Instructor: donna Bair-Mundy
Office: Hamilton 003-B
Voicemail: 956-9518
Fax: (808) 956-5835
Web Site:
Office hours: 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 digital librarianship, library automation, 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 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 are available in the LIS alcove. There are also Internet-connected PCs in Hamilton Library. In addition, most medium- and large-sized public and academic libraries provide access to the Web for their patrons.

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 Information Technology Services Web page 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: then scroll down to the Quick Links section for links to valuable information about UH technology.

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 1/26/15 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

Discussion: Filtering software;
Explanation of "Proposal for an Internet use policy assignment";
Introduction to HTML (part 1)

Assignment due:
Exercise Two: Uploading an ASCII file to your UHUNIX directory
Required reading:
Batch: "Fencing out knowledge: impacts of the Children's Internet Protection Act 10 years later," pages 9-32;
2001 ALA resolution on filtering;
Food for thought on filtering;
Wodtke: Chapter 2—Information architecture—First principles (e-reserve)
Optional reading:
Libraries & the Internet Toolkit
4 2/9/15
Introduction to HTML (part 2);
Situational relevance exercise;
Explanation of Web portal assignment

Assignment due:
Exercise Three: Using Pico to edit your ASCII file
Required readings:/
Dervin & Nilan: "Information needs and uses" pages 9 (starting with "Baseline Portrait of Information Needs and Uses Studies") through 16;
Morville and Rosenfeld: Chapter 4—The anatomy of an information architecture (e-reserve)
Optional reading:
Morville and Rosenfeld: Chapter 5—Organization systems (e-reserve)
Spool et al.: "Web site usability"
5 2/23/15 User studies;
Explanation of user study assignment;
Technology for persons with disabilities

Assignment Due:
Proposal for an Internet use policy
Required readings:
Kelleher: "Not just a place to sleep: homeless perspectives on libraries in central Michgan;"
Todd: "Beyond assistive technology"
Optional reading:
Goddard: "Access through technology"
Peters & Bell: Assistive devices and options for libraries";
Hopkins: "School library accessibility";
Nahl & Harada: "Composing Boolean search statements" (sample of a user study) (e-reserve)
6 3/2/15
Discussion of final paper and presentation;
Relevance, precision, and recall (part 1)

Assignment Due:
Recommendation for a user study;
Required readings:
Saracevic, Part II: "Nature and manifestations of relevance"
Optional reading:
Saracevic, Part I (e-reserve);
Mizarro: "Relevance—the whole history" (e-reserve);
Saracevic, Part III (e-reserve);
Xu and Chen: "Relevance judgment";
Garlock & Piontek: "Designing Web interfaces to library services and resources" (e-reserve)
7 3/9/15
Relevance, precision, and recall (part 2);
Explanation of "Evaluation of an online catalog" assignment;
Formation of catalog evaluation teams;
OPAC selection and criteria formulation for catalog evaluation assignment

Assignment Due:
Exercise Four: adding formatting, a table, and a hypertext link
Required readings:
Nahl: "The user-centered revolution"
Hjorland: "Relevance research—the missing perspective(s)"(e-reserve)
Optional reading:
Hjorland: "The Foundation of the Concept of Relevance"
8 3/16/15
Introduction to networks;
Boolean, bibliometrics, and beyond;
Video: The machine that changed the world, Part I: Giant Brains (if time permits)

Assignment due:
Exercise Five: Inserting an in a Web page
Required readings:
Wallace: "Bibliometrics and citation analysis" (e-reserve)
9 3/30/15
Guest speaker:
Dr. Péter Jacsó on
Citation-enhanced databases--the good, the bad, and the ugly (and the dysfunctional)

Assignment Due:
Web portal frame
Required readings:
"As we may search — Comparison of major features of the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar citation-based and citation-enhanced databases" (e-reserve);
Jacsó: "Google Scholar's ghost authors"
10 4/6/15
Guest speaker:
Dr. Larry Osborne on Hardware

Assignment Due:
Evaluation of an online catalog
Required readings:
Shelly: "The system unit" (e-reserve)

11 4/13/15 Tips on presentations with Powerpoint;
Searching by color exercise;
Relational databases;
Relational database exercise

Assignment Due:
Topic & bibliography for final paper
Required readings:
Kroenke, chapter 1 : The characteristics of databases (e-reserve)
Coombs: "Protecting user privacy in the age of digital libraries" (e-reserve)
Optional reading:
Meadow: "The physical structure of data" (e-reserve)

12 4/20/15
Guest speaker:
Special Agent Arnold Laanui, J.D., Ed.D. on Network security

Assignment Due:
Web portal
Required readings:
Canavan: "Fundamentals of network security" (e-reserve);
Huang: "How you can protect public access computers and their users"

13 4/27/15
Student presentations;
Dissemination and access (if time permits)

14 5/4/15 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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