INFO 260A-01
Programming and Services for Children
Fall 2021 Syllabus

Penny Peck

Syllabus Links
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19, 2021, 6 am PDT 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 examines the importance of library services and programming for children, including entertainment, cultural, and educational programs, storytimes, outreach techniques, services with schools, summer reading programs, program series such as book discussion groups and other ongoing programs, and reference, readers advisory, and homework help.

Course Format

This is a web-based course.  All of our interactions will take place on the iSchool Canvas site. Course materials will be available primarily through the Canvas site, children’s books and programming from a public library, and journal articles available on the SJSU library database.  Assignments for the course should be posted electronically in the Canvas assignment dropbox.  Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be conducted using a Canvas Discussion Forum - your responses to a different discussion question posted each week.  You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just “I agree”) and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week. 

Course Requirements

Course Calendar

  • Assignment 1: Due Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 2: Due Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 3: Due Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 4: Due Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, by 11:59 pm.
  • Assignment 5: Due Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, by 11:59 pm.

All assignments should be a Word file or PDF posted to the Canvas site in the assignment dropbox.  All assignments must use APA format for sources, and all assignments MUST have sources to demonstrate that research was done.

Course Assignments

Other assigned reading:  Be sure to see the Canvas site for the list of the assigned readings for the class, including the journal articles assigned for the class.  You will also see a sequence of lectures, the weekly topic for the discussion question, and more extensive descriptions of the assignments as well as some sample assignments.

Standards: All assignments should be in your own words (no descriptions or booktalks from other sources – no cutting and pasting of descriptions of events, programs, books used, etc.). All assignments must demonstrate research was done and a list of sources must be at the end of each paper. Also, spelling and grammar count.

Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities.  It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner.  Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited.  Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable.   Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

COVID-19 Accommodations: Assignments 1 and 4 ask that you visit a library to observe programs; if that is not viable for you due to your own need to quarantine or local library closures/limits due to the virus, you may substitute Virtual programming. Be sure to email the instructor with the links and descriptions of the virtual storytime and program you would like to use to make sure these are appropriate substitutes. Also, the instructor can give you suggestions if you need to find virtual programs to attend. The instructor is happy to assist and make changes so that everyone can complete the course safely.

  • Class Discussion - Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be your responses to a different discussion question posted each week. Always post to the Discussion Question by the dates listed in each discussion forum.  You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just “I agree”) and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week. Last day to post to the Discussion Forum is Friday, December 3, 2021.  Related competencies: M, N. Related Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs): 15.
  • Assignment 1: Visit to a Public Library Storytime   Goal of this assignment is to see how a regular storytime is done at a public library (not a special event). Observe a Storytime at a Public Library (you should phone and make arrangements to attend and talk to the presenter after the storytime); if the Covid 19 limitations make that difficult, you may use a Virtual Storytime with the instructor's approval.  Write up a report of this observation, describing all the books, songs, and other activities used during the storytime.  What age group was the target audience – Baby Lapsit, Toddler, Preschool, Family, Bilingual, etc.? What was the demographic of those in attendance and how does that compare to the demographics of the community? How did the presenter handle any disturbances?  Was the presenter a children’s librarian, support staff, or volunteer?  How do they publicize the storytime?  Is registration required? Were any Kindergarten Readiness skills featured?  How will the storytime help emergent readers? What would you have done differently?  What songs and fingerplays were used? Give a clear description of each book used, including author, title, other bibliographic data, and a short description of the plot and illustrations. List all the song lyrics or link to the lyrics if possible, for all the songs and fingerplays. This should not be the library where you work; it should be a regularly scheduled library storytime and not a special event. Do research and list all your sources.  Related competencies: D. Related Course Learning Outcome (CLO): 3.

  • Assignment 2: Booktalks and Book Discussion Group
    Goal of this assignment is to demonstrate you can write a booktalk, and that you can plan a book discussion group for tweens. Read a chapter book/novel aimed at 4th-6th graders, from the mystery, historical fiction, sports, adventure, animal story, fantasy, humor, science fiction, or contemporary/realistic fiction genres (pages 25-28 in our textbook).  This should be a book considered “literature;” not a paperback series knock-off but an award-winner or Honor book, or by someone considered a good writer in the field.  If you are not sure, email me the title so I can okay it.  Read the book and write a booktalk for the book. Write a 5-page description (approx.) of how that book could be used in a Book Discussion Group (sometimes these are called Mother/Daughter Book Clubs, or Readers’ Roundtable, etc.). Give a brief overview of how the book discussion group would be organized and run, including publicity, target audience, and other details.   Write at least 5 suggested discussion questions tailored to that particular book, and complete step-by-step instructions for some related fun (non-homework-like) activities (art projects, food, games, crafts, etc. with complete step-by-step instructions.) Suggest three other novels in that same genre but by different authors, that a reader may also enjoy (You should read these books in their entirety, and give full bibliographic information, and write a short booktalk for each of these books also). Remember, the booktalks, discussion questions, and instructions for the activities must be in your own words. Do research and list all the sources you used.  Related competencies: I, M. Related Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs): 24
  • Assignment 3: Do-It-Yourself or Maker's Programming
    Goal of this assignment is to show you can plan and offer a hands-on game and craft library program for school-age children without hiring outside entertainment. Plan a craft, game, and activity program based on a theme for school-age children: for example, a non-religious holiday program or a celebration of a popular children’s book series (such as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Beezus and Ramona, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc.). Or plan a Makerspace program for tweens (ages 8-12). Describe the types of activities you will offer for participants to choose from. Offer at least five different crafts/games/activities in your plan, along with an icebreaker and refreshments (which are not part of the five activities). Check out the Sample Assignment for some ideas that you can also use as a template for writing up your plan. Do research and list all your sources. Related competencies: D, I. Related Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs): 56.
  • Assignment 4: Children’s Library Program
    Goal of this assignment is to observe a large-scale children’s entertainment/cultural program at a library; your description of what occurred should show that you could put on a similar program at your library. Attend a substantial children’s library program at a public library that is NOT a storytime, and not at the library where you work. This should be for the whole family, or for school-age children, but not something intended just for preschoolers to attend. It can be a program where the library hired a professional entertainer, puppet show, holiday program, an author or illustrator talk, or a program that the library staff puts on like a videogame tournament. Not a small program like a one-craft event or a dog reading program. Make an appointment to speak to the librarian after the program or by phone later that week. Write up a clear description of what the program entailed. If the Covid 19 limitations make that difficult, you may use a Virtual Children's Program with the instructor's approval. What publicity did the library do?  What age group was the target audience, and what was the demographic that attended the event, and was the target different or the same from who actually attended?  How many people attended?  Were parents there or have a role in the program?  If an outside person was hired, how did the librarian know about the person, what was the fee paid, and who was the sponsor who paid (Friends of the Library, library budget, other group)?  Were refreshments served?  Was the program part of a grant?  What was the goal of the program?  Was the program tied to books or reading in any way?  Do research and list all your sources. This should be a family event or something for school-age children, not preschoolers. Related competencies: D, N. Related Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs): 12.
  • Assignment 5: Twelve Month Programming Plan
    Goal of this assignment is to demonstrate you can plan a year-long calendar of events for a library (children’s dept. of a public library, or for a school library TK-6). Write a 12-month programming plan for either a public or school library, intended for our age group 0-12. This would include the usual weekly library storytimes and a regular monthly book discussion group, as well as entertainment programs, homework programs, a summer reading program (yes, even at a school library), author/illustrator visits, online programming, and gaming, etc. Design an overall theme for the year, and/or themes for each month and displays that coordinate with them.  Include information on how the various activities enhance developmental skills at various ages, and which activities are book-related, or are related to electronic resources, and which are designed to get families to come to the library.  You need to include the regular reoccurring programs as well as one monthly special event during the school year, and weekly special events during the summer at a minimum.  Write out a budget, and include multicultural programming and a summer reading program with details on how it would work, what incentives are given, how reading is measured and rewarded, etc.  Do research and list all your sources.   Related competencies: D, M. Related Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs): 246.

Course Grading
Class discussions are worth 20 percent of your grade; Assignment 5 is worth 30 percent, Assignments 1 and 3 are worth 10 percent, Assignments 2 and 4 are worth 15 percent. Penalty for late or missed work – Missed work is an “F;” late work is ONLY allowed by agreement of the instructor BEFORE the due date; late work must be turned in no more than two days late and that is ONLY if the instructor has agreed ahead of the due date and you will be penalized one letter grade for being late.

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

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the current reading, viewing, and listening habits of children, and use this knowledge in program planning.
  2. Apply information on children's developmental and psychological needs and tasks to plan age-appropriate programming and services.
  3. Demonstrate storytelling, reading aloud, finger plays, songs, and rhymes; explain why these activities are developmentally appropriate for the preschool child and how they fit into library services for this age group.
  4. Design and run a summer reading program or game; explain the importance of encouraging parents to read aloud to their children to prepare them for learning to read, and the importance of maintaining reading skills of school-age children by encouraging them to read over the summer.
  5. Demonstrate familiarity with a wide variety of computer software for use in children's library programming.
  6. Design a children's area based on the developmental, recreational, and informational needs of this age group, and create and implement an annual programming and display plan.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 260A supports the following core competencies:

  1. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  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. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  4. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Peck, P. (2014). Crash course in children's services (2nd ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1610697812arrow 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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