INFO 275-10 
Library Services for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities
Fall 2021 Syllabus

Dr. Ziming Liu 
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail.

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19, 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

This course focuses on developing skills for planning, implementing, and evaluating programs for addressing the information needs of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities. Reviews the major national, state, and local studies.

Course Requirements

Assignments and Grading
The assignments for this course are:

Online Discussions 20% Supports CLO #1CLO #2
Visit Reports 10% Supports CLO #3
Critical Notes 20% Supports CLO #4
Term Paper 50% Supports CLO #1CLO #2CLO #3 














Topic Selection

Theoretical models & approaches

Online Discussion

  • Mestre (2010)
  • Stern (1991)




Needs assessment

Online Discussion:

  • Shepherd, Petrillo & Wilson (2018)
  • Singh & Emmelhainz (2019)

Library visit report

Due by 9/12



Community analysis and survey research

Online Discussion

  • Mooko (2005)
  • Haras (2011)

Critical notes #1

Due by 10/3




Report the proposal for your term paper

Barriers of providing libraries for special groups

Online Discussion

  • Gomez (2000)
  • Collins, Howard & Miraflor (2009)
  • Katopol (2016)




Issues in collection development

Online Discussion

  • Payne & Ralli (2019)
  • Jensen (2002)

Critical notes #2

Due by 10/31




Library use by foreign students

Online Discussion:

  • Doucette (2019)

Digital Divide

Online discussion

  • Weiss (2012)






Report the findings of your term paper


Term paper

Due by 11/28

Outline & Readings

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

*Note: required readings

Part I. Background/Issues

Caidi, N.; Allard, D. (2005). Social inclusion of newcomers to Canada: An information problemLibrary and Information Science Research, 27(3), 302-324.

Courtney, N. (2001). Barbarians at the gates; A half-century of unaffiliated users in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27(6): 473-480.

*Mestre, L. S. (2010). Librarians Working with Diverse Populations: What Impact Does Cultural Competency Training Have on Their Efforts? Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6), 479-488.

*Shepherd, J., Petrillo, L., & Wilson, A. (2018). Settling in: How newcomers use a public libraryLibrary Management, 39(8), 583-596.

*Singh, M., & Emmelhainz, C. (2019). Listening to Unaffiliated Users of the Academic Library. SAGE Open, 9(2), 1-8.  Available at: 

*Stern, S. (1991). Ethnic libraries and librarianship in the United States: Models and prospectsAdvances in Librarianship, 15, 77-102.

Lee, S., Chancellor, R., Chu, C., Rodriguez-Mori, H., & Roy, L. (2015). Igniting diversity: actionable methods and ideas for advancing diversity in LIS education in the US. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 56, S47-S60.

Part II. Groups

Asher, C., Case, E., and Zhong, Y. (2009, May). Serving generation 1.5: Academic library use and students from non-English-speaking householdsCollege & Research Libraries, 70(3), 258-272.

Burke, S. K. (2008). Use of Public Libraries by ImmigrantsReference & User Services Quarterly, 48(2), 164-174.

Bushman, B., & Fagan, M. (2019). Public library programs and accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in the United States. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 24, 74-83.

*Doucette, W. C. (2019). Culture matters: Three initiatives to understand international students’ academic needs and experience. Tennessee Libraries, 69(1). Available at

Gehner, J. (2005). Poverty, poor people, and our prioritiesReference & User Services Quarterly, 45(2), 117-121.

Giesler, M. A. (2019). The collaboration between homeless shelters and public libraries in addressing homelessness: A multiple case study. Journal of Library Administration, (59)1, 18-44. 

*Haras, C. (2011).  Information behaviors of Latinos attending high school in East Los AngelesLibrary & Information Science Research, 33, 34-40.

Hughes, H. (2005). Actions and Reactions: Exploring International Students' Use of Online Information ResourcesAustralian Academic & Research Libraries, 36(4), 169-179.

*Jensen, B. (2002). Service to day laborers: A job libraries have left undoneReference & User Services Quarterly, 41(3), 228-233.

*Katopol, P. (2016). Stereotype Threat and the Senior Library PatronLibrary Leadership & Management (Online), 31(1).

Kelleher, A. (2012). Not just a place to sleep: homeless perspectives on libraries in central Michigan. Library Review, 62(1/2), 19-33.

Khoir, S., Du, J. T., & Koronios, A. (2015). Linking everyday information behaviour and Asian immigrant settlement processes: Towards a conceptual frameworkAustralian Academic & Research Libraries46(2), 86-100. 

Kosciejew, M. (2019). Information's importance for refugees: Information technologies, public libraries, and the current refugee crisis. Library Quarterly, 89(2), 79-98.

Lombard, E. (2016). Translating information literacy: Online library support for ESL students. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning10, 312-319. 

Mcgowan, S., Martinez, H., & Marcilla, M. (2018). AnyAbility: Creating a library service model for adults with disabilities. Reference Services Review, 46(3), 350-363.

*Mooko, N. P. (2005). The information behaviors of rural women in BotswanaLibrary and Information Science Research, 27(1), 115-127.

*Payne, R. G., & Ralli, J. (2019). How Can Libraries Support Children and Immigrant Families? By Doing What We Do Best. School Library Journal. Available at

Sirikul, P. & Dorner, D. (2016). Thai immigrants’ information seeking behaviour and perception of the public library’s role during the settlement processLibrary Review, 65 (8/9), 535-548.

VanDyne, H. (2018). Reaching the Hispanic Community through Bilingual Storytime Outreach. Endnotes9(1), 28–32.

Walker, C. & Click, A. (2011). Meeting the reference expectations of ESL students: The challenges of culture. College & Research Library News, 72(1), 20-23.

Witteveen, A. (2016). Word of mouth: As local demographics change, English-language learning programs in public libraries evolve. Library Journal, 141(7), 45.

Wu, D. & Li, Y. (2016). Online health information seeking behaviors among Chinese elderly. Library & Information Science Research, 38(3), 272-279.

Part III: Services/Programs

(collection development; bibliographic instruction; reference; recruitment)

Cichanowicz, E.; Chen, N. (2004). Planning for multilingual chat reference service in a suburban public library systemThe Reference Librarian. 85, 115-126.

Clay, E. S. (2006). They don't look like me: Library multicultural awareness and issuesVirginia Libraries, 52(4), 10 - 14.

*Collins, L.N., Howard, F, and Miraflor, A. (2009). Addressing the needs of the homeless: A San Jose Library partnership approachThe Reference Librarian, 50(1), 109-116.

Friedman, A. (2006). Defining images: Redefining outreach to new AmericansVirginia Libraries, 52(2), 31-33.

Giesler, M. A. (2017). A place to call home?: A qualitative exploration of public librarians' response to homelessnessJournal of Access Services14(4), 188-214.

*Gomez, M. (2000). Who Is Most Qualified to Serve Our Ethnic-Minority CommunitiesAmerican Libraries, 31(11), 39-41.

Gonzalez, M., Sanders-Jackson, A, & Emory, J. (2016). Online health information-seeking behavior and confidence in filling out online forms among Latinos: A cross-sectional analysis of the California health interview survey, 2011-2012. Journal of Medical Research 18(7), 1-27.

*Harper, L. (2020). Recruitment and retention strategies of LIS students and professionals from underrepresented groups in the United States. Library Management, 41(2/3), 67-77.

Lloyd, A., Kennan, M., Thompson, K., & Qayyum, A. (2013). Connecting with new information landscapes: Information literacy practices of refugees. Journal of Documentation, 69(1), 121-144.

Marquis, S. (2003). Collections and services for the Spanish-speaking: Issues and resourcesPublic Libraries, 42(2), 106-12.

Shipman, J., Daly, D., Henry, J. (2004). Partnering with the community: A women’s health network for multicultural communities. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 8(4), 27-39.

Tetteh, B. (2011). Serving African immigrants in Colorado public libraries. Colorado Public Libraries Journal. 35(4). Available at:

Part IV: Impact of New IT

*Weiss, R. J. (2012). Libraries and the digital divideJournal of the Library Administration & Management Section, 8(2), 25-47.

van Deursen, A., & van Dijk, J. (2019). The first-level digital divide shifts from inequalities in physical access to inequalities in material access. New Media & Society, 21(2), 354-375.

Zickhur, K. & Smith, A. (2012). Digital differences. Available at:

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 200, INFO 204

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics, challenges, issues, needs, interests, and concerns associated with providing information services to diverse groups.
  2. Develop skills and methods for identifying appropriate resources and communication channels for service delivery to these patrons.
  3. Design, implement, and evaluate effective and responsive programs and services.
  4. Review readings and studies reflecting major national, regional, state, and local trends for providing culturally appropriate library services to racially and ethnically diverse groups.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 275 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. 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.


No Textbooks For This Course.

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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