School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

INLS 500, Human Information Interactions
Fall 2013


Schedule | Assignments | Additional readings | Sakai site for class


Instructor: Kaitlin L. Costello



Office hours: By appointment

Phone: (919) 627-1741 (home) (Please call between 10 AM and 10 PM; text anytime).


Class meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30 - 4:45; 208 Manning Hall

Course Description

This course, INLS 500 - Human Information Interactions, is concerned with the behavioral and cognitive activities of people who interact with information. The role of information mediators - such as other people, books, or computers - is emphasized. The course provides an overview of the literature on information needs, seeking, and use of information; the role of context in information interactions; and how information professionals support information interactions.

Course Objectives


There is one excellent book available for purchase from the UNC Student Stores in the Daniels Building (two buildings south of Manning). It is not a required textbook, but it is a great general introduction to human information behaviors. This book will likely serve you well throughout your career, but again - it is not a required text.

In this class, we will be reading many journal articles and book chapters. These are available through the UNC Library electronic journals, or, in some cases, through Sakai resources. Links to these readings are available on the Sakai site under the "Resources" tab.

Assignments and Evaluation

Unless otherwise specified, all assignments are due at noon through the Sakai Dropbox.

The assignments for this course aim to develop your understanding of human information interactions. Your final grade will be based on four graded homework assignments (including one team project) and class participation.

In addition, your written work should be of high quality. Please visit the Writing Center on campus (in the Phillips Annex, two buildings East of Peabody) if you have any concerns about your writing. They are an extremely valuable resource.

Honor Code

The Honor Code, which prohibits giving or receiving unauthorized aid in the completion of assignments, is in effect in this class. Please familiarize yourself with the UNC-CH Instrument of Student Governance. The Honor System Module created by the Office of Student Conduct might be helpful to complete.

In all of your assignments, you must attribute your sources and avoid excessive use of quotes. Be aware of the University of North Carolina policy on plagiarism. All cases of plagiarism (unattributed quotation or paraphrasing) of anyone else's work, whether from someone else's answers to homework or from published materials, will be reported and handled according to UNC policies (Instrument of Student Judicial Governance, Section II.B.1. and III.D.2,

Additional policies

Assignments are due at the beginning of the class period on the specified due date. With the instructor's permission, late assignments will be accepted with a penalty.

Laptops are welcome in class, but should be used only for legitimate purposes related to this course.

Please set your ringer to "silent" and do not use your mobile phone in class.

You will be using SILS library and lab resources during the course of the semester. Please remember that many of your fellow students also need to use the same equipment and materials. Follow the proper checkout procedures and return materials promptly to be a good SILS citizen.

Email is the best way to communicate with me outside of class. Normally, you should expect a response within 24 hours. I am also happy to schedule a meeting with you; office hours are by appointment.

Schedule | Assignments | Additional readings | Sakai site for class

Creative Commons LicenseThe INLS 500 website, designed by Barbara M. Wildemuth, UNC-CH, 2011, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This course benefitted greatly from earlier development by Earl Bailey, Laura Sheble, and Dr. Barbara Wildemuth. Address all comments and questions to Kaitlin L. Costello at This page was last modified on August 8, 2013, by Kaitlin L. Costello.