Jane Pearlmutter        608-262-6398 office
SLIS, 600 N Park St.
Madison, WI 53706

LIS 450 is required of all entering masters degree candidates in the School of Library &
Information Studies. Its purpose is to survey basic knowledge in the field and introduce
its shared activities, concerns, and professional values.

Principal Ideas the Course Will Examine

      1. information users as individuals and as members of groups;
      2. production and transmission of information;
      3. nature and roles of libraries and other information agencies;
      4. the profession of librarianship
      5. environmental influences on how the profession is practiced

Desired Outcomes

      1. Students will understand the fundamental facts concerning:
         - what information is, where it comes from, and the role librarians and others
              play in its creation and distribution
         - the purposes, history, organization and functioning of information agencies
         - career possibilities open to them when they've completed their degree
         - the values, ethical codes, and activities shared by members of the profession
         - the major social, political, and technological forces that influence how the
              profession is currently practiced

      2. Students will begin to know how to:
         - use common research tools in the field of library and information studies
         - locate basic information on any subject
         - evaluate the accuracy and reliability of information sources
         - use prevailing technologies to meet the needs of users

We will read four books for this course. We will also read and discuss a fair number of
articles from professional journals or selections from other books, and Web resources.
All readings are listed on the calendar of classes under the date by which they should be
finished, and are available electronically in one of three ways:

       Chapters on electronic reserves are accessed online through the MyUW portal
       Articles in full-text databases are accesses through the UW library, use the Find It tool)
       I have created links to the Web resources in the LIS 450 Learn@UW site

        1. Robbins, Louise. The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown: Civil Rights, Censorship, and
        the American Library.
        2. Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her
        American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures.
        3. Battelle, John. The Search: The Inside Story of How Google and Its Rivals Changed
        Everything. (This book is due out 9/5/05)
        4. Another book of your choice from the list on the book review assignment, for
        assignment due 9/26 (Read this one first!)

There are also links to some suggested resources for writing in the LIS 450 Learn@UW

Requirements (see detailed instructions for each at the end of the syllabus)

Grades will be based on the following required assignments. Due dates are indicated on
the calendar of classes as well as here.
       1. Learning Log (25%). Submit on Oct. 19 and Dec 7 for review
       2. Assignment 1: Book review (15%). Due by noon on Sept. 26
       3. Midterm (15%). Oct. 24.
       4. Assignment 2: Collection Development (10%). Due by noon on Nov. 7
       5. Assignment 3: Information Literacy (10%). Due by noon on Nov. 21
       6. Final Essay/Take-home exam (20%) Due Dec. 12
       7. Attendance and Class Participation (5%)

Calendar of Class Meetings

Aug 29 Class meets in Madison
Discuss: expectations for the course and the masters program
Tour/Guest lecture: Michelle Besant, on SLIS library & its resources (in SLIS library)
Lecture: What is “library and information studies”?

Assignment: Between September 6      and September 15th, take the quick Internet

Usage Survey. The survey is online and the link will be sent to your email

Sept 12 How Is Information Produced?
Lecture: from writer to reader
The production, arrangement, and delivery of knowledge
Finish reading:
 American Assoc. of Publishers. "Industry Statistics" at
 Lyman, Peter and Hal R. Varian, "How Much Information", 2003 at
       Read the Executive Summary
 Weinberger, David. Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A unified theory of the web. Perseus
     Publishing, 2002. Chapter 6, “Knowledge” in E-Reserves

Sept 19 How Is Information Consumed?
Lecture: literacy and media
Exercise: administer Deb Brandt's questionnaire to each other
Discuss: literacy: empowerment or social control?
Finish reading
 Chisman, Forrest. “Adult Literacy & the American Dream” (N.Y.: Council for the
       Advancement of Adult Literacy, 2002)
  Willis, Arlette Ingram. "Reading the world of school literacy: Contextualizing the experience
       of a young African American male." Harvard Educational Review. Cambridge: Spring
       1995. Vol. 65, Iss. 1; p. 30-50. Online at the UW Electronic Library in the ProQuest
       Research Database
 Pew Internet & American Life Project. “Internet: The Mainstreaming of Online Life” at

Sept 26 Where Do Libraries Fit In?
Lecture: library history; what libraries are for and how they work

Discussion of the books reviewed for the assignment
Finish reading:
 Fourie, Denise K. And David R. Dowell. Libraries in the Information Age: An Introduction
       and Career Exploration. Libraries Unlimited, 2002. In E-reserves.
       Chapter 2, A brief history of libraries
       Chapter 3, Types of library job opportunities
 McReynolds, Rosalee. "Heritage Dismissed; librarians in search of their place in American
       popular culture, 1876 1950 Library Journal v. 110 (November 1 1985) p. 25-31. On the
       UW Electronic Library, as part of the "Academic Search Elite" database.
  "The Hollywood Librarian: An Interview with Ann Seidl" by Kathleen Hughes. Public
       Libraries (Mar/Apr 2003 Issue) at
  American Library Association. "Careers In Libraries"
  Steckel, Mike. “Ranganathan for IAs: An Introduction to the Thought of S.R. Ranganathan
       for Information Architects” (October 7, 2002) at

 Assignment 1 due -- Book Review
Oct 3 Professional Values
Guest Lecture: Louise Robbins on Intellectual Freedom
Discuss: Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown
Finish reading:
  U.S. Constitution: Bill of Rights;
  James Madison, Letter to W.T. Barry, Aug. 4, 1822
  ALA "Library Bill of Rights" "ALA Code of Ethics" and "Freedom to Read" statements at
   Robbins, Louise. The Dismissal of Miss Ruth Brown

Oct 11 Libraries Today
Lecture: Where the money comes from; Library Advocacy
Finish reading:
  Lynch, Mary Jo. " Librarian Salaries Increase Less Than Other Civilian Workers." American
      Libraries, September 2004, at
  Examine “ - Jobs for Librarians and Information Professionals” at
  Examine “Library Organizations and Associations” at

Oct 17 Freedom of Information vs. Property Rights
Lecture: how copyright affects consumption of information
Discuss: does information “want to be free”?

Finish reading:
  Lessig, Lawrence. “Introduction” in Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law
      to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity. Online at
  Lessig, Lawrence. “Copyright in the Digital Age” (online questions & answers)
  Harper, Georgia. Copyright in the Digital Library at
  Recording Industry Assoc. of America. “Anti-Piracy” at
  Greenhouse, Linda. "Justices Reinstate Suits on Internet File Sharing." New York Times, June
      28, 2005.

Wednesday, Oct. 19
       Learning Log due to Dropbox
Oct 24 Midterm Exam – no class meeting, but you will need to be online during the
class time.

Oct 31 Creating Common Sense
Lecture: Serving the Demands of Democracy
Discuss: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Finish Reading:
  McCook, Kathleen de la Pena. “Serving the Demands of Democracy”. Threshold, Winter
       2004. (see link in Learn@UW)
  Freire, Paulo; Marcio D Olne Campos. "Reading the World." The Unesco Courier. Paris: Dec
       1990 Issue 12; pg. 4-10. Online at the UW Electronic Library in the “ProQuest Research
       Library” database.
  Wiegand, Wayne. “Mom and Me: A Difference in Information Values”. American Libraries v.
29 no. 7 (August 1998) p. 56-8. Online at the UW Electronic Library.
  Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

Nov 7 The Global Information Environment
Lecture: guest lecture
Finish reading:
  Friedman, Thomas. “It’s a Flat World, After All” New York Times Magazine, April 3, 2005, in
       the “ProQuest Newspapers” database on the UW Electronic Library
  Reporters Without Borders. Internet Under Surveillance 2004. Online at Read "Obstacles to the free flow of
       information online," "On a Filtered Internet, Things Are Not As They Seem," and "Let's

      not forget 10 September 2001" and examine the reports on at least two countries you
      have visited or care about somehow.
  Negroponte, Nicholas. “The $100 Laptop” at

Assignment 2 due -- Collection development
Nov 14 The Digital Challenge
Lecture: Evolution of the Web
Discuss: The Search: The Inside Story of How Google and Its Rivals Changed Everything
Finish Reading:
  Internet Scout Report. Review their selection criteria at and then search their archives and visit
       sites that interest you.
  “2003 Environmental Scan: A Report to the OCLC Membership.” at
  "Trends in the Evolution of the Public Web, 1998-2002." D Lib Magazine, April 2003
  Battelle, John The Search: The Inside Story of How Google and Its Rivals Changed

Nov 21 Emerging Communities
Lecture: Communities, Cooperation, and Organization
Finish reading:
   Quintarelli, Emanuele. "Folksonomies: Power to the People.” paper presented at the
       ISKO Italy-UniMIB meeting: Milan : June 24, 2005,
  Weinberger, David. “Trees and tags - An introduction.” Journal of the Hyper-Linked
      Organization (March 3, 2005) at
  Saveri, Andrea; Howard Rheingold; and Kathi Vian. "Technologies of Cooperation." (Palo
      Alto, CA.: Institute for the Future, January 2005). Online at
  Examine Blogger (, Bloglines (
      and Technorati ( Read the “about” pages, do some
      searches, wander.

Assignment 3 due -- Information Literacy
Nov 28 Putting Library Collections on the Web
Lecture: Selection for digitization
Discussion: digital collections, public and private

Finish reading:
 Look at "Moving Theory Into Practice" Web tutorial at Cornell (you do not have to read it all)
 Logoze, Carl and David Fielding. “Defining Collections in Digital Libraries”, D-Lib Magazine,
       November 1998,
 Three digital collections: Visit American Journeys (, The
       Making of America Project ( and any collection linked at the
       ContentDM Web site ( Search or
       browse for titles, open documents, and try to read them.
  Google print initiative: Read "About Google Print" at Search for 3 books and try to read

Dec 5 Libraries in an Age of Ubiquitous Information
Lecture: The Library as Place
Discuss: The Search: The Inside Story of How Google and Its Rivals Changed Everything
Finish reading:
   Freeman, Geoffrey. “The Library as Place: Changes in Learning Patterns, Collections,
       Technology, and Use” at
  The Seattle Public Library Economic Benefits Assessment. Draft Report
  Guy, Marieke. “Finding Someplace to Go: Reading and the Internet”. Ariadne, April
       2005, at

Wednesday, Dec. 7
       Learning Log due to Dropbox
Dec 12 Everything I Know Is Wrong
Panel: Our Pasts & Futures
Discuss: Ideal futures

Final essay (take-home exam) due to Dropbox


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