Textbooks by Semester

LIBR 281-04
LIBR 281-13
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Publishing for the Library and Information Science Profession
Fall 2008 Greensheet

Laurie Putnam
Office: Monterey, CA
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail

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Textbooks and Readings | Course Requirements

This course will be conducted online using Blackboard. There will be one required Elluminate session on Tuesday, September 9, 6:30 to 8:00 PM Pacific time. On Friday, August 22, the access code for the course Blackboard site will be sent to enrolled students via the messaging system and the Blackboard site will open for self-enrollment. Our first class will be Tuesday, August 26.

Course Description

In this course you’ll examine the publications that inform and influence the world of library and information science, from scholarly journals to association newsletters to publications for lay readers. Then you’ll practice the writing, editing, and reviewing skills needed to incorporate publishing opportunities into your own professional life. Here’s a chance to take a break from academic writing and try some other forms—an interview, a newsletter article, an opinion piece, and even an article for people outside the library world.

The health of any profession depends on the vigorous exchange of news, knowledge, and ideas, and today the field of library and information science (LIS) is especially vibrant. Libraries and their services are evolving, adapting to new technologies and user needs. Information issues are reaching across disciplines and communities and touching people everywhere, inside and outside the library. By writing about library and information subjects, we can support our profession and reach out to our communities. We can share, inform, and advocate.

There’s plenty to write about. And there are plenty of publishing venues, in print and online. In fact, there are more professional publishing opportunities available to us today than ever before: professional journals and newsletters, weblogs and discussion lists, magazines and newspapers. To maintain the richness and relevancy of their content, many of these publications depend on the work of authors, editors, reviewers, and other contributors. You can join them. If you like to write and you have something to say about library and information science, this is a great time to start developing your ideas, sharing your work, and building your own portfolio of publications.

Prerequisites: To register for this course, you must have already completed LIBR 200 (Information and Society), 202 (Information Retrieval), and 204 (Information Organizations and Management), and it’s recommended that you also have several electives under your belt. In this course you’ll be responsible for choosing the topics you want to research and write about. It’s easier to do that if you’ve already taken some electives, written lots of research papers, and had a chance to develop your own interests within the field.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
This course is designed to broaden and deepen your understanding of professional publishing opportunities, and to develop the skills you need to incorporate those opportunities into your own professional life. By the end of the course, you should be able to:

The course content will be applicable to all types of libraries, librarians, and information professionals. This course will not cover fiction and poetry writing, nor will it or address the layout and production of print or electronic publications.

Core Competencies
This course directly supports the following SLIS core competency:

Depending on the topics you choose to write about, this course can also support the demonstration of these and other competencies:

Textbooks and Readings

Required Texts

You will also be required to subscribe to the free Library Link of the Day. A brief daily message from Library Link will send you news on library and information science issues, trends, and activities, and will expose you to many different publications and types of writing.

Additional readings will be provided by the instructor.

Recommended Reference Books
Throughout the course, you’ll need to have easy access to a good dictionary and one or more style guides. The following are recommended. To complete the style guide exercise, you’ll need to have full access to all three of these books (you’ll find them on the reference shelf in most libraries).

Course Requirements

Format and Technology
This course will make use of Blackboard, Elluminate, wiki, and online presentation technologies. Lectures will be posted and assignments will be due on Tuesdays.

The course will be taught as a series of modules on topics related to writing, editing, and publishing. Each module will consist of:

Topics and Assignments
The first part of the course will give you an opportunity to become familiar with the world of library and information science publications. We’ll look at the broad range of publications available, then analyze selected publications and their audiences in depth.

The second part of the course will give you an opportunity to focus on developing your own writing, editing, and reviewing skills. You’ll target specific publications and audiences, produce original works of writing, and work with a writing group to refine your drafts.

You will be expected to participate in class and group discussions throughout the semester.

Course topics will include the following:

A detailed course calendar will be posted on the class Blackboard site at the beginning of the semester.

A total of 1,000 points will be possible.

Grading Scale
The standard SJSU SLIS Grading Scale is utilized for all SLIS courses:

97-100 A
94-96 A-
91-93 B+
88-90 B
85-87 B-
82-84 C+
79-81 C
76-78 C-
73-75 D+
70-72 D
67-69 D-
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:

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0.

Late Assignments
Late assignments will not be accepted, and incompletes will not be awarded. If you have an illness (and can provide a doctor’s confirmation) or a family tragedy, please contact the instructor.

Academic Integrity
Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San José State University, and the University's Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on academic integrity can be found at

Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please e-mail the instructor as soon as possible. SJSU Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to establish record of their disability.

No matter where students reside, they should contact the SJSU DRC to register. The DRC Web site: