School of Information Resources and Library Science

School of Information Resources and Library Science

School of Information Resources and Library Science

Public Library Practice & Administration

IRLS 562

University of Arizona, Tucson

Spring 2014

Instructor: Gina Macaluso, Assistant Professor/Knowledge River Manager

Contact Information:

SIRLS Room 12

Phone: (520) 621-5220, Cell (520) 603-4639


Office Hours: The instructor will be available by appointment. Virtual office hours will be held in a Collaborate session and will be scheduled at various times, and the instructor would be happy to meet individually with students in whatever mode is best, so please arrange this with her.

Class Meeting Schedule: This is a virtual course. All materials will be available through D2L, and all discussions outside of class sessions will take place in D2L as well. New materials will be available according to the class schedule with discussions to take place during the following weeks. Course materials will stay available for the duration of the class. Discussions will close for further postings after about ten days although they will stay available for reading. Lectures will be given using Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Dates and times for live sessions will be announced ahead of time and while students are not required to attend them, they are strongly encouraged to do so when possible. Access to a computer with a sound card and speakers will be necessary to listen to the lectures and to participate in simultaneous sessions. A web camera and microphone would be highly desirable but are not required for interactive sessions. A high speed Internet connection is preferred as well. The lectures and textbook are the basis of discussions through the class D2L site. Students will be expected to keep current each week with readings, class materials, and discussions throughout the semester.

Course Description: There are thousands and thousands of public libraries in the United States, and very few of them have not been going through hard times during the recent economic downturn and even now as an upturn is in progress. For a number of years, people, often people who should know better, ask why public libraries are still important and worth the investment of tax dollars. Public libraries play multiple roles in our very diverse communities, from the large libraries that serve major metropolitan areas to the smallest one room library that serves a small rural community or tribal community. For those who plan a career serving in public libraries, this course should help to bring about an understanding of public libraries' history and values and traditions, but more important focus on the future and the role that libraries, as important information services and agencies, play in the economic, social, educational, and recreational future of communities.

Course Objectives: By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated a theoretical and practical knowledge of:

  • To understand the place of planning and assessment with regards to public libraries;
  • To become familiar with the standards and various documents that have been developed to guide public libraries;
  • To study trends and developments that both threaten and give opportunities to public libraries;
  • To learn some of the marketing principles that public libraries can and should apply to their activities;
  • To understand some of the many varying governing configurations for public libraries;
  • To differentiate between the service needs of diverse groups.

Grading Policy: In order to receive a grade of B for the class, students will have to have completed all assignments for the class reflecting a good grasp of the topic and integrating lecture material, discussions, and readings. An A will signify that all work has been completed well and a substantial amount of the work has been completed excellently. In addition, to receive an A or B, students must be engaged actively in discussions throughout the semester and demonstrate familiarity with lecture materials and readings. A C or lower will be given if some assignments are not completed, if a significant number of assignments are not completed acceptably, or if students fail to participate in class discussions or to engage with the course content.

Each assignment will be graded, and each assignment will be given points for the semester grade. These points appear on the description of specific assignments. Assignments will be given the following grades:

A: (90-100)

B: (80-89)

C: (70-79)

D: (60-69)

E: (59 or below)

Final grades will be computed on the work of the semester including participation in class discussions. Students will receive a grade of A, B, C, D, or E for the semester unless we have negotiated an Incomplete. Please note the University policies related to the grade of Incomplete.

Assignment / Points / Due Date
Online Participation / 20 / Ongoing
Community Analysis / 20 / February 5, 2014
SWOT Analysis / 20 / March 5, 2014
Program Planning & Development / 20 / April 9, 2014
Mock Grant / 20 / May 7, 2014
Total Possible Points / 100

Each assignment is due on the date specified. A student may negotiate a revised due date if necessary, but this must be done in advance of the due date. Assignments will be accepted late only at the discretion of the instructor.

Twenty percent of the semester grade is dependent on active participation and engagement in the substance of the class including the discussion topics, lectures, and readings. There will be ongoing discussions throughout the semester. Depending on the class size, students may be assigned to a discussion group and most discussions will be held in these groups. Students will be expected to read the postings in the discussion forum and to contribute their ideas and opinions on a continuing basis as well as initiating new topics and introducing new ideas. Participation points will be given on the basis of the percentage of postings read, the number and quality of contributions, and demonstrated engagement with course materials (i.e. readings and lectures). A substantive posting is one that contributes new information, new ideas, or new perspectives or one that moves the conversation along or into new areas. On average students will be expected to contribute at least one substantive posting per week plus responding to others’ posts.

Other Course Policies
Academic Code of Integrity

Students are expected to abide by The University of Arizona Code of Academic Integrity, 'The guiding principle of academic integrity is that a student's submitted work must be the student's own.' If you have any questions regarding what is acceptable practice under this Code, please ask an Instructor.

Accommodating Disabilities

The University has a Disability Resource Center . If you anticipate the need for reasonable accommodations to meet the requirements of this course, you must register with the Disability Resource Center and request that the DRC send me, the Instructor, official notification of your accommodation needs as soon as possible. Please plan to meet with me by appointment or during office hours to discuss accommodations and how my course requirements and activities may impact your ability to fully participate.

Human Subjects Protection Program

According to the university's Institutional Review Board, "All class or other projects that involve human research participants and for which findings may be published or otherwise disseminated and contribute to generalizable knowledge," must be reviewed by the IRB. (HSPP Policy VI.A) Students sometimes conduct interviews, administer surveys, observe people's activities, or otherwise gather data for class assignments. If you think you may want to turn your work for such assignments into LSO Symposium or other conference presentations or publications or professional portfolio items, you should complete the IRB review process. This involves taking training on ethical research practices and passing tests based on that training and then submitting a Human Subjects
Protection Program project approval form to the SIRLS liaison, Cheryl Knott Malone; to the instructor and SIRLS director for their signatures; and then to the IRB. The faculty member supervising the student's research must also have taken the training and passed the tests. All of this must be done before the research begins. Please be aware that many entities and organizations, such as Native American nations and tribes, will have their own policies and procedures, including their own review process which must be completed successfully before research can begin, even if you don't plan to publish or
present your findings. More information is available at

Assignment Policies
  • Completed assignments will be submitted via the D2L dropbox unless otherwise specified. Some completed assignments will be shared with other students. Assignments will normally be commented on and graded and returned to students via the dropbox.
  • Most assignments are to be posted in .doc or .docx files. PDF and html files will not be accepted.
  • Assignments will be expected to be submitted on or before the dates specified, with the date ending at 11:59pm. The instructor will be willing to negotiate alternative dates as needed but only if such negotiation takes place prior to the due date. Late assignments that have not been negotiated beforehand will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor.
  • Assignments are expected to be professional in appearance; that is, they are neat, grammatically correct, with no spelling or typographical errors. Citations are to be in APA format. (Please see the “Guide for Formal Written Assignments in Graduate School” in the contents area on D2L.)

The 1997-8 University of Arizona General Academic Manual, p.23 reads

The grade of I may be awarded only at the end of a semester, when all but a minor portion of the course work has been satisfactorily completed. The grade of I is not to be awarded when the student is expected to repeat the course; in such a case the grade of E must be assigned. Students should make arrangements with the instructor to receive an incomplete grade before the end of the semester ... If the incomplete is not removed by the instructor within one year the I grade will revert to a failing grade.


Course Requirements & Assignments: The effectiveness of this course will depend on the development of an active and engaged learning community in the online environment. It will require that students keep up with the content, readings, and assignments, and that they be active participants in the discussions related to the class. It will require that the instructor be actively engaged as well, meeting deadlines, communicating frequently, and providing feedback in a timely way. The assignments are described elsewhere. In addition to compliance with the code of integrity cited elsewhere, the instructor will expect that all assignments are completed on time, meet the specifications for that assignment, and are professional in appearance and grammatically correct.

Textbooks and Recommended Readings:

The textbook for this class is:

Introduction to Public Librarianship, 2nd edition, by Kathleeen de la Pena McCook. Neal-Schuman, 2011.

It is available from the University of Arizona bookstore. There will be other readings assigned as the course progresses. They will be noted on the class site as they occur. Many of these will be provided in the content area. Some assignments require students to locate appropriate readings on their own and report on them.

December 2013