Marketing for Libraries Logo

Course Materials: Syllabus

Download a PDF version of the latest syllabus.

S672 Seminar on Literature for Youth
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Library and Information Science

Boring, lifeless nonfiction books are out! Engaging, visually-rich informational reading is in! While youth may read informational books for pleasure, nonfiction works can also be used to explore ideas, gain insights, broaden perspectives, and build knowledge. In this course, you'll learn to spice up the youth nonfiction section of a school or public library.

Informational reading and nonfiction works play a key role both national recommendations and state standards. This emphasis is generating new demands for both school and public libraries as well as opportunities for collection development and collaboration. This course will explore a wide range of informational texts. In addition, it will examine issues related to selecting quality, complex texts, addressing the needs of reluctant readers, and engaging young people in stimulating reading experiences.

From graphic biographies and histories to plant and animal field guides, libraries are full of engaging nonfiction for children and young adults. By pairing popular fiction with nonfiction books, identifying clusters of related works, introducing graphic novel-style nonfiction to reluctant readers, and tying engaging nonfiction works to online tools and ebook resources, librarians can attract new readers and promote essential 21st century skills.

In addition, this course explores ways that readers' advisory services can be used to connect nonfiction titles with readers through both direct and indirect means. Finally, nonfiction reading is fun! This course provides opportunities to read and analyze a wide range of nonfiction books for youth.

Recent changes in standards have placed emphasis on informational reading making this a particularly timely topic for school and public librarians alike. Come join the fun!

Instructor Information

Name - Annette Lamb, Ph.D.
Address - PO Box 206 Teasdale UT 84773 (I often travel during the semester)
Email -
Phone - Email Dr. Lamb for her phone number if you'd like to have a phone conversation.

Course Description

This three-credit graduate course is an advanced seminar focusing on informational reading and nonfiction materials for youth. This course will expand your thinking about the essential role of nonfiction in the children's and young adult school and public library collections.

The course 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 informational reading and nonfiction literature focus.

Course Assumptions

The following entry skills are required for this course:

Because this is an online course, it is assumed that each student had reliable, daily access to high speed Internet. 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.

Learning Objectives

The students will be able to:

The instructor will:

Course Materials

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.


The required readings will be connected online. The course materials will be available at


Isaacs, Kathleen T. (2012). Picturing the World: Informational Picture Books for Children. ALA Editions. This book would be useful for those of you interested in working with young children.

Jarrell, Jill S. & Cannon, Tara C. (2010). Cooler than Fiction: A Planning Guide for Teen Nonfiction Booktalks. McFarland. This book would be useful for those of you interested in working with young adults.

Course Assignments and Assessments

For more information about these assignments, go to the CourseGuide.

For information about due dates, go to the Course Calendar.

Course Grades

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:

A 98-100
A- 95-97
B+ 92-94
B 89-91
B- 86-88
C 80-85
D 75-79
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

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  

For more information, go to

Administrative Withdrawal

A basic requirement of this course is that you will participate in class and conscientiously complete writing and reading assignments. Keep in touch with me if you are unable to attend class or complete an assignment on time. If you miss more than half our class assignments within the first four weeks of the semester without contacting me, you will be administratively withdrawn from this section. Our class has assignments each week; thus if you miss more than three assignment in the first four weeks, you may be withdrawn. Administrative withdrawal may have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and if you are administratively withdrawn from the course you will not be eligible for a tuition refund. If you have questions about the administrative withdrawal policy at any point during the semester, please contact me."

Learn more at

| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Teacher Tap | 42explore | About Us | Contact Us | ©2013-2017 Annette Lamb

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.