James M. Matarazzo
Simmons College
Graduate School of Library and Information Science
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
Fax: 617-521-3035
Email: james.
Phone: 617-521-2815


All reading to be completed before coming to class on May 21. All classroom assignments completed between May 21-May 25, 2012. Nothing is due after May 25, 2012.

This class focuses on the management of a corporate library with the goal of its long term survival.


Academic Year: 


Course ID and Name: 

Section Number: 

Course Syllabus

Course Prerequisites: 


Course Description: 

Introduction to the management, information resources, marketing, and business environment of corporate libraries.

Students in this course should be prepared for change; change not only in the work place, but in the class as well.

Course Objective: 

To examine the corporate library/information center closely.

To understand the role of the company librarian in a complex corporate organization.
To examine Special Libraries Association and the role it can play in the career development of the company librarian.
To work as part of a team to solve problems.
Learning Outcomes
      - Students have the ability to judge a firm before placement in a corporate position.
      - Students can assess the need for information because he/she understands the actual work of the customer.
      - Students understand the value of internal as well as external information in a company setting.

Required Course Materials: 

There is nothing to purchase. Articles that must be read and case studies will be supplied by the instructor at no cost to the student. All assignments will be completed during the weeks of class.

Please send your postal address to once you register  for the class.

Course Requirements: 

Monday, May 21, 2012  9:00am - 4:00pm
A.            History of Business
B.             Libraries in American Business and Industry
•    Introduction to the course
•    History of company library development
•    Types and distribution of special libraries
C.             Special Libraries Association
•    SLA’s History
•    SLA Salary Surveys
•    SLA and Research
Tuesday, May 22, 2012  9:00am - 4:00pm
Field Trips
We will visit corporate libraries.         
One of the places we will visit has specific rules. No weapons of any kind (includes small pen knives) and no cell phones. No one but those on the class list may visit, including children. No cameras.
These apply just for Tuesday, May 24, 2011.  

NOTE: There is nothing to purchase for this course. I will supply all of the readings and cases at no cost to the student.

Read: (3) Resuscitated! The EPA Libraries’ Near Death Experience
           (4) Staying Afloat in Turbulent Waters: News/Media Libraries Hit Hard


Wednesday, May 23, 2012   9:00am - 4:00pm

Corporate Library Closings
•    Beacon Gas Company
•    Maryland Glass Company
•    Winston Engineering
•    Precision Engineering Company
•    Specialty Chemical Corporation
With your group, prepare a 10 minute oral report on the company assigned. Brief description of the firm and any reason for closure.
Be creative in your presentation.
These 5 cases represent the only record of company libraries that have closed. Other company libraries have closed since these cases were written. We do not have any data on those closures, however.
Read: (5) Corporate Libraries: A Soft Analysis, A Warning, and Some Generic Advice
           (6) Alternate Sourcing: A critical component of your survival toolkit

Thursday, May 24, 2012   9:00am - 4:00pm

A.             Value of the Information Professional
•    SLA Task Force on the Value of the Information Professional
B.             The Value of a Corporate Library
•    Discuss the value of the corporate library in your group. Specifically, where is the value?
C.            Evaluating the Corporate Library
•    The Double Edged Sword
D.            The Future of Corporate Libraries in the U.S.
•    External competition - fees for information service; the vendor
•    External competition - other sources
•    Internal competition
•    The corporate library of the future: possible scenarios
•    Outsourcing - Offshoring
E.             Corporate Libraries in Europe and Japan

Read: (7) Scenario Planning as Preventative Medicine: The Case of the Unexpected Takeover
Friday, May 25, 2012   9:00am - 4:00pm
Corporate Library Excellence
•    Allergan Pharmaceuticals
•    Chevron Corporation
•    System Planning Corporation
•    Abbott Laboratories
•    McKinsey
With your group, prepare a 10 minute oral report on the companies assigned. Brief description of the firms and any reasons for excellence.
Be creative in your presentation.
Read: “Saving Special Libraries” (9)  


Students work in teams:

Beacon/Allergan Team


Winston/McKinsey Team

Precision/Abbott Team

Specialty/System Planning Team

Written Assignments:

•    First Written Paper (an individual assignment)
Terse Analysis: Typed 3 pages. “Did this library have to close?” Take a position and defend your position. Do not repeat the content of the case. THINK! Paper due 12 Noon, Wednesday, May 23, 2012.
Your analysis will be judged on the quality of the content and the clarity of the presentation. Above all else, you will be judged on the originality of your thought. All of your written work will be graded on this basis.
Please do not use cover sheets, binders etc. on any of the papers. These are not necessary.
•    Second Written Paper (an individual assignment)
Terse Analysis: Typed 3 pages on the Reasons for success and excellence. Do not repeat the case in your analysis. THINK!   Paper due 12 Noon. - Friday, May 25, 2012.



Course Grading: 

Class Participation    25%
Presentations     25%
Case Presentation and Analysis    50%

100 - 90     A

89 - 80       B

79 - 70       C

69 - 65       D

64 - 0          E

Course Policies: 

Students must be present for all face to face meetings of the course.

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 the instructor.

Accommodating Disabilities
Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with documented physical, sensory, systemic, cognitive, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. Please work with the UA Center for Disability Resources. If you anticipate the need for reasonable accommodations to meet the requirements of this course, you must register with the UA 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 email to discuss accommodations and how my course requirements and activities may impact your ability to fully participate.

Assignment Policies
•    How to submit your assignments: Please submit your written assignments in paper. Your papers will be graded and returned.
•    Assignment due dates: NO LATE PAPERS!
•    Writing style: No Style Manual.
•    Late Policy: NO LATE PAPERS!

The current Catalog reads:
The grade of I may be awarded only at the end of a term, when all but a minor portion of the course work has been satisfactorily completed. The grade of I is not to be awarded in place of a failing grade or when the student is expected to repeat the course; in such a case, a grade other than I must be assigned. Students should make arrangements with the instructor to receive an incomplete grade before the end of the term.

If the incomplete is not removed by the instructor within one year the I grade will revert to a failing grade. SIRLS does not encourage INCOMPLETE grades and encourages the instructor and the student to set a reasonable time period to complete the required work, usually between two weeks and one month.


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences