Course Materials: Syllabus
Download a PDF version of this syllabus.
S580: History of Libraries
Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis
School of Library and Information Science
Name - Annette Lamb, Ph.D.
Address - PO Box 206 Teasdale UT 84773 (I often travel during the semester)
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Website - http://eduscapes.com
From stone tablets to digital tablets, the history of libraries is a fascinating exploration of culture, politics, and society around the world. Whether exploring the great Library of Alexandria or rural libraries of the 1900s, there's something for everyone interested in understanding the impact libraries have had on life through history.
Regardless of whether you're interested in academic, school, public, corporate, health, and/or other special library settings, this course is a great elective. To plan and succeed in the future, we must learn from the past!
From hidden walls in the libraries of Ancient China to book burnings of the 20th century, the history of libraries is filled with intrigue and adventure along with censorship and destruction. History has never been so relevant AND exciting!
This three-credit hour graduate course focuses on the development of libraries and information services from earliest times to the present, with emphasis on the library in relation to social, economic, cultural, and political trends.
This course will expand your thinking about the essential role of history in understanding academic, school, public, and/or special libraries. It will be taught entirely online including web-based readings and resources, threaded discussions, plus online presentations and activities.
Choices allow graduate students with varied backgrounds and interests to select activities that meet their professional needs. Each student will have the opportunity to examine a personal or professional area of interest within the history of libraries.
The following entry skills are required for this course:
- Demonstrate technology skills including use of productivity tools (i.e., word processing, spreadsheet, presentation), web development tools, social media, and utilities (i.e., downloading drivers and plugins).
- Identify, select, access, and evaluate information found on the Internet and in the library.
- Use Canvas for forums and information sharing.
This course makes the assumption that you are able to work independently. There are no required face-to-face meetings. There are no required synchronous online meetings. However, feel free to e-mail or arrange a chat with your instructor at any time.
Students will be able to:
- discuss issues in the writing of library history
- describe the development and role of libraries throughout history
- identify great libraries and what made them effective in their time
- identify key figures, events, inventions, and movements in library history
- order the major historical development in librarianship
- describe the types and functions of libraries at various points in history
- trace the development of different types of libraries
- discuss the context in which libraries exist in each time period
- compare libraries across cultures and history
- compare libraries from one period of history to another
- identify key issues related to the rise and fall of libraries including social, political, cultural, and environmental considerations.
- discuss the role of libraries in the development of human culture
- discuss the current status and future of libraries globally
The instructor will:
- encourage critical and creative thinking related to librarians and librarianship
- convey examples of theory, techniques, and models relevant to libraries and librarianship
- judge student performance fairly in accordance with the SLIS grading policy and the expectations for the assignments outlined in this syllabus.
The course content will be accessed through a series of web pages. In addition to readings and presentation materials, the pages also contain reflective questions and individual exercises to reinforce key concepts.
Required Online Course Materials
Syllabus - http://eduscapes.com/history/course/syllabus.htm
Email Archives - http://eduscapes.com/history/course/archives.htm
The Tips - http://eduscapes.com/history/course/requirements.htm
The Course Readings - http://eduscapes.com/history/index.htm
Required Print Materials
Battles, Matthews (2003). Library: an Unquiet History. WW Norton Co. 0-393-02039-0. This is available in varied formats:
Paperback - http://www.amazon.com/Library-Unquiet-History-Matthew-Battles/dp/0393325644
Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/Library-An-Unquiet-History-ebook/dp/B004MPRAAM
- Casson, Lionel (2001). Libraries in the Ancient World. Available free through IUPUI.
- Crawford, Alice (2015). The Meaning of the Library: A Cultural History. Available free through IUPUI
For additional online resources, go to the Resource page.
Course Assignments and Assessments
The learning objectives will be assessed through a series of activities, a history timeline, and a final project. Course assignments are intended to help students apply the course materials.
"Actio" is Latin for "take action". You'll have six opportunities to demonstrate your understanding of course content through "actio" assignments. You'll be sharing articles, making comparisons, connecting libraries to societies, and event critiquing libraries in movies and television. Then, responding to the work of a peer.
The course requirements will be addressed within the online guide. Each assignment contains detailed criteria. If you meet the criteria you will get the points.
For an overview of the requirements, go to Course Requirements at
For a description of the assignments, go to the Course Guide at
For a nice checklist of the course activities, check out Course Checklist at
The points awarded for each activity are indicated on the Course Requirements. High expectations have been set for this course. Please notice that outstanding achievement will require careful attention to course criteria and exceptional quality in course assignments.
Final grades are based on the following range within the total 100 points possible:
F below 74
The meaning of the letter grades follows the SLIS Grading Policy:
A: Outstanding achievement. Student performance demonstrates full command of the course materials and evinces a high level of originality and/or creativity that far surpasses course expectations. The grade of A+ is not granted in SLIS, except in very exceptional cases.
A-: Excellent achievement. Student performance demonstrates thorough knowledge of the course materials and exceeds course expectations by completing all requirements in a superior manner.
B+: Very good work. Student performance demonstrates above-average comprehension of the course materials and exceeds course expectations on all tasks defined in the course syllabus.
B: Good work. Student performance meets designated course expectations, demonstrates understanding of the course materials, and has performed at an acceptable level.
B-: Marginal work. Student performance demonstrates incomplete understanding of course materials.
C+, C, C-: Unsatisfactory work and inadequate understanding of course materials.
D+, D, D-: Unacceptable work; course work completed at this level will not count toward the MLS degree.
F: Failing. May result in an overall grade point average below 3.0 and possible removal from the program.
Late and Incomplete Work
Students may request an assignment extension due to personal or professional emergencies. These requests must be made prior to the due date. Extensions beyond a couple days will result in lose of points.
A final grade of "I" or "Incomplete" will NOT be given except in extreme situations. Please let me know if you're having difficulty completing the requirements of this course.
Student Academic Conduct
There is extensive documentation and discussion of the issue of academic honesty in the IUPUI Student Code of Conduct.
Students should be sure to read the Student Code of Conduct. The Academic Handbook states that faculty members have the responsibility of fostering the "intellectual honesty as well as the intellectual development of students.... The faculty member should explain clearly the meaning of cheating and plagiarism as they apply to the course… Should the faculty member detect signs of plagiarism or cheating, it is his or her most serious obligation to investigate these thoroughly, to take appropriate action with respect to the grades of students, and in any event to report the matter to the Dean of Students. The necessity to report every case of cheating, whether or not further action is desirable, arises particularly because of the possibility that this is not the student's first offense, or that other offenses may follow it. Equity also demands that a uniform reporting practice be enforced; otherwise, some students will be penalized while others guilty of the same actions will go free." (p. 172). For more information, go to http://www.iupui.edu/code
Student Accommodations for Disability
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.
Students needing accommodations because of disability must register with Adaptive Educational Services and complete the appropriate form before accommodations will be given. The AES office is located in Taylor Hall Room 127, 815 W Michigan St Indianapolis, IN 46202 and may be reached by phone 317/274-3241 or 317/278-2052 TTD/TTY; by fax 317/274-2051; or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, go to http://diversity.iupui.edu/aes/