culminating course assignment. CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS A, F, M

Assignment #3 - Reel to Reel: Exploring Films, Audio, Videogames, and Podcasts
Students will select a total of nine media items intended for teens in high school and will create complete blog entries that include all required elements in their final project for each item.  In addition to this, students will write a short paper on their selection process as well as providing an overview of trends in what teens are viewing for entertainment.  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 and entertainment needs. CLOs 134 / COMPS F, J, M

Assignment #4 - Let's Get Real: Building a Tiny Young Adult Nonfiction Collection
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 will be currently in publication, relatively recently published, and available for purchase. Due to the pandemic, slightly older materials may be substituted, but students are creating an updated, current nonfiction collection, so ALL materials must be available for purchase. The collection will include books and at least one DVD or other media. Only one item from this assignment may be included in assignment #6, the final blog project, and all criteria for entry components in assignment #6 must be met.  Completion of this assignment indicates the ability to curate a nonfiction collection for young adults. CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 / COMPS F, M

Assignment #5- Evaluating Award-Winning Young Adult Literature: Literary Merit vs. Popularity
Students will select 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; details on the available range of awards will be available in our course site. After reading each title, students will research the title's book reviews, teen blog reviews, and other online information - any reliable sources that inform their own evaluation of the title - and will create five blog entries for the final blog project (assignment #6) which will include all elements required for each entry. Students will then write a short overview of their process of selection, and they will consider the value of award-winning titles and how teens receive these works. Completion of this assignment provides evidence that students have an awareness of award-winning books being for young adults, how to critically evaluate these titles, how teens receive these titles, and the ability to assist caregivers or parents with readers' advisory. CLOs 1356 / COMPS F, J, M

Assignment #6 - If You Build it, They Will Read! Mini Young Adult Library Collection/Readers' Advisory Tool
Students will create a mini-library collection blog of 40 diverse genres and formats and may apply materials from other assignments to the final total as indicated in Assignments 2 - 5. 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. Due to potential restricted access to libraries during the pandemic, publication dates and other facets of the assignment may be adjusted, but all materials must be currently in publication and available for purchase. Each material's entry will include bibliographic information, student critique, author information, a creative use for a library program, and a speed-round book talk, but additional information and specific details 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 with readers' advisory. Students will also show the ability to connect young adult materials to library programming and prepare for potential challenges and censorship attempts. CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 / COMPS F, M

Time Management

It is critical that students create a reading and writing schedule for this course. As mentioned above, the final assignment entails reading/viewing, annotating, and creating a speed-round book talk (or DVD talk, etc.) on 40 materials for young adults; as mentioned, there are other entry requirements you’ll find detailed in Canvas. By steadily progressing through the semester using self-imposed benchmarks, students will ensure successful assignment completion. In addition to reading towards the final assignment, other reading will include weekly topic articles and assigned readings in Cart's Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism3rd, ed., and Brock's Young Adult Literature in Action: A Librarian's Guide, 3rd ed.

Writing Standards

Writing assignments created in Word will be double-spaced using 12-point Arial or Calibri font.

Written Document Guidelines:

Title Page - Assignment title (use instructor's title), 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)


Blog Guidelines:

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 APA reference page. Find further details in our Canvas course site.

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.

Extra Credit

There is no extra credit available in this course.

Late Work Policy / Other Course Guidelines

Please be sure to back up your work as a preventative measure, and retain copies of all assignments until the end of the semester.

Assignment due dates are easily viewed in this syllabus and in Canvas. Assignments submitted past the 11:59 PM. deadline on the date due will be reduced by 5% per day unless students contact me prior to the due date to negotiate an alternative reduction. Late discussion posts are not accepted as this would adversely impact your classmates’ performance.

As mentioned, unit assignments and discussion posts are due by 11:59 PM Pacific time each Friday, so be sure to plan your week accordingly.

I will grant you ONE free pass: you may turn in ONE assignment up to a week late without penalty if you have contacted me BEFORE the assignment due date.  All subsequent assignments must be turned in on time.  Keep in mind that some assignments build upon previous work, so a pattern of late submissions will impact your overall production.  This free pass does not apply to discussion posts or the final blog project.

Any work submitted past 11:59 PM on Friday, August 6 will not be accepted; this enables the instructor to meet the faculty grade submission deadline.

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 200INFO 260Aor 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:

  • Brock, R. (2019). Young adult literature in action: A librarian's guide (3rd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1440866937arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Cart, M. (2016). Young adult literature: From romance to realism (3rd ed.). Neal-Schuman. Available through Amazon: 0838914624arrow 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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