Conceptual Framework

Syllabus for Information Sources and Services LS 500

Fall 2008

Course Description:
Philosophy and techniques of information services in libraries, with the sources, tools and technology essential to the reference process.  Specific reference problems and research studies, the reference interview, and search strategies are considered.

Contact Info:

Instructor:  G. Lynn Berard
Principal Librarian, Science Libraries
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Phone: (412) 268-2428      Fax: (412) 681-1998
**Email is the preferred way to reach me but feel free to call if you wish.  Email will be answered within 24 hours of receipt and is acceptable at any point outside of formal office hours.  We  have voice mail at CMU and will return calls as soon as possible.

           Readings:  Reading Assignments will appear in Blackboard  and will include chapters from our textbook as well as scholarly articles provided.

        Late Assignment Policy:  My policy on late work is to deduct 1/2 letter grade each day from the due date with exceptions only for medical or bereavement situations.  Please contact                                                         me if you have an exception.

        Citation Style:  Please use MLA (Modern Language Association)  or Chicago Manual of Style as your citation style for the completion of assignments

Class Sessions:

I am setting up 14 course sessions for this course, a new one to be available on Blackboard on Sunday evenings (see Course Schedule).During each session you should find an introduction to the topic, followed by a PowerPoint presentation/discussion of the topic via Camtasia software, readings and either a weekly discussion board question to respond to OR an exercise to complete will be setting up 5 assignments to be completed during the course (due dates will be provided) and will be administering a final exam, as required by the Department of Library Science for all core courses.  The exam will be completed in Blackboard during finals week (Dec. 8-12, as scheduled).

I will be utilizing a variety of  interactive technologies including a voice-over software product called “Camtasia” which will enable me to record class lectures for you and/or the *new* Wimba Classroom software recently purchased by Clarion University. To access my Camtasia lectures, click on a URL which I will provide and it will appear on your screen. No special software is required at the student end; just be sure to have either speakers or headphones ready to go so you can hear my voice.

I am new to the virtual classroom software, Wimba, so we will be experimenting with its powerful, interactive capabilities.  We will work together to find a good time to meet in this virtual classroom and I will also make sure that the transcript of the classroom meetings will be archived for those who cannot attend.  This software requires a set of headphones and a microphone so that you can hear the lecture and speak when called upon.  Headsets with built-in microphones range in price from $15 to hundreds.  Inexpensive ones are just fine and are available at local stores such as WalMart, Target, etc. 

Virtual ClassroomWimba Classroom Requirements:
All students should be able to access Wimba Classroom.  Please make sure that you meet the following system requirements:

Computer Requirements
· 526 MB RAM
· Internet access at 56k or above (DSL/Cable connection preferred)
· Soundcard
· Headphones and Microphone (no speakers please)
· Internet Browser (IE7 or Firefox for PC's - Safari or Firefox for Macs)

Setup Wizard:
Before the beginning of the semester, make sure that you run the setup wizard at:

Once you have successfully completed the setup wizard on the computer that you are using, you should not need to run the setup again.

Wimba Technical Support: 
If you have technical difficulties or cannot complete the setup wizard successfully, please contact Wimba's technical support at: 1-866.350.4978 (US & Canada) 

Problem Sets 40%
Due:  as assigned in Blackboard
Pathfinder 15% Due:  November 10
Reference Question Investigation 20% Due:  October 27
Final Exam 15% Week of Dec. 8
Discussion Board Participation 10% Ongoing

A. Problem sets (40% of course grade).

<>1. Problem set #1 – Dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, almanacs, yearbooks, handbooks.
2. Problem set #2 – Bibliographies, library catalogs, biographical sources, geographical sources.
3. Problem set #3 – Government documents, specialized topics
4. Problem set #4 -  Online resources 

Course Schedule:  subject to minor changes

Session 1, Week of Aug. 25:    Introduction; Review of course syllabus, grading scheme, and assignments; navigating our Blackboard site; interview questions; history of reference service.
Session 2, Week of Sept. 2:     Philosophy of reference service; Types of reference materials; and introduction to the reference process; begin introduction to Dictionaries, Encyclopedias,                                                       and Directories.   
Session 3, Week of Sept. 8:      Yearbooks, handbooks and almanacs.

Session 4, Week of Sept. 15:    Bibliograhies and library catalogs.  Biographical sources.

Session 5, Week of Sept. 22:    Learning to walk – at this point we’ve begun to familiarize ourselves with a variety of reference tools.  Now we’ll  discuss the leap to receiving reference                                                             questions.   The reference interview.  Review of Problem Set #1.

Session 6, Week of Sept. 29:    Databases.  Internet resources.   

                    ***Mid-Semester Break, Oct. 2 (10pm) through Oct. 5****

Session 7, Week of Oct. 6:   Geographical Sources.   Government Documents.  Review of Problem Set #2.

Session 8, Week of Oct. 13:  
Public Service principles and policies.  Ethical considerations. Selecting and maintaining the reference collection

Session 9, Week of Oct. 20:   Introduction to Pathfinder project; discussion on types of libraries (public, school, academic, special).

Session 10, Week of Oct. 26: Assessment and evaluation of reference services and staff.  Guest Speaker.

Session 11, Week of Nov. 3:  Introduction to Bibliographic Instruction.  Review of Problem set #3.

Session 12, Week of Nov. 10:  Information Seeking Behavior of client groups.

Session 13, Week of Nov. 17:  Reference Service for Specialized Groups

                   ****Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 26-30th****

Session 14, Week of Dec. 1:  Professional responsibilities of the reference librarian.

                   ****Finals Week, Dec. 8-12*****   Final will be conducted.  TBA

Special Needs: Students with learning disabilities and/or special physical requirements should make their needs known to me. I will make every effort to assist you.

Contact:  Disability Support Services
             102 Ralston Hall
             Phone: 814-393-2095
             Coordinator:  Jennifer May,

Note: Clarion University of Pennsylvania regards student participation in class as essential to the learning process. Therefore regular classroom attendance is required. It is understood that absence does not excuse the student from course work and the responsibility to complete assignments on time. The instructor should be notified in advance of planned absences and arrangements will be made to complete missed work. The instructor is not required to give make up examinations or accept class work missed as a result of an unexcused absence.

Statement of Scholarly Responsibility: Students are expected to follow normal practice in acknowledging the source of facts, ideas, summaries, quotations, and paraphrases used in their written work. Direct quotations must be enclosed in quotation marks and the exact source acknowledged. The use of another's words without attribution and without enclosing the words in quotation marks is plagiarism. Using facts, ideas and summaries derived from another source without indicating the source is also plagiarism. A close paraphrase may also be considered plagiarism - even if the source is named. Submitting another student's work as though it were your own is always plagiarism - even if the original paper has been paraphrased or otherwise modified. If you are in doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism, you are encouraged to consult with the instructor. Any student suspected of plagiarism will have the suspect passage pointed out to him/her and will be given an opportunity to explain why it should not be regarded as plagiarism. Depending on the severity of the infraction, penalties for plagiarism include 1) receiving a reduced grade for the assignment 2) redoing the assignment on a different topic 3) receiving a failing grade for the assignment, or 4) receiving a failing grade for the course. Students who are dissatisfied with the instructor's decision in such a case may - without prejudice - refer the matter to the attention of the department chair, the college dean, the provost and academic vice president, and/or the university Conduct Board, as described in the Student Rights and Regulations Handbook.


August 2008