Instructor: donna Bair-Mundy
Office: Hamilton 003-B
Voicemail: 956-9518
Fax: (808) 956-5835
Web Site:
Office hours: Monday 4:15-5:15 p.m. or by appointment

Course Description

A survey of topics in information science and technology. Lectures and discussions emphasize practice, problems, and theory relating to information storage, retrieval, and dissemination provision technology in libraries and information centers.


There is no prerequisite for this course.

Research Methods

Students will be introduced to a variety of research methods utilized in user studies. This knowledge is given practical application through the creation by each student of a Recommendation for a User Study in response to a given scenario.

Student Learning Outcomes

This introductory survey course addresses the objectives of the LIS Program, enabling students to:

1a. Apply LIS theory and principles to diverse information contexts.
1c. Develop and apply critical thinking skills in preparation for professional practice.
2b. Work effectively in teams.
3a. Demonstrate understanding of the processes by which information is created, evaluated, and disseminated.
3b. Organize, create, archive, and manage collections of information resources following professional standards.
3c. Search, retrieve and synthesize information from a variety of systems and sources.
4a. Evaluate systems and technologies in terms of quality, functionality, cost-effectiveness and adherence to professional standards.
4b. Integrate emerging technologies into professional practice.

Course Learning Objectives

This is an introductory course which provides a basic preparation for more advanced courses in such areas as online/CD-ROM information retrieval systems, library automation, abstracting/indexing, database design and creation, systems analysis, and information and records management. Through these advanced courses the student develops skills in the use, evaluation, and selection of information storage and retrieval systems, as well as some of the tools for their creation. In this course the student will gain a very basic understanding of theory and practice in information retrieval systems past and present; selected theories and research methodologies relating to information-seeking behavior; an introduction to computer and computer networking hardware, operating systems, and selected applications; and how to select, organize, and prepare materials for presentation in the World Wide Web environment.

Course & Teaching Philosophy

In this course the emphasis is on exploration of technologies currently in use or of potential future use in library or other information management settings. New technologies necessitate formulation of new policies for their usage. Thus, information policy—including ethical, political, and financial issues—regarding utilization of technology in information provision will also be discussed. Students are encouraged to give expression to their thoughts concerning the employment of these new technologies in the library. My hope is that this course will not only familiarize students with the technological tools of the library today but will enable them to be innovators in the formulation of new ways to provide information to both traditional and nontraditional patrons of information services.

Teaching Methods

Lectures are used to introduce students to the underlying theoretical issues of information storage and retrieval. Guest speakers bring to the course expertise in a variety of fields. Independent exercises and a group project provide hands-on experience. Discussion sessions allow students to share knowledge and insights gained from their readings.


Technology Requirements

This course requires use of an Internet-connected computer with a standard Web browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Powerpoint, Adobe Acrobat reader (available free of charge from and a word processor. Students will be required to view (and listen to) Powerpoint presentations, complete exercises and written assignments, participate in online discussions, create a World Wide Web portal, view pdf documents, and access Internet sites. Internet-connected PCs and Macs are available in UH computer labs but you must supply your own paper to print. In addition, most medium- and large-sized public and academic libraries provide access to the Web for their patrons. Students who utilize public-access computers are urged to purchase their own headphones for reasons of privacy and hygiene.

Each student will be required to use SSH software. Instructions for downloading and using this encryption program will be given during the course.

You will also be required to obtain and use a UHUNIX e-mail account (free to UH students). Information about obtaining a UHUNIX account is available at the UH website.

If you are a new student you are urged to consult the UH Web page entitled "Getting Started with Information Technology at the University of Hawaii" to obtain information about your UH username, connecting to UH, accessing your e-mail, and training resources offered through the University of Hawai`i. Point your browser to:

Professional Expectations

LIS students at the University of Hawai`i are required to observe rigorous standards regarding intellectual and personal honesty. Please review these standards, available online at:

Documentation (Citations)

In the scholarly world we acknowledge the fact that our contributions to knowledge build upon the contributions of others. We do this by citing the works from which we have drawn ideas, data, or text. In this class citations are required.

You may use the author-date method (preferred), footnotes, or endnotes. Please remember that you must cite and you must do so in a consistent manner.

If you use the wording of another author (even if the author is anonymous) you must either put the text between quotation marks or indent and single-space the material. The quoted text must be followed immediately by the author, date, and page number (author/date method) or footnote or endnote number.

Two style manuals frequently used in the discipline of Library and Information Science are Turabian and The Chicago Manual of Style:

Turabian, Kate L. 2007. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago style for students and researchers. 7th edition. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press editorial staff. Chicago : University of Chicago Press.
University of Chicago Press. 2010. The Chicago manual of style, 16th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Tentative Course Schedule (subject to change)

Date Topic(s) Readings and Assignments Due
Getting to know you;
Introduction to the course;
Discussion: What is information?
Shannon and Weaver
2 8/29/11 Discussion: Vannevar Bush;
Introduction to UNIX;
Introduction to SSH

Assignments due:
1) Sign onto Laulima and introduce yourself
2) Exercise One: What makes a good Web page?
Required readings:
V. Bush: "As We May Think",
V. Bush questions

Introduction to HTML

Assignment due:
Exercise Two: Uploading an ASCII file to your UHUNIX directory
Required reading:
Dervin & Nilan: "Information needs and uses"
Spool et al.: "Web site usability"
4 9/19/11
Discussion: Filtering software;
Situational relevance exercise (new date);
Explanation of Web portal assignment (new date)

Assignment due:
Exercise Three: Using Pico to edit your ASCII file
Required readings:/
Consumer Reports articles:
"Digital chaperones for kids" (e-reserve)
"Filtering software: Better, but still fallible (e-reserve);"
1997 ALA resolution on filtering (2001 currently not available);
Food for thought on filtering;
Optional reading:
Libraries & the Internet Toolkit;
Nahl & Harada: "Composing Boolean search statements" (Sample of a user study) (E-reserve)

5 9/26/11 User studies (new date);
Technology for persons with disabilities;
Relevance, precision, and recall

Assignment Due:
Recommendation for a user study
Important: The due date for this assignment has been moved to October 24th.
Required readings:
Goddard: "Access through technology"
Saracevic, Part II: "Nature and manifestations of relevance"
Optional reading:
Peters & Bell: Assistive devices and options for libraries"
Hopkins: "School library accessibility"
Saracevic [Part I] (e-reserve);
Mizarro (e-reserve);
Hjorland (e-reserve);
Saracevic, Part III;
Xu and Chen
6 10/3/11
Web workshop;
Discussion of final paper and presentation;
Video: The machine that changed the world, Part I: Giant Brains

Assignment Due:
Proposal for an Internet use policy
Exercise Four: adding formatting tags (Done in workshop)
Required readings:
Garlock & Piontek: "Designing Web interfaces to library services and resources" (e-reserve)
7 10/10/11
Guest speaker: Dr. Jacsó on
Citation-enhanced databases--the good, the bad, and the ugly (and the dysfunctional)

Assignment Due:
Exercise Five: Inserting an image in a Web page
Required readings:
Jacsó: "As we may search — Comparison of major features of the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar citation-based and citation-enhanced databases"
Jacsó: "Google Scholar's ghost authors"
8 10/17/11
Guest speaker: Arnold Laanui on
Network security

Assignment due:
Web portal frame
Required readings:
Canavan: "Fundamentals of network security" (e-reserve);
Huang: "How you can protect public access computers and their users"
9 10/24/11
Introduction to networks;
Formation of catalog evaluation teams;
Boolean, bibliometrics, and beyond

Assignment Due:
Topic & bibliography for final paper
Recommendation for a user study (new due date)
Required readings:
Wallace: "Bibliometrics and citation analysis" (e-reserve)
Nahl: "The user-centered revolution"
10 10/31/11
Guest speaker Dr. Quiroga on
Information architecture;
Indexing and abstracting;
Searching by color exercise;
Dissemination aand access;
Relational databases

Assignment Due:
Web portal
Required readings:
Rosenfeld and Morville, chapter 4 : The anatomy of an information architecture (e-reserve);
Kroenke, chapter 1 : The characteristics of databases (e-reserve)
Optional reading:
Rosenfeld and Morville, chapter 5 : Organization systems (e-reserve);
Wodtke, chapter 2 : Information architecture—First principles (e-reserve)
Meadow: "The physical structure of data" (e-reserve)

11 11/7/11
Guest speaker: Dr. Larry Osborne on

Assignment Due:
Evaluation of an online catalog
Required readings:
Shelly: "The system unit" (e-reserve)
Optional readings
Meadow: "The physical structure of data" (e-reserve);
Coombs: "Protecting user privacy in the age of digital libraries" (e-reserve)

12 11/14/11
Student presentations

13 11/21/11
Student presentations
14 11/28/11 Student presentations
15 12/5/11 Student presentations  
Assignment Due:
Final paper


If you need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, please:

  1. contact the Kokua Program by telephone (V/T) at 956-7511 or 956-7612 or in person at the Queen Lili`uokalani Center for Student Services building, room 013;
  2. speak with me privately to discuss your specific needs. I will be happy to work with you and the KOKUA Program to meet your access needs related to your documented disability.

Information about the Kokua Program is available online at:

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