LS533: Management of Special Libraries and Information Centers
Spring Semester 2008

Description of LS 533:

Introduction to managerial and administrative principles as applied in special libraries and information centers. Theory, history, functions, operations, organizational patterns, and services provided by special libraries and information centers. Pre- or corequisite: LS 504. Revised prerequisites effective fall 2004.

This course has been designed to enable the student to:

* Understand that special libraries are unique; this course will help differentiate special libraries from other kinds of libraries;
* To become familiar with approaches to building, maintaining, budgeting, and managing a special library;
* To learn how to communicate and serve clients in the specialized environment;
* To negotiate the purchase and access of both print and electronic resources necessary to providing information service;
* Techniques for evaluating services and the value of the special library.

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. I will return email/calls as soon as possible.

Office Hours:
I will hold an office hours each week  from 6-7pm Monday evenings and on Thursday mornings from 10-11am.   I am available on email most of the time and will do my best to respond as quickly as possible...

Class Sessions:
I will be using interactive software called “Camtasia” which will enable me to record class lectures with voice over.  No special software is required at the student end - just click on the URL.   There will be 12 course sessions for this course, a new one to be made available on Blackboard each Sunday by noon (exceptions due to course schedule will be posted).  During each session you should find a textual introduction to the topic (written by me), followed by a Power Point presentation/discussion of the topic via Camtasia software, readings, and a weekly discussion board question to respond to.  There are 4 assignments required during the course (due dates will be provided), as well as a main course project explained further in this syllabus.

1.   The Bottom Line: Determining and Communicating the Value of the Special Library/ Joseph R. Matthews. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2002. ISBN: 1-59158-004-8. It is available at the Clarion Bookstore.

2.    The New OPL Sourcebook: A Guide for Solo and Small Libraries/ Judith A. Siess.  Medford, New Jersey:  Information Today, Inc., 2006.  ISBN:  1-57387-241-5

A reading list will be provided that contains articles from the business world as well as library science. I will endeavor to do my best to provide whenever possible full text or links to full text via Blackboard or through the Clarion E-Reserve system.  Any recommended print materials can be located at most libraries. You may wish to ILL copies for your own use.

Supplemental Texts:  Many are located within the collection of the Carlson Library.

* I have provided additional readings for those who would like to learn more about individual topics and resources from this course. These readings are not required but are meant to provide guidance and an in-depth view of what we will be covering.

Student Web Site:
The above address will get you to information regarding web courses and how to login to Blackboard, where our class resides. If you need technical assistance, please try calling the Computing Services Help line at Clarion, 814/393-2640. There is also a help button available within Blackboard.

********   There are some housekeeping rules that we should address at this point:

* I am always available via email and will endeavor to answer your questions right away.  While I am very speedy at responding, please consider that I hold a full time professional librarian position and like yourself must prioritize duties/life obligations.  There will be a "Housekeeping" discussion board set up to accommodate questions you may have that would be of general interest to all in this course.  I hope you will utilize this option for getting answers in a timely way and as a tool for sharing communication with everyone.

* When you send your assignments via the exercise link provided on blackboard during Weekly Session Lectures, you need to remember to give your  completed document files a proper extension. Extensions on files look like this: SallyFieldAssignment1.doc.   A .doc file is a file created in Word. A power point file has the extension .ppt and so on. It all depends on what software package you created your work in.  PC users will recognize this convention; this in not a normal convention with Mac's, so please always remember to add the extension whether you are on a PC or a MAC. This is critical.  Also, please add your name in a header or footer format to mark your work as your own. (NO SPACES IN-BETWEEN LETTERS, please.) If I get 20 Assignment1.doc's without names, I will have a hard time grading them :-}.

* There will be 12 sessions for this course posted on Sunday evenings throughout the semester (SEE calendar below).   For many of the sessions, I will be pointing you to articles to read that we will discuss by utilizing the bulletin board section of blackboard. Utilize the appropriate blackboard tabs for assignments and readings at each session.  Assignment due dates will also be posted on our Blackboard site.

*  Percentages for course grade weight is given below.  Please note that CLASS PARTICIPATION counts for 35% of your grade.  Be mindful of this as our course progresses.  If you are not active on Discussion Board topics, your grade can plummet easily.

Grades will be based on active participation in discussions, the timely completion of session assignments and the main course project.

Main course project 
Class/Discussion List Participation 35%
Session assignments 40%
TOTAL = 100%

Course Calendar

Session 1: Evolution & Development of Special Libraries
Week of January 14

Session 2: Mission, Vision and Goals & Objectives
Week of January 20

Session 3: Facilities Management & Budgets
Weeks of  January 27

Session 4: Marketing and Communicating Value
Week of Feb. 3

Session 5:  Knowledge Management
Week of Feb. 10
<>Session 6: Personnel Management
Week of Feb. 17

Session 7: Online Services and Reference
Week of Feb. 24

Session 8: Collections & Document Delivery
March 2 - 7

**** Winter Break, March 8 - 16 ****
       No class session between breaks.....
**** Spring Break, March 20 - 25 ****

Session 9: Evaluation
March 26 -  April 5

Session 10: Let's visit some special libraries....
Week of April 6

Session 11: Outsourcing
Week of April 13

Session 12: Career Planning
Week of April 20

 Final Course Project Week
Week of April 27

Main Course Project:   Due Monday, May 5th, 2008 (first day of finals week)

For this course, each student is required to declare a "special library" of interest for which you become the solo librarian/manager.  One could interpret this as choosing your "ideal library job".  This will be your first assignment in this course.  Choose wisely, as this will become your institution for the entire semester. My goal is for you to remain consistent with one company throughout the course so that you can use your company name as a sample whenever you need to think about setting up goals and objectives for service, learning a bit about business searching, competitive intelligence strategies, management issues, etc.  For our final project, each student will be provided a scenario reference question asked by the CEO/CFO/President of your institution. Your job is to research the topic that your boss needs to learn as much as possible about BEFORE his/her meeting. The bottom line is that they know next to nothing about the topic and have asked you to pull together an executive-style written treatise on it. You need to help them look informed and ready to make on the spot decisions regarding whatever business opportunity this new topic may create.

Executive reports are common in special library reference work. You may have a few hours or a few weeks to produce one. Length will vary and is an uncertainty and dependent on your unique environment. Your report may contain an introduction to the topic (definition), applications for how it is used in industry or its field; if it is a product line, you may need to do a competitive intelligence analysis of the marketplace. Each scenario will be different and will require a number of specific questions to be asked to clarify exactly what information is needed. We will go over the kinds of questions to ask first before proceeding to research information in preparing your report. I will work with each of you on your unique question and our course notes will provide background for pulling this together.

As an exercise related to learning about setting budgets, you will get to set some of the parameters of the report including the cost of your services to the requesting department. This will be fun and I hope a reality experience for those interested in pursuing special libraries work.

Session Assignments:
For 4 of the 12 sessions there will be an assignment in the form of a quiz, question set, search, etc. Cumulatively these assignments count for 40% of your grade. They are designed to assist you in becoming familiar working in a special library environment and may operate as review material for future reference. There will be no final for this course.

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,

Academic Honesty Policy:
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.

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 Chicago Manual of Style or MLA (Modern Language Association) for the completion of assignments.

January 8, 2008
G. Lynn Berard