INFO 282-16
Seminar in Library Management
Topic: Information Vendor Landscape (2-Units)
Spring 2022 Syllabus

Scott Brown

Christy Confetti Higgins

Office location: Virtual, contact via email or IM anytime 
Office Hours: By appointment 

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26th, 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.

This course runs from January 26 - March 23. It will be available on Canvas on January 26.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course examines digital content providers and vendors: types of vendors, access and pricing models, use cases, implementation, communications, and negotiation. We will look at the spectrum of information available and how to evaluate and negotiate subscriptions and contracts.

Course Requirements


Each student is required to complete the following:

  • Vendor Intelligence Project (45 points): Students will evaluate a real digital content provider, using a variety of different tools, including (but not limited to) vendor websites, articles, white papers, comparisons, and social networking sites. The goal is for the student to gather as much information about a vendor and its products to evaluate whether that vendor is suitable for their identified audience. Students will create a digital content plan for their audience using this vendor and will include an audience analysis, details about the vendor and how it meets the need, the licensing needs, deployment plan, and communications strategy.
    • a. Helps to fulfill course learning outcomes (CLOs) #1 and #3
    • b. Helps to satisfy Core Competency F
  • Audience Analysis (15 points): Students will learn about how to learn about an audience in order to determine requirements for a digital content service and to ensure you are delivering a service that meets user needs.
    • a. Helps to fulfill course learning outcomes (CLOs)  #1 and #2
    • b. Helps to satisfy Core Competencies F and I
  • Communications strategy (15 points): Students will think through a communications strategy for launching their digital content to their audience. Create the strategy and write one communications headline for the launch.
  • Discussions (4 discussions x 5 points = 20 plus 5 for participation = 25): Students will respond to a discussion question and comment on other students posts.


  • There are possible 100 points

    • Assignment: Audience Analysis:  15 possible points
    • Assignment: Communications Strategy:  15 possible points
    • Final Project: Vendor Intelligence Project – 45 possible points
    • Discussions – 4 discussions: 5 possible points for 3 of them; 10 points for the target audience discussion = 25 points

Outline of course content
Course content is aimed toward a practical understanding of information vendors and working with vendors effectively. We will look for opportunities to have information professionals and vendors speak during the course. A schedule with dates for submission of the required assignments will also be posted in Canvas. The schedule is subject to change with fair notice to students.


Main Activity

(Dates may change with adequate notice)


Introduction to the course

Overview of the vendor landscape: discuss content types, vendors, methods/sources to learn about vendors

Reading: Overview of digital content providers/vendors

Discussion #1 Due February 1


Overview of eBook vendors (models, companies, pricing, access, content types, use cases, etc.)

Reading: eBook vendors, trends, topics, subscriptions

Discussion #2 Due February 10

Skill: Business relationships


Overview of eJournal vendors

Reading: eJournal vendors, trends, topics, subscriptions

Discussion #3 Due February 17

Skill: Communications (target audience, channels, user-centered, writing headlines)


Overview of news/market/company vendors

Reading: News, market research, company information vendors, trends, topics, subscriptions

Discussion #4: Due February 24

Skill: Strategic thinking and business acumen


Overview online learning vendors

Reading: Online learning vendors

Skill: Storytelling, social media strategy

Pick vendor for Vendor Intelligence Project


Overview of Negotiations

Reading: Negotiation strategies

Assignment: Complete audience/user analysis worksheet Due March 10

Skill: Negotiations


Licensing Models, RFPs

Assignment: Communications strategy, headline Due March 17

Skill: Business relationships


Management and administration of digital content (admin side of tools, metrics, etc.)

Reading: Importance of measuring success, types of things to measure, feedback loop

Skill: Storytelling with data

Vendor Intelligence Project Due March 23

Additional readings will be identified specific to digital content trends, models, and case studies on digital library environments. Experts in the space of digital libraries and digital content will be identified and shared with the students so they can follow those experts and keep current in this area.

Reading List
Readings on digital content providers, the shift to digital information environments, negotiations, and digital content features will be provided. 

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. Outline and plan the purchase, acquisition, deployment, and integration of digital content solutions into the organization, including identifying user needs, comparing solutions, developing a launch plan, creating a communications strategy, and evaluating impact.
  2. Understand key negotiation factors in working with digital content providers and vendors, including the main points to consider when negotiating a contract (access models, pricing models, etc.).
  3. Differentiate the various types of information vendors and content providers, subscription models, and the various types of content available, in the current market: eBooks, journals, databases, online courses, news, reports, competitive intelligence, market research, technical, and business information.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 282 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.


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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