INFO 204-03
INFO 204-14
INFO 204-18
Information Professions
Fall 2021 Syllabus

S Gaffney
Office: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Office Hours: Virtual office hours by appointment

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning August 19 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

As they respond to the information needs of clients and communities, information organizations face complex and exciting challenges. This course will help prepare students to take on these challenges by providing them with an understanding of the organizations and environments in which information professionals work, traditional and emerging professional roles, and core management and leadership theories. This knowledge will help students understand the similarities and differences amongst information organizations, explore different specializations and career paths, apply professional values to ethical decision-making, and to develop core management and leadership skills. This course prepares students to be active participants in their professional communities and networks and to become collaborative professionals ready to take on management and leadership roles.

Note: iSchool requires that students earn a B in this 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 the following semester. 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.

Course Requirements

Complete INFO 203 Online Learning: Tools and Strategies for Success. This is a mandatory 1 unit course that introduces students to the various e-learning tools used in the iSchool program, including Collaborate.  For more information, see: INFO 203 Online Learning.

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.

Weekly Schedule and Activities



Required Readings



History of the Profession

Introduction to Organizations


Chapter 1: The Transformative Information Landscape: What it Means to be an Information Professional Today

Chapter 2: Libraries, Communities, and Information: Two Centuries of Experience 

Chapter 3: Librarianship: A Continuously Evolving Profession

Discussion 1 - Introduction

Due August 22



 Working in Teams



Chapter 37: Leadership Skills for Today’s Global Information Landscape

Web Resource:

Community Tool Box. (2018). Building teams: Broadening the base for leadership. Retrieved from



Information Sectors

Core Professional Values


Chapter 5: Diversity, Equity of Access, and Social Justice 

And, three of the following. Please ensure that one represents an information sector that you are interested in exploring for your future career and one that you are unfamiliar with:

Chapter 6: Literacy and Media Centers: School Libraries

Chapter 7: Learning and Research Institutions: Academic Libraries 

Chapter 8: Community Anchors for Lifelong Learning: Public Libraries

Chapter 9: Working in Different Information Environments: Special Libraries and Information Centers

Chapter 10: Digital Resources: Digital Libraries

Discussion 2: Successful Virtual Teams

Due September 5


Traditional and Emerging Professional Roles




Chapter 11: Information Intermediation and Reference Services

Chapter 12: Metadata, Cataloging, Linked Data, and the Evolving ILS

Chapter 13: Analog and Digital Curation and Preservation 

Chapter 16: Teaching Users: Information and Technology Instruction






Organizational Environments



Chapter 29: Information Policy


Katopol, P. (2012). Managing change with environmental scanning. Library Leadership & Management, 29(1). Retrieved from

Assignment - Annotation

Due: September 19




Organizational Planning



Chapter 19: Strategic Planning


Buchanan, S., & Cousins, F. (2012). Evaluating the strategic plans of public libraries: An inspection-based approach. Library and Information Science Research, 34, 125-130. doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2011.1

Discussion 3 - Online Career Resources

Due: September 26




Leadership, Change, and Innovation


Organizational Culture


Chapter 20: Change Management

Chapter 23: Innovative Library and Information Services: The Design Thinking Process


Assignment: Change Management Essay

Due October 3





Decision Making


Chapter 30: Information Ethics

Book Chapters:

Koufogiannakis, D. A., & Brittle, A. (Eds.) (2016). Being evidence-based in library and information practice. Retrieved from

Read: Chapter 2: A New Framework for EBLIP and one of the following: 

Chapter 9: Academic Libraries

Chapter 10: Public Libraries

Chapter 11: Health Libraries

Chapter 12: School Libraries

Chapter 13: Special Libraries 



Discussion 4 - Leadership Characteristics

Due: October 10


Assessment and Evaluation

Articles and Web Resources:

Farkas, M. (2013). Building and sustaining a culture of assessment: Best practices for change leadership. Reference Services Review, 41, 13‐31. doi: 10.1108/00907321311300857

Magnus, E., Belanger, J., & Faber, M. (2018). Towards a critical assessment practice. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Retrieved from

Reuter, K., & Silipigni Connaway, L. (2018). User-centered assessment: Leveraging what you know and filling in the gaps [Webinar]. Retrieved from



Assignment - Resume and ePortfolio

Due: October 17



Financial Management


Chapter 21: Managing Budgets 

Book Chapter and Web Resource:

American Library Association. (n.d.). Making budget presentations. Retrieved from

Velasquez, D. L. (2013). Financial management. In D. L. Velasquez (Ed.), Library management 101: A practical guide (pp. 161-176). Chicago, IL: ALA Editions. Retrieved from



Discussion 5 - Cover Letter

Due: October 24




Chapter 27: Communication, Marketing, and Outreach Strategies

Chapter 28: Advocacy

Discussion 6 - Marketing and Advocacy

Due: October 31


Personnel Management 


Chapter 22: Managing Personnel


Alabi, J. (2015). “This actually happened”: An analysis of librarians’ responses to a survey about racial microaggressions. Journal of Library Administration, 55, 179-191.



 Discussion 7 - Synthesis

Due: November 7


Facilities Management

Book Chapter and Article:

Berendt, L. (2013). Facilities management. In D. L. Velasquez (Ed.), Library management 101: A practical guide (pp. 253-269). Chicago, IL: ALA Editions.

Holderman, S. (2012). Be prepared: Writing a practical disaster manual. Library Leadership & Management, 26(2). Retrieved from



Assignment - Professional Synthesis

Due: November 14


Technology Management


Chapter 25: Managing Technology

Chapter 26: Managing Data and Data Analysis in Information Organizations

Chapter 32: Information Licensing



Wrap Up


Chapter 36: Career Management Strategies for Lifelong Success

Group Project - Strategic Plan

Due: December 6


Students will perform seven discussions relating to course topics. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1#2, #7)

Evaluative Summary
Using LIS databases, other relevant resources, as well as personal reflection, students will create an annotated bibliography entry related to ethics in librarianship. (Course Learning Outcomes: #4, #5 #8)

Change Management
Develop an essay based upon your reading of "Who moved my cheese?" by Spencer Johnson. This assignment will give you the opportunity to consider the importance of change and to examine issues related to managing change for staff and services in a diverse society. (Course Learning Outcomes: #2, #8)

The culminating experience for MLIS students is the INFO289 ePortfolio. Each student will create a professional resume and begin entering ePortfolio artifacts. The time that you invest now will only benefit you later. (Course Learning Outcomes: #2, #7)

Professional Synthesis
In a culminating synthesis, students will reflect and respond to the major themes of INFO 204. Students will utilize an alternate format (e.g. website, wiki, podcast, video, Powerpoint, Prezi, etc.) to produce their culminating assignment. (Course Learning Outcomes: #1#6#9)

Strategic Plan
Working together in small groups, students will create a Strategic Plan for a Library or Information Center of their choice. The assignment culminates in a 15 to 20 page three to five year strategic plan developed for the organization selected. This project allows students to explore an information setting in-depth, demonstrate the ability to work in a group and understand the strategic planning process. (Course Learning Outcomes: #3, #6#7, #9)



Point Value

Due Dates

Discussion Questions

10 points each (70 points total)


Evaluative Summary

30 points

September 19, 2021

Change Management

75 points

October 3, 2021

Resume/ePortfolio 50 points October 17, 2021

Professional Synthesis

75 points

November 14, 2021

Strategic Plan

200 points December 6, 2021

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 204 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the similarities and differences between various information organizations and professional roles from historical, current, and future perspectives.
  2. Recognize the roles and activities of managers in information organizations.
  3. Explain strategic planning processes and skills.
  4. Identify and choose appropriate assessment tools for evaluating organizational effectiveness.
  5. Synthesize (including reviewing, using and properly citing) the professional and research management and leadership literature.
  6. Demonstrate leadership abilities through collaborative teamwork.
  7. Analyze and assess their own and others leadership abilities through self-reflection and peer review.
  8. Apply management theories and principles, professional values, and ethical frameworks to organizational issues and decision-making using scenarios and case studies.
  9. Create and deliver high quality reports, presentations and organizational documents that communicate to internal and external stakeholders organizational values, missions, and priorities.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 204 supports the following core competencies:

  1. A Demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of those principles within that profession.
  2. B Describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice.
  3. D Apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy.
  4. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  5. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Hirsh, S. (Ed.) (2018). Information services today: An introduction (2nd ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. Available as free eBook through King Libraryarrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). American Psychological Association. Available through Amazon: 1433832178. 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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