INFO 210-15
Reference and Information Services
Spring 2021 Syllabus

Dr. Ruphina Ozoh
Email
Phone Number: 678-860-4730
Office Location: Virtual
Office Hours:  Available via email. Telephone appointments scheduled as needed.


Syllabus Links
Textbooks
CLOs
Competencies
Prerequisites
Resources
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore
 

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 27th 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.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

A process-oriented examination of how information professionals answer reference questions. The interpersonal skills required for effective question negotiation and the sources with which questions are answered are stressed.

Full Description

This course will introduce you to the very exciting world of reference and information services! We will be learning about the major roles of reference librarians as well as examining and evaluating key information sources in a variety of formats. Because the field of librarianship is changing rapidly, we will be exploring various methods and models for delivering information, examine emerging trends, and also look at new ideas and skills that are impacting the future of reference services and access to information.  

Course Requirements

Writing Requirement
If the instructor finds that a student's writing is unacceptable, the instructor will require the student to sign up for online writing tutoring. The student will ask the tutor to confirm with the instructor that he or she is attending sessions.

Course Calendar

UNIT TOPICS COURSE MATERIALS ACTIVITIES/DUE DATES

1

Jan. 27-31

Introduction-About You 

Course Introduction 

Ethics

Textbook

Chapter 1- Introduction to Reference and Information Services

Chapter 17: Ethics

Articles

BLICK, B. (2020). The Role of Remediation in Library Reference. College Student Journal54(1), 57–62.

Houston, A. M. (2016). What’s in a Name? Toward a New Definition of Reference. Reference & User Services Quarterly55(3), 186–188

Luo, L., & Trott, B. (2016). Ethical Issues in Reference An In-Depth View from the Librarians’ Perspective. Reference & User Services Quarterly55(3), 189–198.

Miller, R. E. (2018). Reference Consultations and Student Success Outcomes. Reference & User Services Quarterly58(1), 16–21.

Discussion post

Due Jan. 31

2

Feb. 1-7

The Reference Interview

Virtual Reference

Model

Textbook

Chapter 2- Determining the Question: In-Person, Telephone, and Virtual Reference Interviews

Chapter 3- Finding the Answer: basic Search Techniques

Articles

Bednar, M., & Antell, K. (2014). The Reference Interview Today: Negotiating and Answering Questions Face to Face, on the Phone, and Virtually. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 54(1)

Duncan, V., & Gerrard, A. (2011). All Together Now!: Integrating Virtual Reference in the Academic Library. Reference & User Services Quarterly50(3), 280–292.

Enhancing library impact through technology. (2015). Journal of the Medical Library Association103(4), 222–231. https://doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.4.015

Luo, L., & Weak, E. (2011). Texting 4 Answers: What Questions Do People Ask? Reference & User Services Quarterly51(2), 133–142. 

Schwartz, H. R., & Trott, B. (2014). The Application of RUSA Standards to the Virtual Reference Interview. Reference & User Services Quarterly54(1), 8–11.

Videos

Dr. Marie Radford - Virtual Library Reference Services

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk1P5au7_yw

Ask a Librarian!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uLQ4inArgE

Discussion post

Videos

Due Feb. 7

3

Feb. 8-14

Leadership

Articles

Gwyer, R. (2018). “This is an Opportunity for Librarians to Reinvent Themselves, but it is about Moving Out of their Areas”: New Roles for Library Leaders? New Review of Academic Librarianship24(3/4), 430–443.

Marcum, D. B. (2016). Library leadership for the digital age. Information Services & Use36(1/2), 105–111

Mcmanus, A. (2017). Serving to Lead. Reference & User Services Quarterly57(2), 86–88.

RAY, M. (2018). Leadership Suits Me. Teacher Librarian46(2), 26–29.

Thompson, J. (2014). Crafting an Envisioned Future for RUSA. Reference & User Services Quarterly54(1), 4–7

Guest Speaker

Prerecorded 

Discussion post

GUEST SPEAKER SESSION

Due Feb. 14

4

Feb. 15-21

Managing Reference

Textbook

Chapter 20-Managing Reference Departments

 

Guest Speaker

Prerecorded 

Discussion post

GUEST SPEAKER SESSION

Due Feb. 21

5

Feb. 22-28

The Internet as a Reference Tool

Textbook

Chapter 13-When and How to Use the Internet as a Reference Tool

Articles

ECKERT, K. (2016). A Virtual Vertical File How Librarians Utilize Pinterest. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children14(2), 34–35. 

Phetteplace, E. (2015). How Can Libraries Improve Wikipedia? Reference & User Services Quarterly55(2), 109–112.

Link

 Internet of Things

http://www.ala.org/tools/future/trends/IoT

Discussion Post

PROJECT 1: REFERENCE/INFORMATION SERVICES INTERACTION 

Due Feb. 28

6

Mar. 1-7

A Review

of

Magazines

Newspapers

Bibliographic Sources

Encyclopedias

Textbook

Chapter 4- Answering Questions about Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Libraries and Publishing, and Bibliographic Networks-Bibliographic Resources

Chapter 5- Answering Questions about Anything and Everything-Encyclopedias

Discussion post

Due Mar. 7

7

Mar. 8-14

A Review 

of

Ready Reference

Dictionaries

Concordances

Manuals

Textbook

Chapter 6- Answering Questions that Require Handy Facts-Ready Reference Sources

Chapter 7- Answering Questions about Words-Dictionaries, Concordances, and Manuals

Discussion post

Due Mar. 14

8

Mar. 15-21

A Review

of

Events-Past/Present Sources 

Databases

Indexes

Health

Law

Business

Textbook

Chapter 8-Answering Questions about Events and Issues, Past and Present-Databases (and Indexes)

Chapter 9- Answering Questions about Health, Law, and Business-Special Guidelines and Sources

 

Discussion Post

PROJECT 2: DATABASE SEARCHING AND WEBIBLIOGRAPHY

Due Mar. 21

9

Mar. 22-28

A Review 

of

Geographical Sources

Biographies

Government Documents

Textbook

Chapter 10 Answering Questions about Geography, Countries,a nd Travel-Atlases, Gazetteers, Maps, Geographic Information Systems, and Travel Guides

Chapter 11- Answering Questions about the Lives of People-Biographical Information Sources

Chapter 12- Answering Questions about Government and Related Issues-Government Information Sources

Discussion post

Due Mar. 28

BREAK

Mar.

29-Apr.4

     

10

Apr.

5-11

Reader's Advisory

Reference Services for Children/Young Adults

Textbook

Chapter 14- Reader's Advisory

Chapter 15-Reference Services for Children and Young Adults

Articles

FELDE, K., & ROGERS, P. (2017). Now Playing ...:Using Podcasts and Kidcasts in the Library. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children15(2), 9–12

Feldman, S. (2019). “What Should I Read Next?” Publishers Weekly266(37), 22–24.

KOZIKOWSKI, M., & WILLIAMS, K. (2020). Beyond the Book: Encouraging Emerging Readers. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children18(2), 34–36. 

Discussion post

Due Apr. 11

11

Apr. 12-18

Selection and Evaluation of Sources

Textbook

Chapter 18-Selecting and Evaluating Reference Materials

Discussion Post

PROJECT 3: PRINT SOURCES REVIEW

Due. Apr. 18

12

Apr. 19-25

 

Library Programming

Diversity in Libraries 

Textbook

Chapter 19-Reference as Programming

Diversity in Libraries

Articles

Ryan, M., & Leadley, S. (2015). Reflections on Diversity and Organizational Development. Reference & User Services Quarterly54(4), 6–10.

van der Linden, K., Bartlett, J., & Beheshti, J. (2014). New Immigrants’ Perceptions and Awareness of Public Library Services. Canadian Journal of Information & Library Sciences38(2), 65–79. 

Guest Speaker 

Prerecorded 

Videos

Librarian JJ Pionke on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Libraries: "It's personal to me"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzREgxtA6VI

Queens Library Adult Learner ESOL Program pt 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdYC6AK8h0c

 

Discussion Post

GUEST SPEAKER SESSION

Videos

Due Apr. 25

13

Apr. 26-May 2

Assessment

Enhancement

Textbook

Chapter 21-Assessing and Improving Reference Services

Discussion post

Due Apr. 13

14

May 3-9

Reference 2.0

Future of Reference

Textbook

Chapter 22-Reference 2.0

Chapter 23-The Future of Information Service

Link

Trends

http://www.ala.org/tools/future/trends

Discussion post

PROJECT 4A: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MAJOR SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES (GROUP PROJECT)

Due May 9

15

May 10-17

Wrap Up

 

Insights Gained 

Discussion post

PROJECT 4B: PEER REVIEW

Due May 17

Class Structure

INFO 210 will be conducted in an asynchronous manner.  There will be no live sessions organized by the instructor. 

Discussion Forum

This class will consist of lectures and discussions, as comparable to the ones held in a traditional classroom. This means that lecture notes and discussion topics will be provided, and that will be on a weekly basis. The weekly reading assignments will consist of textbook sections and scholarly journal articles. Additional relevant materials such as short YouTube videos and prerecorded guest speaker sessions will be provided for some units. While the videos and prerecorded guest speaker sessions added will make the class experience more exciting and fun, they were selected for their educative and informative values. Additional reading materials and videos may be added in the course room.

 Participation in the weekly discussion forum is mandatory as it is a platform designed for all to exchange information gained from the textbook, scholarly articles, videos, and prerecorded guest speaker sessions as well as personal experiences and observations.

Students will be required to provide substantive comments to each discussion topic with a minimum of 200 words by the deadline noted.  In addition, students will be required to respond to at least two students for each discussion session.  While a specific length is not required when commenting on the posts made by other students, such comments must go beyond the "great post" or "I agree with that" type of message.

Comments made by students to each discussion topic will stimulate a classroom discussion and give students the opportunity to interact and learn from the instructor and one another.

Discussion participation will be evaluated based on the quality of the work submitted as related to the topic, instead of the number of posts generated at the end of the course. Supports CLOs: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

Assignments:

There will be a total of four (4) projects for this course:

The four (4) projects assigned for this course will be in the form of exercises that will be conducted at the library either physically or virtually. 

The hybrid nature of today's information organizations shows that electronic and print sources are important components of the library collection.  To that effect, most of the projects will involve the review and evaluation of electronic and print sources. The purpose of these projects will be to offer practical experience to some of the key concepts that will be learned in class.

PROJECT 1: REFERENCE/INFORMATION SERVICES INTERACTION (Physical Visit). 

(Please adhere to all Covid-19 Protocols. However, if you are uncomfortable visiting a library for this exercise because of Covid-19 considerations, please feel free to do a phone interaction using two separate libraries. Two questions should be asked at each library if you choose the phone option).

As a library user seeking to retrieve information for a research project or other purposes, prepare a total of two (2) questions to ask a reference/information services librarian at any library of your choice. You CANNOT use the library that you work in.  Make a mental note of your interaction with the librarian as you will have to critically evaluate your general impression of the services you received. Briefly observe the services provided to other library users. Try to grasp even subtle nuances of facial expressions or body language that might have impacted the level of services that you and other clients received. Note that some libraries have phased out the traditional reference desks and have adopted the roaming services option. If this is the case for the library selected, it will be okay to use that service model for this exercise.

NOTE: Whatever you can find out that could help in determining the level of services received from the information professional will be useful. Please do not interview the reference librarians about their jobs, as you are ONLY required to ask the type of questions that information seekers ask every day.  Rate the services provided by the librarian on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the highest rating).  Students are required to synthesize this reference interaction and observation with the concepts discussed by Cassell and Hiremath and other books and articles you might have consulted for this paper. 

This project should be written in the form of a well-organized essay. Please do not include the transcript of the interview.  Submit 4-6 pages of double line spacing.  Do not submit more than 6 pages.  More details will be provided in the course room. Supports CLOs: 3,4,7,8.

PROJECT 2: DATABASE SEARCHING AND WEBIBLIOGRAPHY (Physical or Virtual Visit)

One of the most important duties of reference/information services librarians is to ensure that library users are aware of the databases available at the library and how to use them effectively. 

2A: LIBRARY ELECTRONIC DATABASE SEARCHING 

  • Choose any topic of your choice
  • Be sure to select a popular topic that will generate hits during the search such as ‘diabetes’
  • Utilize five (5) electronic databases for the search and provide a brief scope of each database
  • Write down the search strategies used for each database such as Key Words, Truncation, Boolean Operators, etc.
  • Write down five (5) articles retrieved from each database in the form of an enumerative bibliography 
  • All articles retrieved must be Peer-Reviewed
  • All articles retrieved must be full-text

2B: WEBIBLIOGRAPHY 

  • Search the internet and prepare an annotated webibliography with five (5) trustworthy websites on the same topic you worked on for 2A 
  • Begin each entry with the URL (web address) and then the annotation, which is a description of the website
  •  Since information professionals are expected to assist information searchers in retrieving AUTHORITATIVE information from all sources, provide a good justification as to why you selected each website   
  • Note that the annotation for each website should provide an information seeker with a good description of what the website is all about 

  2A and 2B should be produced as one project and should be 6-10 pages of double line spacing.  Do not submit more than 10 pages. Supports CLOs: 2,4 5

PROJECT 3: PRINT SOURCES REVIEW (Physical Visit)

(Please adhere to all Covid-19 protocols as appropriate).

Students will select and review ten (10) print materials that could be used in answering reference/information questions from any type of library.  Materials should be selected from different categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification or the Library of Congress Classification schemes. A librarian could assist you in person or over the phone in identifying print titles that are typically used in answering questions.

 Students will provide an annotated bibliography for the titles reviewed.  Each annotation should be followed by one sample question that can be answered with each title.  The answer to the sample questions should be noted also. Students are required to physically review these titles so that they can be familiar with the content and organization of each print source reviewed.

NOTE:  Indicate the type of library visited. Each title reviewed will have four parts- the complete bibliographic entry, the annotation, the sample question and answer. The annotation for each title should be approximately 5 double spaced lines.  Also provide a summary of your general experience with retrieving information from the print sources reviewed in one or two paragraphs.  Submit 4-6 pages of double line spacing.  Do not submit more than 6 pages.  Supports CLOs: 1,2

PROJECT 4A: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MAJOR SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES- GROUP PROJECT (Virtual Visit).

Subscription-only databases contain thousands of periodicals and scholarly journals articles that are not available through free search engines.  Students will be divided into groups to analyze and compare two major subscription-only databases. Each group will determine crucial differences or similarities between the databases selected. Each group will operate as the Collection Development Committee of a small library or information center with very limited financial resources.  Given that financial resources are scarce, make a convincing argument to the organizational leaders about why one database should be selected over the other.   The following points as discussed by Cassell and Hiremath should be considered when completing this project:

Scope, Quality of Content, Accuracy, Currency, Authority, Ease of Use, Arrangement and Appropriateness.  Databases with similar scope should be selected by each group.

NOTE: Each group should conduct as many searches as possible in order to get a good feel about the selected databases.  Do not submit more than fifteen (15) pages of double line spacing. Supports CLOs: 1,2,4

PROJECT 4B: INSIGHTS GAINED/PEER REVIEW

Summary of the insights gained from the project and a peer review of other team members should be submitted in one to two pages of double line spacing. Supports CLOs: 2,4.

EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR ASSIGNMENTS

Quality of the presentation- neat, orderly, and free of mistakes

Quality of the writing- clear and concise

Quality of the organization- logical flow

Requirements for Assignments:

  • Double Line Spacing
  • 12 Point Font
  • APA Format

NOTE: Professional behavior is required when conducting any projects at libraries either physically or remotely.

More details will be provided for each assignment in the Course Room.

All discussion posts and projects should be submitted by 11:59 pm PACIFIC STANDARD TIME.

This is a graduate program and students are expected to be responsible with regards to deadlines. However, if there is an extenuating circumstance that would prevent a student from meeting a specific deadline noted, the instructor should be contacted so that the student can be accommodated. 

LATE SUBMISSIONS

  • Discussions: Discussion posts should be made within the assigned period only.  All submissions made after the deadline will not count.
  • Projects: One point will be deducted each day a project is submitted late.  Projects submitted after 7 days will not be accepted. 

Grading

Project  Point Value  Due Date
DISCUSSIONS

2 points each

(30 points total)

Ongoing
PROJECT 1: REFERENCE/INFORMATION SERVICES INTERACTION  10 points Feb. 28
PROJECT 2: DATABASE SEARCHING AND WEBIBLIOGRAPHY 20 points  Mar. 21
PROJECT 3: PRINT SOURCES REVIEW 15 points  Apr. 18

PROJECT 4A: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MAJOR SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES (GROUP PROJECT)

20 points

 May 9

PROJECT 4B: INSIGHTS GAINED/PEER REVIEW 5 points  May 17

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 202

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and assess the characteristics and functions of various types of reference sources.
  2. Use basic reference tools and searching techniques to answer a wide range of questions.
  3. Conduct effective reference interviews.
  4. Describe the relationships between user needs, information resources, and relevant information technologies.
  5. Describe current issues and trends in reference services, including the impact of technology on user needs and reference interactions.
  6. Evaluate reference services that address the needs of a diverse and changing society.
  7. Understand the relationship between reference service and information literacy instruction.
  8. Begin to develop a personal philosophy of reference service.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 210 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.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.

Textbooks

Required Textbooks:

  • Cassell, K.A., & Hiremath, U. (2018). Reference and information services: An introduction (4th ed.). Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman. Available as free eBook through King Libaryarrow 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;
    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).

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: https://www.sjsu.edu/curriculum/courses/syllabus-info.php. 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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