LIB 101: Introduction to Library Services for Paraprofessionals

FALL 2011- Course Syllabus

Section #0390 Tuesdays 5:45 - 9:00 p.m.; Library room LL-311;   August 30 - December 13, 2011

Instructor: Krista Goguen Librarian, Shatford Library, Pasadena City College

          Office: LL 303, phone: 626-585-7832, e-mail:

          Office Hour:  Please feel free to contact me to arrange an appointment   

Reference Desk hours (subject to change): Wednesdays 2:00- 4:00 p.m. and Fridays: 8:00-10:00 a.m.

quick links to: Course Outline      Reading Responses        Assignments

Class Website:

Class Wiki:

Course Description:

Theory and practice in a variety of roles performed by library technicians in all types of libraries, media and information centers. Emphasis on the library technicians’ role in delivery of services, the tools and terminology of library services, and strategies for successful job placement. Discussion of the Library Bill of Rights and the relationships of libraries to the communities they serve. Review of online resources that support paraprofessional activities.

Student Learning Outcomes (goals): Students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the profession of librarianship and the relationship of libraries to the communities they serve.

  2. Identify the roles of the library/information technician in today's libraries.

  3. Appraise the role and importance of library associations, trade journals and listservs.

  4. Practice effective job search techniques and effective writing techniques for resumes and cover letters.

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss a basic understanding of the profession of librarianship and the relationship of libraries to the communities they serve.
  2. Describe the role of the library/information technician in today's libraries.
  3. Define types of libraries, services required, and the function and organization of libraries.
  4. Identify terminology used in library/information service fields.
  5. Retrieve basic sources of information using proper search techniques.
  6. Identify basic library materials available in library/information services.
  7. Discuss the Library Bill of Rights
  8. Explore the role of library associations, journals and online resources for paraprofessionals.
  9. Prepare resumes and cover letters.

Link to Course Outline

Course Requirements and policies:

Required Textbook:
Fourie, Denise K. and David R. Dowell. Libraries in the Information Age: An Introduction and Career Exploration. 2nd Edition. Greenwood Village, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-59158-434-6
[one copy available in Textbooks (Non-Circulating) Z665.F74 2009 (in library use only)]

Complete weekly required reading, written responses and related in-class activities as specified in the course outline.
Required reading includes the textbook, articles and online documents linked to the course website.
Be prepared to discuss the assigned reading. Required reading responses are graded. See course outline below.

Attend classes
Please notify me via e-mail or phone message if you will miss class.
If you miss more than 2 classes, and I have not heard from you, college policy allows me to drop you from the class.
If you decide to stop coming to class, it is your responsibility to drop or withdraw from the class.

Assignments: 9 assignments worth a total of 230 points (see below)
All assignments and reading responses should be written using correct grammar, syntax, spelling, complete sentences and organized into paragraphs. Full credit will be given for assignments that are both complete and on time. Late assignments must be pre-approved and submitted by or before the next class. Incomplete assignments may be re-submitted for additional credit with instructor approval. No assignments will be accepted after the last class meeting.

Tests Midterm 75 points; Final 75 points

Grading Policy   Grading Scale based on 640 points (90%=A, 80%=B, 70%=C, 60%=D, <60%=F)
o Attendance and participation in class discussions and activities : 160 points (10 points per class) (25%)
o Assignments: 9 assignments worth a total of 240 points; Reading responses: 100 points (10x10) (50%)
o Tests: Midterm 75 points; Final 75 points (25%)

Please familiarize yourself with PCC’s "Student Conduct and Academic Honesty" policy particularly as it relates to cheating and plagiarism (,

Plan to spend at least 6 hours per week outside of class for study, reading, visiting libraries, and completing assignments. (2 hours for each class unit/hour are recommended).

No Food or Drinks allowed in Room LL311. We will have a 15-minute break for the opportunity to eat outside. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Special Needs: If you believe you may need an accommodation to successfully complete this course, contact Disabled Students Programs & Services in room D209 ( or (626) 585-7127).


Course Outline Weekly Schdule with links to reading and assignments
(Subject to change revisions shown in red)

Week 1 (8/30) Course overview and expectations, Overview of Library Technology program, What are libraries?
                             Types of libraries and library work

Week 2 (9/6) School Libraries (guest speakers); Special Libraries, library brochure

Week 3 (9/13) Academic Libraries (guest speakers); Information Literacy,

Week 4 (9/20) Public Libraries; Library Budgets and Mission Statements; Collection Development./weeding

Week 5 (9/27) Field Trip to Pasadena Public Library - Central Library
                 Class will meet at 5:45 p.m. at the Pasadena Central Library 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena
                 (meet in the courtyard off Walnut street)

Week 6 (10/4) Field Trip to Pasadena Public Library - Hill Avenue Branch, Guest speaker Library Bill of Rights,
                 Book challenges, Requests for reconsideration, Challenged book discussion

Week 7   (10/11) Present your Special Library brochure; Compare/contrast libraries; Review for midterm

Week 8 (10/18) Midterm; Social Networking and Libraries (Library 2.0); Library Associations;
                 Introduce "Exploring Library Issues" and Library Discussion Lists and Blogs assignments.

Week 9 (10/25) Review midterm, Library Service areas: Tour of Access Services, Library Classification Systems;
Introduce group projects; Resumes

Week 10 (11/1) Library service areas: Technical Services, Tour of Technical Services;
                  Presentations: Exploring Library Issues

Week 11 (11/8) Library services: Public Services –Guest speakers; Presentations: Issues in Librarianship

Week 12 (11/15) Library jobs: hiring and job descriptions, guest speaker; Resume workshop;
                    Presentations: Issues in Librarianship

Week 13 (11/22) Reference Services, Reference Interview and Basic Sources of information (overview);
                 Presentations: Issues in Librarianship; begin Group Project.

Week 14 (11/29) Presentations: Issues in Librarianship, Work in groups on Group Project

Week 15 (12/6) Group presentations: Library programs/ services,
                             Review for final Review for Final (chapters 5-8,10; weeks 1-15)

Week 16 (12/13) Final Exam

Reading Response Assignments (100 points; 10 points each) (grading rubric)

These can be submitted in class or by e-mail to by or before the due date.

NOTE: These responses are a significant part of the class.
             Each response should be at least 2-3 paragraphs in length.
             Consider the following criteria before submitting your assignment:

--Did you completely respond to the assigned question(s)?
--Does your response demonstrate your understanding and include your reflections on the concepts in    the assigned reading?
--Does your writing clearly express your ideas in logical paragraphs and sentences?

  1. Reading Response 1 -Ch. 1 (due 9/6): Describe at least 3 things you learned or were surprised to find out about the “Characteristics of Library Personnel” (pages 5-12)
  2. Reading Response 2 -Ch. 3 (due 9/13): Select one type of library in chapter 3 that interests you as a workplace, describe the characteristics of this type of library and why it interests you. List 2-3 things you learned about this type of library from reading chapter 3.
  3. Reading Response 3 -Ch. 4 (due 9/20): Why should libraries “weed” their collections? List/explain 2-3 reasons.
  4. Reading Response 4 - (due 10/4) Reflect on our Field trip visit to Pasadena Public Library. List and explain three things you learned or were surprised to find out about the library and why they are important for you to know.
  5. Reading Response 5 -Ch. 5 (due 10/25): Answer Study Question #7, page 140, but use (Use the A-Z Agency List or select Federal Government then Executive Branch to see a list of Departments. *List the name of 5 Federal Agencies their direct website address (e.g. and one reason each might be useful.
  6. Reading Response 6 - Ch. 6 (due 11/1): Answer questions 2 and 3, pp. 171-2. What is the distinction between the designations reference and reserve? What are some of the consideration that must be balanced when circulation policies for the loan of a library's materials?
  7. Reading Response 7 - Ch. 7 (due 11/8): Answer question 5, p. 191. List and describe five positive nonverbal behaviors that are helpful to exhibit when working the reference desk (in person).
  8. Reading Response 8 - Ch. 8 (due 11/15): Answer question #6, p. 239: What does "fair use" have to do with copyrighted materials?
  9. Reading Response 9 - Ch. 9 (due 11/22): Locate an article with tips on resume writing or cover letters. E-mail a copy of the article to me (and keep a copy for yourself). Make sure I can tell who sent the article. Be prepared to summarize the main points of the article in class on 11/22.
  10. Reading Response 10 - Ch. 10 (due 11/29): Answer question 7, p.279: Has the Internet made libraries obsolete? Why or why not? Are libraries doing a good job of repositioning themselves as patrons become more technologically savvy?

List of Assignments

1. Compare and Contrast: Public, Academic and Special Libraries (45 points) Due 9/27
      Library Visit Summary form      (example)

2. Create a Brochure for a Special Library (20 points) Due 10/11

3. Challenged Books (15 points) Due 10/4      (example)

4. Portfolio and Self-Reflection (30 points) Due 10/18

5. Exploring Library Issues (research & brief presentation) (25 points) presentations 11/1-11/29
       Grading Rubric       Topic Presentation schedule (revised)

6. Library Job descriptions (10 points) Due 10/25

7. Resume and Cover Letter (40 points) Draft 11/8; final 11/29
        See week 10 for additional resources for this assignment.
        Grading Rubric

8. Library Discussion Lists and Blogs (25 points) Due 11/22

9. Library Service Areas (Group project) (20 points) Due 12/6 or 12/13

Return to PCC Library Homepage

 revised 12/8/11