INFO 210-13
Reference and Information Services
Summer 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 June 1st 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.

The course theme is 'MAINTAINING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE'

Course Calendar

This schedule is subject to change with fair notice

UNIT TOPICS COURSE MATERIALS ACTIVITIES/DUE DATES

1

Jun.

1-6

-Introduction-About You 

-Course Introduction 

-Ethics

Textbook

Chapter 1- Introduction to Reference
and Information Services

Chapter 17: Ethics

Article

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

Discussion post

Due Jun. 6

2

Jun.

7-13

-The Reference Interview

-Virtual Reference Model

-Using the Internet
as a Reference Tool

Textbook

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

Chapter 3- Finding the Answer: Basic Search Techniques

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

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)

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 Jun. 13

3

Jun.

14-20

-Leadership

-Reader's Advisory

-Reference Services
for Children and
Young Adults

Textbook

Chapter 14- Reader's Advisory

Chapter 15-Reference Services for Children and Young Adults

Articles

Feldman, S. (2019). “What Should I
Read Next?” Publishers Weekly
266(37), 22–24.

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

Guest Speaker: Leadership-Prerecorded 

Discussion post

GUEST SPEAKER
SESSION

PROJECT 1: REFERENCE/
INFORMATION SERVICES INTERACTION
 

Due Jun. 20

4

Jun.

21-27

-Reference Management

-Selection and Evaluation of
Reference Sources

Textbook

Chapter 20-Managing Reference Departments

Chapter 18-Selecting and Evaluating Reference Materials

Guest Speaker: Management -Prerecorded 

Discussion post

GUEST SPEAKER SESSION

Due Jun. 27

5

Jun.

28-Jul.4

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 Jul. 6

6

Jul.

5-11

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 Jul. 11

7

Jul.

12-18

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 Jul. 18

8

Jul.

19-25

A Review of

-Geographical Sources

-Biographies

-Government Documents

Textbook

Chapter 10- Answering Questions about Geography, Countries, and 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 Jul. 25

9

Jul. 26-Aug. 1

-Reference as  Programming

-Diversity in Libraries 

Textbook

Chapter 19-Reference as Programming

Videos: Diversity

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

Guest Speaker: Diversity - Prerecorded 

Discussion Post

GUEST SPEAKER SESSION

Videos

PROJECT 3A: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MAJOR SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES (GROUP PROJECT)

Due Aug. 1

10 

Aug.

2-6

 

-Assessment and 
Enhancement

-Reference 2.0

-Future of Reference

 

Textbook

Chapter 21-Assessing and Improving Reference Services

Chapter 22-Reference 2.0

Chapter 23-The Future of Information Service

ALA: Future Trends - http://www.ala.org/tools/
future/trends

Discussion post- Due: Aug. 6

LINK-ALA

PROJECT 3B: INSIGHTS GAINED/PEER REVIEW-Due: Aug.5

 

 

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, comparable to the ones held in a traditional classroom. The weekly reading assignments will consist of mandatory textbook sections and sometimes recommended scholarly journal articles. Occasionally, some articles may be assigned as required reading. 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 materials may be added when necessary.

 Participation in the 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 deadlines 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 messages.

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 three (3) projects for this course:

The three (3) projects assigned for this course will be in the form of exercises that will be conducted at the library either physically or virtually. 

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 or Virtual 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 or virtual interaction).

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: 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.  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.  Supports CLOs: 3,4,7,8.

PROJECT 2: DATABASE SEARCHING AND WEBIBLIOGRAPHY (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. Note the topic selected at the beginning of the paper
  • 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 at the end of each database in the form of a 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/description for each website should provide an information seeker with the details 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 3A: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MAJOR SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES- GROUP PROJECT (Virtual Visit).

Subscription-only databases contain thousands of periodicals and scholarly journal 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. Supports CLOs: 1,2,4

PROJECT 3B: 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. 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:

  • Title Page
  • Double-Spaced
  • 12 Point Font
  • APA Format
  • The third person should be used for all academic writing

The title page and bibliography section will not count towards the length requirements for all projects.

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

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 deadlines 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

3 points each

(30 points total)

Ongoing
PROJECT 1: REFERENCE/INFORMATION SERVICES INTERACTION  20 points June 20
PROJECT 2: DATABASE SEARCHING AND WEBIBLIOGRAPHY 20 points July 18

PROJECT 3A: COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF MAJOR SUBSCRIPTION DATABASES (GROUP PROJECT)

25 points

 August 1

PROJECT 3B: INSIGHTS GAINED/PEER REVIEW 5 points  August 5

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.). 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 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: 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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