INFO 220-10
Resources and Information Services in the Disciplines and Professions
Reader’s Advisory Genres and Techniques for Adults
Fall 2021 Syllabus

Joni Richards Bodart
Phone: (408) 924-2728
Office Hours: Office hours will be scheduled on Tuesdays, from 630-730, starting Sept 7, 2021. Details on how to access office hours will be given in the Zoom module on the modules page.

Syllabus Links
Canvas Login and tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19, 2019, 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

This course will focus on the philosophy and methodology of matching patrons to genres and authors, locating elusive or nameless books, and organizing and highlighting the adult fiction collection to enable patrons to easily and effectively locate the materials they are seeking.  This course also provides the student with an opportunity to focus on the literature of genre fiction, including specific genres and subgenres, specific titles and authors within them, and the characteristics of the readers of each of the genres.

The Canvas Site

Please check the site regularly for announcements, discussion board questions, and so on.  As soon as you can access the website for the first time, go to the discussion board and introduce yourself, both professionally and personally.  Share your most favorite and least favorite genres.  Read other students’ introductions and genres, and contact anyone you might like to work with.  Explore the various forums for other information I think might be helpful to you.  You also need to take a look at the Course Documents section for articles, bibliographies, and other materials.  Assignment due dates are also posted there, as well as below.  You will be submitting all your assignments via Assignment Drop Boxes.

Please let me know right away if you have problems with anything.

Zoom sessions

There will be FOUR Zoom sessions, plus a non-lecture Introduction and Q&A.  They are all for guest speakers, so synchronous attendance is required.  Dates for guest speakers will be announced as soon as they are scheduled.  All sessions will be taped, so you can watch them later.  The links to the recordings will be posted on the Canvas website. 

Dates and content for the Zoom sessions are:

August 26, 630-900 pm PT—Introduction to the course, Q&A, discussion of students’ preferred genres, and some formation of book club teams, based on number of students attending

The following sessions will all be from 630-900 PT and will be used for guest speakers.  Specific dates for speakers are being scheduled, and dates will be posted as soon as they are scheduled.  Any dates without guest speakers will be canceled. 

September 9 

September 23 

October 7

October 21

November 11

One of our speakers will be Misha Stone, a RA librarian at Seattle Public Library. 

We will also have a speaker from NoveList, Lori Reed, who will explain how to use it to look for specific genres or titles, how to create booklists, and many other tricks that should be very helpful.

Kaite Mediatore Stover and Jessica Moyer, authors of your textbook, are checking their schedules, but nothing has been confirmed.  If they can’t come, I will post the recording of Jessica’s visit to last year’s class.  It was very enjoyable!  Any class session with live guest speakers is a required synchronous session.  No exceptions.

Class Requirements


All assignments are designed to help you gain knowledge that will allow you to achieve competency in one or more of the competencies listed above.  They are not busywork, and I have designed them carefully to give you both knowledge and skills that will help you succeed as a reader’s advisor.  If you don’t understand how a particular assignment will help you do this, please ask me.  I will be happy to explain.

You will need to post some of the assignments on the appropriate forums on Canvas to share with your classmates. 

Please make sure that when you are submitting work that you make sure the links are active and will lead me to the assignment.  If I cannot open the assignment or reach you to let you know there’s a problem, and grades are due, you will not get credit for that assignment.  This is less critical during the semester when asking you to resubmit your work doesn’t involve the time crunch that always happens at the end of the semester, since the deadline for final grade submissions is absolute and not at all flexible.


Your first participation assignment is to introduce yourself on the appropriate Canvas discussion board.  You also need to share your expertise on the various genres when you post your introduction—what genres are you very familiar with?  What are the most important/your favorite titles/authors in those genres?  When working in groups, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what roles do you enjoy or not enjoy?  Are you an early finisher or procrastinator?

Read textbooks, and participate in class discussions on discussion boards.  Participate is defined as posting 1-2 times weekly, both in response to the questions I post and to others’ reactions to them.  Comments should be thoughtful and insightful, adding to our mutual learning process.   

Your second discussion thread will be “Can reading make you happier?”  This article is posted on the class website, along with other topics for discussion later in the semester.

Class participation also involves being an active group member and contributing to your and your partner’s book discussion.  Discussion leaders will be required to do a self and partner/peer evaluation as part of their grade.  This evaluation will be an informal paper, describing how you decided to work together, who did what, and how well or how poorly your process worked.

In addition, when anyone finds a book you really like, I expect you to share it with the class on the appropriate genre forum—some other folks may also enjoy reading it.    Due 12/6


Subscribe to and participate in Fiction-L, an RA listserv. Participation is defined as responding to all posts in which you are interested and initiating queries of your own.  Please note that your responses to posts may be in answer to questions about titles, or may be in response to discussions on the list. You are also welcome to start discussion topics--many students subscribe to this list, and you don't need to feel hesitant about contributing.  These are good folks and will treat you with respect.  And do remember that even those of us with experience can have a brain-dead day and need help.  I am a member of this list, so I will be able to see your participation.  You will need to post about once a month, and more if you choose to.  

To subscribe, go to the following URL,, click on the hyperlink for Fiction-L, and follow directions. I recommend the digest version, rather than receiving individual posts--the volume is high.  However, when responding to the digest version, you will need to change the subject line to reflect the topic of your post, rather than the number of the digest. (While you're there, explore this super site!)  Due:  sign up now and begin participating as soon as possible.)


Read the 15 required titles for the discussion demos and at least 20 other titles for adults (total of at least 35 books), covering most of the genres.  If you are familiar with one of the genres and have read deeply in it, you might want to read fewer titles, or just skip it, to give you a chance to read in the genres you are not familiar with and broaden your knowledge.  If there are genres you don’t like or have avoided for some reason, you need to read at least 3-4 books from that genre, so you will be familiar with some of the titles and authors, in case you are asked about them.  Remember, RA doesn’t mean recommending only the titles/authors you’ve read/liked, but also the ones that your customer is looking for—even when that’s a genre you don’t list among your favorites. 



Reading only titles/genres/authors you think you will like will give you a less rich and educational experience than if you spread your wings and dare to investigate topics, ideas, and people that you have not explored before.  If you are looking for ideas for titles, please go to your texts, to NoveList, to your colleagues, to your friends/family outside of class who love to read, and lastly, to the folks on Fiction L for ideas.  And for the latter, do explain you are taking my class, and have to read in genres you are unfamiliar with or don’t like, explain what you don’t like about them, and where you looked for ideas. before you ask for input.  For instance, when I have someone who doesn’t like horror, I recommend Dean Koontz’ Watchers, Lightening, or The Taking, or Stephen King’s Christine, The Stand, or the Green Mile, rather than some of their more graphic and utterly creepy titles, which I love (but know that not all people do)! 

Please do not post more than 2-4 questions to FictionL during the whole semester—there are 30 or so of you, and if you each post several questions in the same week or month, you can overwhelm the list.  If you are looking for important titles/authors in specific genres, go to your texts first, and then to websites devoted to specific genres, before querying FL.  And, of course, NoveList is also one of the better tools you have at your disposal.

Create a database/blog of the books you read, with each title evaluated and annotated, and information divided into sections specified below.  Information MUST be original, not copied from reviews or other sources of information, and should include:

  • cover art
  • bibliographic information, including price and number of pages  If title is available in more than one format, include all available formats, other than those that are OP.
  • a reader’s annotation (15 words or less), designed to be used on a bookmark/booklist in order to intrigue or interest the reader
  • a summary, which outlines the plot and may or may not include the ending
  • an evaluation, which sums up your opinion on the book—your review of it
  • a rating scale based upon both popularity and quality.  Please post this scale at the top of your blog, and then use the scale in the entry for each book—I recommend modifying the VOYA scale since it has the correct formal/informal tone.  DO NOT JUST COPY THIS SCALE AND USE IT.  CREATE YOUR OWN SCALE USING THIS ONE AS AN EXAMPLE.  Previous students have used various precious gems or metals, based their scale on their hobbies (an artist might use the different colors to signify a variety of items on their scale, while a knitter might use different yarns of varying importance, a dog lover might use different breeds of dogs, and so on. Of course, you would have to explain your scale, so others will understand it even if they aren’t familiar with that hobby.)

VOYA’s Review Codes


5Q--Hard to imagine it being better written.

4Q--Better than most, marred by occasional lapses.

3Q--Readable, without serious defects.

2Q--Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q.

1Q--Hard to understand how it got published, except in relation to its P rating (and not even then sometimes).


5P--Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday.

4P--Broad general or genre YA appeal.

3P--Will appeal with pushing.

2P--For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject.

1P--No teen will read unless forced to for assignments.

  • the genre and subgenre of the book
  • appeal factors (NoveList can help with this)
  • booktalking ideas, or how you might approach writing a booktalk on it (This doesn’t mean write a whole talk, but jot down ideas on what parts you might use in a talk. Be brief, full sentences not required, and limit your ideas to no more than 3.)
  • book discussion questions or ideas (limit 3)
  • link to author’s website, and to interviews with author, if available (online or in print resources)
  • links to reviews available online, if available, and cut and paste of reviews available only in print
  • readalike titles or authors (3-5)
  • any other information you consider relevant, such as names of characters or locations
  • any hooks, ideas characters, etc., that might be clues to help you remember the book in the future. “Clues for the Future” or something similar should be the name of this section.
  • five of these titles should include audiobooks.  Either listen to the entire book in lieu of reading it, or listen to about one hour of the audio version of titles you have already read for your database.  Notice the differences between reading and listening, and include them in your comments on the title.  How well did the book translate to audio?  Also comment on the quality of the reader and how it impacted your enjoyment (or not) of the book.  Listening to full cast recordings in addition to single narrators is recommended.

When completing each part of the database, I want you to play “six degrees of separation” with at least 5 of the books, linking them together based on characteristics other than genre or writing style.  This is not readalikes.  I will talk more about this during our first class, and there will be information in one of the modules on the course website. 


The goal of this database is to give you enough information to recall the book quickly, to recommend it effectively, and to add new titles easily in the future. The style and format are up to you, but it should be attractive, easily read (type large enough and distinct from the background, and so on), and searchable, including an alphabetical list of links to all the titles in each part of the blog. Most students have a list of all the titles on one side of the text (left or right margin), that are hotlinked to the entry for that title.  Software that can be used includes what you have access to, and can use easily.  It includes but is not limited to Live Journal, Blogspot, Blogger, and WordPress—just make sure I can access it.  You do not have to make this blog public, although lots of people do, and so get comments from folks online who discover it.

Here’s a suggestion from a previous student about organizing and remembering titles: 

“I downloaded a voice recorder app to my smartphone.  After finishing each book, I spend approximately 3 minutes conversationally addressing each of the topics for the upcoming database.  I play this back and create complete sentences for my blog postings.  I realized that characters, plots, and opinions were starting to jumble in my head as I neared the finish of my 7th book, and doing this helped me keep things straight in my head.  I also made a brief list of all the components of the database on my phone, so I have that information at my fingertips when I make audio notes on each title.   I also use this list to refer to when I am reading the book, to be sure to notice all the pieces I need to include.”

You can get ideas about what to read from Genreflecting and some of the recommended textbooks which you may be able to find in local libraries.  The King Library has a subscription to NoveList, and you can access it using the “Databases” on the school website, with the restricted readings ID and password. I will provide the ID and password in Canvas. More information will be given during the first class.  As mentioned above, Lori Reed will do a training session with NoveList that I strongly urge you to take advantage of, since it will help you make the best use of this unique and valuable tool. 

Your databases do not have to be in any particular order, and most students add titles in the order they read them.  You just have to have the list of hotlinked titles mentioned above, so I can jump from one title to any of the other titles when I grade them.

First 5 titles are due Sept 19, next 15 titles are due 11/7, and the rest of your titles are due 12/5.  This will spread the assignment over the entire semester, and having you submit the first 5 titles in September will give you a chance to get feedback about what you need to change earlier in the semester, so your work should improve as you implement the feedback in your second and third submissions.


Visit two libraries, one bookstore, and two virtual interactive (ones that require you to interact with at least one person synchronously or asynchronously during your transaction) RA websites.  At brick and mortar sites, evaluate the RA area and services for adults, including staff, resources, displays, and effectiveness.  More details on this will be given during the first Zoom session.  This is a “secret shopper” assignment, and you should not identify yourself as a student or someone who works in a library.       

Write an informal, but detailed, paper describing your experiences and rating the sites on a five-point scale, with five as “couldn’t have been better” and one as “I won’t be back,” or similar terms from your scale.  You also need to explain the reason for each of your ratings.  Please don’t be afraid to give a person/library a bad rating.  I want your real, honest opinion of how you were treated and the level of service you received.  Many librarians do not like RA questions and do not answer them fully.  You will want to read the information on the website about the RA Interview to prepare to evaluate your experiences.

Here is a very detailed rating system done by a student several years ago that I like quite a lot.

1.   I won’t be back.

2.   Was given an acceptable recommendation, but the experience was unpleasant and the

location or service has major flaws.

3.   Acceptable. The location or service has some flaws, but the recommendation was decent and

the experience was pleasant.

4.   An enjoyable experience. Was given a good recommendation.

5.   Couldn’t have been better. Pleasant experience, great recommendations, a real attempt made

to find something to meet my preferences.

You should also rate the bookstore on displays and customer service, and in your description of your visit, discuss how the service at the bookstore and at the onsite libraries differed.  You should spend at least 30-45 minutes in each location.  If there is more than one librarian on duty, try to talk to all of them, if possible, and talk to at least two bookstore staff members.  If one doesn’t answer your question completely, you may ask another librarian/staff member the same question, or go on to another topic. 

Look at what articles on the course website and your texts say about an RA interview/exchange, and compare that to your experiences. 

Take pictures at one or two sites, and compare and contrast how displays and marketing techniques are used and what seems to be the controlling theory or theme for placement of displays and titles within displays (if any exists).  Also, look at some of the book covers in your pictures, and what the covers say about the content, and if any covers "talk" to or reflect other covers and how that affects the display.   Note:  I have been saying “books” but you also want to reflect the various formats in the displays, if there are any—books are only one part of what they may contain.

For the virtual websites, go to ones that include interaction with a librarian, whether synchronous or asynchronous, and discuss/describe your experience and how valuable it was. Compare and contrast it to your experiences in the physical sites you visited, and explain how the virtual websites are either better or worse or just different than the virtual ones.  Give the same kind of information you provided in your discussions of physical sites.   Due 10/24


You will need to gain experience in how to handle a RA interaction, and will do this by participating in two roleplay exercises, playing the customer in one and the librarian in the other.  I will sort you randomly into pairs and assign roles for each interaction.  This will be done by 9/19 or before, which is preferable.

The roleplay will take place in real-time, as noted on your emails to each other.  The customer will begin the roleplay with a question (similar to the ones you asked in your site visits), the librarian will respond, and the roleplay will continue until there is some resolution for the customer.  Be aware that this is to some extent a timed exercise.  If too much time elapses between email exchanges, your grade for that roleplay will be lower.  You have a week to complete each roleplay, but you will need to stay realistic about how much time you use.  24-48 hours is probably as long as the interaction should take.

The subject line on your communications for each roleplay will be:  ROLEPLAY NUMBER, LIBRARIAN’S FIRST NAME, CUSTOMER’S FIRST NAME.  You will submit to the dropbox the text of your conversations (just copy the emails and arrange them chronologically in one file, and also submit your evaluations of your partners.) Due dates:  Roleplay 1, Week of 11/15; Roleplay 2, Week of 11/22.  Submit your evals at the same time as your transcript of your conversations during each roleplay.  Roleplay 1 is due on 11/21, roleplay 2 is due on 11/28. However, you may submit your work early, when you complete the roleplay.  I also recommend that you start your roleplay at the beginning of the week, so you will have plenty of time to complete it.


With one other student, lead a 45-60 minute book discussion for.  In each group there will be two leaders, five book group members, and three observers/evaluators. You will each sign up as a leader once, twice as an observer, and three times as a member.  (This is based on the number of students in the class, and may change if the enrollment is larger or smaller than I expect.)  This information is also part of the posting instructions on the “Forming Groups” discussion forum.  You will sign up for roles using a Google doc which is on the website, and will give exact information on your group and title.  The genres you will be able to choose among are:

  • horror
  • mysteries/crime
  • adventure
  • romance
  • historical fiction
  • suspense/thriller
  • science fiction
  • fantasy
  • graphic novels
  • chick lit
  • Christian fiction
  • GLBTQ fiction
  • Any other genre listed in Genreflecting

Any subgenres of these and other genres are also fine.  On the signup sheet, you will list both the genre and the subgenre of your titles.

If you have friends in this class you would like to work with on your book discussion, you need to talk to them as soon as possible, and sign up for the genre you want to lead before someone else does.

Detailed information on each of the roles you will be playing in the discussion groups:

LEADERS—you will be responsible for the choice of the book and promoting it starting at least two weeks ahead of time on the appropriate discussion forum prior to the E-session during which your book group will meet.  Choosing the book: 

  • Both leaders must have input into the choice of the book
  • In order to choose a specific title, both leaders must have read and enjoyed it, and I MUST APPROVE IT.  All this must take place prior to confirming the title and listing it on the spreadsheet.  The easiest way to do this is to figure out with your co-leader which title you would like to do, and send me an email (cc your partner) giving me the info on what each of you thinks of the book and why you want to use it.
  • Look in RA print and online sources and in your texts
  • NoveList is available as one of the SLIS databases—take time to examine it closely—it will be helpful in choosing titles for your group and for your databases (you will also be participating in free NoveList training as part of this class)
  • If you choose a title that’s part of a series, make SURE that it is a standalone title, or is the first or second title in the series, and you give the group enough information about the earlier titles to get them caught up
  • Consider the number of pages—you have a lot to read this semester!  Too long, and you will have group members who may not finish it, no matter how much you promote it
  • Remember that the titles you read for this course are genre fiction, not literary fiction or (said in a very snobbish tone) “Lit-er-a-chure, my dear!”  They are titles that are popular and readable.  For instance, if you want to have a mystery reading group, you can use Evanovich, Robb, Francis, or Davidson, rather than classics like Christie or AC Doyle.  These are NOT titles that are “good for you.”  They are titles that you want to read—guilty pleasures as it were—curling up with a good book and telling friends and family you are doing your homework!!
  • Should be available in paperback and e-format, and a title most public libraries would be likely to have

Promoting the book by posting on the discussion forum for your group:

  • Book cover of primary title, and other books by author
  • Write a booktalk on the book (see information under booktalk assignment)**
  • Write a reader’s annotation on the book (this can be the one from your database)**
  • Create bookmarks for the book readalikes**
  • A brief bio of the author—preferably not stuffy—can come from their website, since most authors have them
  • Other titles author has written
  • Anything else about the book or author that might hook someone into reading it

**   Both leaders can submit examples but must work on them independently

Recording your session: 

  • One of the two leaders of the discussion must record the session using their own personal Zoom meeting room.  It must be “recorded to the cloud.”  Start the recording when you start your book discussion, and the leaders should begin with a welcome to the group, and a reminder of the book they will be discussing. 
  • A slideshow is required to illustrate the discussion.  It should include pictures of and info on the author, the book jacket, questions to be asked, and should be attractive and useful to the group.  One question per slide is preferred, rather than several on one slide.  Questions should be grouped according to topic, i.e., setting, timeframe, characters, specific scenes, and so on.  Leaders will decide on questions and group them appropriately.
  • Both leaders must participate in leading the discussion.
  • The leader who recorded the session will get an email from Zoom with the links to the recording and to the audio transcript.  These emails will be forwarded to me to be posted to the website, so the rest of the class can view the recordings.

You will need to turn in: 

  • list of questions you used in the book discussion (you may choose to distribute some of these/all of these ahead of time, to give group members a chance to start thinking about their responses)
  • a description of the role each of the leaders played—how did this group function?  Who did what, and how was that decided?    
  • a description of how this title would be a part of an ongoing book discussion series
  • information on how you promote this series and to whom
  • examples of flyers, booklists, bibliographies, bookmarks, PR materials, displays and so on should also be included.  (This is NOT meant to indicate that you have to have an example of each of these!  Just select from among these suggestions several (3-4) things you want to use with your group.) You do NOT have to read all the titles you include in them, but you need to have seen a review or recommendation of them to ensure their quality. 
  • evaluate the other leader and yourself, using a narrative form, and discussing each individually, with detail and specificity, and including both positive and negative feedback

GROUP MEMBERS—You are responsible for your part in making this group work and not sabotage the discussion—even though this doesn’t totally reflect what happens in real book groups!

You will need to:

  • read the book, keeping in mind that you will be participating in a discussion of it
  • take notes on the book (format is up to you, or you may choose not to take notes, but if you do so, you need to make sure your memory can provide you with whatever fact you need to use to respond to any questions or comments)
  • be proactive about participating in the discussion by responding to the leaders, and making comments of your own
  • make comments by raising your hand and waiting for the leaders to call on you.  They will be aware of the order in which people raised their hands because they will be made moderators
  • evaluate the leaders and members, including yourself, using a narrative form, and discussing each person individually, with detail and specificity, and including both positive and negative feedback
  • have a good time!

OBSERVERS—Your input will be valuable in giving other participants information on how they can improve their performance, and how well they were able to complete the assignment.  You will need to:

  • read the discussion board forums about the book/genre—you will be commenting briefly on their effectiveness as part of your observations/evaluations—did they make you eager to read the book?
  • read the book being discussed—you have to know what the discussion is about
  • evaluate the leaders and members, using a narrative form, and discussing each person individually, with detail and specificity, and including both positive and negative feedback. 

Each evaluation must include:

  • Comments on the promotional materials posted by the leaders—how effective were they, and was anything missing that might have helped engender some excitement about the book.
  • Which members participated the most and the least, and what was each person’s contribution
  • Quality of the questions, and their effectiveness in inspiring thoughtful and insightful comments from the group members
  • Effectiveness of the leaders—did they keep the discussion moving?  Did they restate or clarify questions that got no or little response?
  • Level of energy in the group—were members eager to respond to questions and to other comments from group members?  Did they get excited about the book and about responding to questions?  Were some of the group members uninvolved in the discussion?  Make a guess at the reason for this, and what could have been done to involve them.
  • Was there anything unique or special about the discussion?

Observers can also participate (in a limited way, since your primary job is observing) in the discussion, especially if your comments are different from the discussion from the group.  You may only comment if you have read the book under discussion.

Each class member will evaluate 3 of the book discussions they were not a part of. These discussions must be from a genre you are not familiar with, to give you a broader scope of experience.   Evaluations must follow the suggestions above.

Due dates are one week after your recorded book discussions.  Information from leaders, members, and observer members is all due on that date. 

Due dates for observers from outside the discussion group will be one week after their observation.  Outside observers will submit a list of the 3 groups they will be observing by

5.  BOOKTALKS  (CLOs 126) I will post a link to one of my lectures on booktalking on the course website, which included how to information and live booktalks as well.  I may also do some live talks as part of one of our Zoom sessions.  After you watch the recordings, write booktalks on two titles in your database, one may be on the title your book group is discussing or one of the titles that you mention in your group as being readalikes, the other talk should be about one of your favorite titles from this semester. You don’t have to include titles from your group discussion—both booktalks can be about titles you’d just like to do a talk on.   Due 10/17.

Grading and Evaluation


Book Discussion Demo—25%

Site evaluations, Participation in book discussion groups, Booktalks, Roleplays, Participation in website—All averaged together equally—50%

All assignments will be due as noted above.  The drop-dead due date is Dec. 12.  You MUST turn in all assignments by that date.

If you need to turn in an assignment later than the dates above, I will be glad to be flexible, BUT ONLY IF YOU REQUEST THIS PRIOR TO THE DUE DATE.  Requesting late submission on the day the material is due is too late.  Material turned in late without permission will be penalized one letter grade.  If you send me a URL when you submit an assignment so I can look at it, and I cannot open the link, I will let you know about the problem, which MUST be corrected within 48 hours, or your work will be counted as late.  Please check your links, and make sure you have published or opened your site so I can examine your work, and check your email to see if I have let you know that there are problems.



Course Outline

History of RA

Psychology of RA

Current practices

Barriers to RA

RA interview

Print resources

Online resources

Programming for RA

            Booktalks for adults

            Book discussion groups for adults

            Adult reading programs

Creating a RA Space for Adults

Book displays and merchandising

Bookmarks and bibliographies

            Writing annotations


Genres of RA—Titles for adults

            Historical fiction




            Science fiction



Christian fiction

LGBTQ fiction

Chick lit

Popular nonfiction

Other genres listed in textbooks

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. Demonstrate effective use of the standard tools and online resources and sites used by readers' advisory librarians.
  2. Identify characteristics of various types of genre fiction and the most important authors in them.
  3. Discuss the appeal of each of the genres and the characteristics of their readers.
  4. Explain the psychology of RA, and the impact the personalities of the customer and the librarian have on the process.
  5. Conduct an effective Readers' Advisory Interview, using it to fulfill the customer's recreational reading needs and wants.
  6. Demonstrate effective booktalking and book discussion techniques.
  7. Set up book displays, compile bibliographies, and evaluate the arrangement of the fiction collection, using a variety of book merchandising techniques.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 220 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. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  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.


Required Textbooks:

  • Herald, D. T. (2019). Genreflecting: A guide to popular reading interests (8th ed.). Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1440858470arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Moyer, J., & Stover, K. (2010). The readers' advisory handbook ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838910424 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Dehaene, S. (2010). Reading in the brain: The new science of how we read. Viking. Available through Amazon: 0143118056 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • LaPerriere, J., & Christiansen, T. (2008). Merchandising made simple. Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1591585619 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Moyer, J. (2008). Research-based readers' advisory. ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838909590 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Saricks, J. (2009). The Readers' advisory guide to genre fiction. ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838909892 arrow 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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