Academic Libraries Practice and Administration 010

Academic Year: 


Course ID and Name: 

Section Number: 

Course Syllabus

Course Prerequisites: 

This course meets the requirements for the management distributed elective and addresses competencies B5, B6, B7, C8, and C9.


Prerequisite: IRLS 504 or consent of the instructor.


Course Description: 

This course will provide an overview of the present context and organization of libraries in academic institutions, including universities, colleges, community colleges, and post-secondary specialized institutions, merging current issues in academic library administration and practice with selected trends in higher education and the world of scholarship.

The course focuses on administrative principles and practices as applied to college and university libraries, including standards, services, materials, personnel, budget, space, reports, and statistics.  It examines the problems, issues, and trends related to the organization and management of academic libraries within the context of higher education, information technology, and scholarly publishing.  A particular emphasis will be on information literacy and the role of academic libraries in working with faculty to improve learning.

Most sessions of this course will be delivered through Elluminate software.  Students are encouraged to join in the recording sessions, but this is not required.  Students are also encouraged strongly to obtain headsets with speakers and microphones to join in live discussions during the recording sessions.  Recording schedules will vary but will be announced in advance.


Course Objective: 

By the end of the semester, students will have demonstrated knowledge and understanding of: ·     

  1. Issues and trends in academia, especially those affecting academic libraries;
  2. The mission of colleges and universities and the role of academic libraries in enabling colleges and universities to achieve their missions;
  3. The relationship of academic libraries to their various environments (e.g., scholarly publishing, technology);
  4. Information literacy and library instruction, including the preparation and delivery of class related instructional sessions;
  5. Nature of and issues related to services provided by academic libraries;
  6. The resources available for the study of higher education and academic libraries.

Required Course Materials: 

There is no textbook for this course.  The required readings are listed on the course site.  Most are available digitally either on the web or in the Library’s electronic offerings.  A few will be scanned and available through electronic reserves.In addition to other readings, students will be expected to look at the Chronicle of Higher Education each week for materials that are relevant to class discussions.  I will be pointing out some things and will be sending articles from the online version of the Chronicle when appropriate.  A lot of the content of the Chronicle is included in some of the article databases that the Library provides, although some may not include articles from the last month. There is also a full text subscription available through the library, which includes access to the archived articles.

There are many standard journals you should be aware of and become familiar with.  These include, but are not limited to:  Educause Review, Educause Quarterly, College and Research Libraries, College and Research Libraries News, and the Journal of Academic Librarianship.


Course Requirements: 

The effectiveness of this course will depend on the development of an active and engaged learning community. 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.

Assignments will  include a short report on the missions of various types of academic institutions and their libraries; four short paper reporting on articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education, relating them to impacts on or opportunities for academic libraries; a study guide for students beginning their major field of study; an instructional tool; and a research paper on a major issue facing academic libraries.

Course Grading: 

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, 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. Assignments will be given letter grades (A, A-, B+, B, etc.).  An A should be considered to be in the middle to high 90s; an A- in the low 90s; a B+ in the high 80s; a B in the middle to low 80s; a C+ in the high 70s; etc.  The percentage that each assignment bears on the final grade is as noted on the assignments.  Discussion and participation will be the final 15%.  By discussion and participation I mean that students are expected to make substantive contributions to the discussions that help the learning process.  This may be comments about interesting things they have read, questions about materials in the readings and other content material, insights from their own experience that have a bearing on topics under discussion, etc


Each assignment will be graded, and each assignment will be given a percentage weight for the semester grade. Assignments will be given numerical grades.  The cumulative numerical grades plus participation points will determine the final grade for the semester on the following scale

A  (90-100)

B  (80-89)

C  (70-79)

D  (60-69)

E   (59 or below)

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.  Assignments will be accepted late only at the discretion of the instructor.

A significant portion 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.  Students will be expected to read the postings in the discussion forum and to contribute their ideas and opinions on a continuing basis.  Participation points will be given on the basis of the percentage of postings read and the number and quality of contributions.  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 two or three substantive postings per week in addition to responding to others’ posts.

If a grade of Incomplete is assigned, it will be accompanied by a date by which the work of the course is to be completed.  Students may not assume that they have a full year to complete the work.


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.

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.
  • 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 may be in any recognized format as long as they are consistent.  (Please see the “Guide for Formal Written Assignments in Graduate School” in the contents area on D2L.)

Incomplete Policy

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.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences