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University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 501 Foundations of Library and Information Studies

Course Outline - Fall 2018


Dr. Adam Worrall
Phone: (780) 492-0179
Office Hours:
5-168 Education North & virtually, by appointment

Calendar Description:

An introduction to the historical, current, and potential roles of libraries and of library and information professionals in western society.

Course Objectives:

Student Learning Outcomes:

Program Learning Outcomes:


Topics include the library and information infrastructure; history and mission of libraries, information organizations, and library and information professionals; competencies needed by professionals; types of libraries and information organizations; current issues and trends, including technological change; the ethics and values of the field; library and information science scholarly and research literature; and career planning.


Written and oral (audio/video) introductions to topics, readings, small group discussions, group project, presentations, and guest speakers.

Course Relationships:

No pre- or co- requisites required.

Required Texts:

Listed below. Lankes’s book is available as an ebook via University of Alberta Libraries. All three can be obtained in print and ebook formats via the usual online and brick-and-mortar channels, or you may find a copy for loan in a nearby library. Please note the more recent second editions of the Hirsh and Lerner books are strongly preferred and recommended. Please let me know as soon as possible if you have difficulties in obtaining any of these textbooks.

Assignments and Weighting:

Assignment Percentage Points
Assignment 1 Library Observation Report 15% 30 points
Assignment 2a Virtual Seminar (group) 20% 40 points
Assignment 2b Seminar Annotations (individual) 5% 10 points
Assignment 2c Seminar Leadership & Participation (individual) 5% 10 points
Assignment 3 This I Believe Statement 12.5% 25 points
Discussions - Initial Posts (7) each 3% \ 6 points each \ \
total 21% 42 points total
Discussions - Summary (1) 5% 10 points
Participation (including Share and Discuss activities) 16.5% 33 points
GRAND TOTAL 100% 200 points

Late Assignment Policy:

Late assignments for Assignments 1, 2a, 2b, and 3 and the Discussion Summary will not earn full credit; ten percent (10%) will be deducted for every day (24 hours, including weekends) an assignment is late to a maximum of three days. Assignments submitted more than three days (72 hours) after the due date will not be accepted. Non-Summary contributions to discussions in eClass must be made no later than Thursdays at 9pm (MST/MDT), and will not be accepted late after that time unless otherwise stated or arranged with the instructor. In most cases unexpected downtime for cloud services, including Google Apps at the University of Alberta, is not an accepted excuse for a late assignment submission. Exceptions to this policy will be rare and given at the instructor’s discretion; if you require an extension due to constraints, emergencies, and crises that will result in you submitting an assignment late or incomplete, please email the instructor as soon as possible and in advance to make those arrangements.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade. Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.

Academic Integrity:

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these stands regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behavior (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability or chronic health condition affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Audio or video recording, digital or otherwise, of lectures, labs, seminars or any other teaching environment by students is allowed only with the prior written consent of the instructor or as a part of an approved accommodation plan. Student or instructor content, digital or otherwise, created and/or used within the context of the course is to be used solely for personal study, and is not to be used or distributed for any other purpose without prior written consent from the content author(s).

Policy about academic regulations can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.

The University of Alberta and SLIS acknowledge that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respect the history, languages, and cultures of the First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our institution and school.