Syllabus for LS 504: Introduction to the Information Professions:

This course introduces students to the nature of information and its role in society, the philosophical, ethical, and historical foundations of the information professions, major professional organizations, and the legal, political, and social issues confronting today's information professionals. The identification and use of print and electronic information resources pertinent to library and information science are also covered.

Note: This course assumes a basic knowledge of computers and related functions, including electronic mail, accessing web-based materials, creating home pages, utilizing word processing programs, etc. If you are deficient in any of these areas, you should arrange to correct the deficiency. The department has created a variety of workshops available in the department's computing lab to assist you in correcting such deficiencies.

Fall 1999
Weekends:  Sept. 10/11; Oct. 8/9; Nov. 5/6, 1999
Friday's  6p.m.-10p.m.; Saturday's  8a.m. - 6p.m..

Contact Info:

Instructor:  G. Lynn Berard

Email is the preferred way to reach me but feel free to call if you wish. I have a CMU email account. I have voice mail at CMU. I will return calls as soon as possible.

OFFICE HOURS: Monday, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. and Thursday 1pm-3pm at (412) 268-2428 or email me at
Email will be answered within 24 hours of receipt and is acceptable at any point outside of formal office hours.

-Foundations of Library and Information Science/ Richard E. Rubin.  New York:  Neal Schuman, 1998.

Reserve:  As the semester unfolds additional readings will be noted..   I will keep this web site updated with detailed information on all of the course readings and projects.

Course Web Site:
Syllabus URL:

Grading: Grades will be based on regular class attendance, participation in class, the completion of course projects and a course final.
Question Set 10% Due:  Oct.8
Information/Info Policy in the News 15% Due: To be presented in class Oct. 8
Biographical Paper 20% Due:  Nov. 5
Association Exercise 15% Due:  To be presented in class Oct. 9
Style Manuals/Web Exercise 15% Due:  Nov. 5
Final Exam 10% Given on Nov. 6
Class Participation 15%

Calendar (subject to change)
September 10/11

Topics covered:  Introduction; history of libraries; libraries in many forms; information science; information policy; designing web pages and handouts; associations.

Oct 8/9

Topics covered:  Information policy; copyright; censorship and intellectual freedom; storage and retrieval of information; interface design.
* Student presentations of  Info in the News.

Nov. 5/6

Topics covered:  Professional ethics; libraries and how they are organized; our professional future; the final exam.
*Student presentations of Associations Exercise.

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.

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.

Back to Table of Contents

Updated September 3, 1999