INLS 786: Marketing of Information Services (3 credits)
Spring 2018
Instructor: Heidi Barry-Rodriguez
barry100 at ad dot unc dot edu

Fridays: 10:10 am to 12:40 pm

Please note: as of December 27, 2017, this syllabus is being finalized. There are a couple of readings that might be added Weeks 2 onward for a couple of class meetings.

Course Description:
Application of marketing theory to libraries and other information settings. Includes consumer behavior, market research, segmentation, targeting and positioning, public relations, product design, and sales promotion.

Everything we explore in this class will be within the parameters of marketing…

  • a collection
  • library services
  • library programs
  • relevancy (of the library)
  • yourself (a separate session on this)

This class is designed to give you the theoretical background and best practices overview of marketing in general, coupled with practical, useful library-related marketing tools. At the end of the class, I hope you have a good understanding of the cornerstones and tenets of marketing, with a complete marketing project you can use when you go on job interviews. My emphasis is on the practical, mostly. I won’t bore you, and I will not assign busy work for you to complete. Most assignments will be completed in class, with the exception of the final project. I am looking for you to think deeply outside the box. To read widely on the subject of marketing; there will be a mix academic as well as popular readings and multimedia. I am fair, and I embrace all ideas. I expect you to attend class as participation is large part of your grade. That said, you don’t have to be an extrovert to enjoy this class, but you are expected to be present, and engaged. I want you to walk away from this class at the end with a toolset to interview and hit the road with a marketing perspective that sets you apart from many other librarians.

Class will be a mix of short lectures, student discussions, case discussions, a library field trip, in-class activities and a guest speaker.

There will be:

  • 10 weeks of structured classes/activities designed to understand marketing on a macro level.
  • Project work so that you complete an actual marketing plan and activity. This project will include a formal oral presentation and whatever written or digital support materials you think are necessary.

Text Required: None

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, it is expected that students will:

  • Design a marketing plan/audit for an organization with a roadmap for the future
  • Understand segmenting, targeting, positioning, and branding
  • Plan the introduction of a new product/service
  • Explore marketing communications channels for the best way to get across the marketing message to the intended audience
  • Collaborate with classmates in a constructive way

Schedule of Classes 


Based on the UNC Registrar Policy for courses (http://regweb.unc.edu/resources/rpm24.php) semester grades will be H, P, L or F for graduate students. Grades for individual assignments will be based on points obtained on each assignment, weighted by percentages listed above, to calculate final grades. Numerical grades for the course as a whole will roughly translate into the following letter grades:

  • 96.0-100% = H (High Pass)
  • 80.0-95.9% = P (Pass)
  • 65.0-79.9% = L (Low Pass)
  • < 64.9% = F (Fail)

Here is some additional information on grading:*

  • H – Outstanding achievement. Student performance demonstrates full command of the course materials and evinces a high level of originality and/or creativity that surpasses course expectations. The student has contributed on a regular basis in class and on the discussion forums with insightful comments supported by professional literature beyond that provided by the basic required readings. Command and understanding of the literature is shown in all the written assignments and is appropriately documented. The H student initiates issue discussions, leads in summarizing and drawing conclusions, and shares knowledge with classmates. Leadership and initiative are demonstrated throughout the semester.
  • P+ – Excellent achievement. Student performance demonstrates thorough knowledge of the course materials and exceeds course expectations by completing all requirements in a superior manner. This means the student has command of the basic required readings as well as supplemental materials and demonstrates this through class discussions and in written assignments. The student participates in issues discussions and shares ideas with classmates.
  • P – Satisfactory work at the graduate level. Student performance meets designated course expectations, demonstrates understanding of the course materials, and performs at an acceptable level. The student demonstrates understanding of issues across the entire semester and supports this understanding with the required readings. The student participates in discussions with relevant comments.
  • P- – Marginal work. Student performance demonstrates incomplete understanding of course materials. The student seems to have read most of the required materials, but fails to provide meaningful discussion, fails to raise questions of merit or to think beyond personal experiences and needs. Basic requirements for the written assignments are met, but there are few signs of critical thought or creative vision.
  • L – Unsatisfactory work. Student performance demonstrates inadequate understanding of course materials. Some assignments incomplete.
  • F – Failing. Sporadic attendance. Assignments not turned in on time.
  • IN – Incomplete. A grade of incomplete may be taken only because of illness or special circumstances and only with the permission of the instructor.

*Borrowed from Professor Evelyn Daniel who taught this wonderful class for many years

Grading of the Assignments/Participation:

  • Attendance and participation – 25% of grade
  • Weekly group short session activities – 40%
  • Final group marketing plan  – 35% – group grade

A note about group work and grading. Every member of the group will earn the same grade for all group work, if you choose to work in a group.

Attendance is expected. Absence will count against your attendance and participation grade. More than 2 absences will result in a low pass for the 20% of the grade that is attendance and participation.

If you have any concerns or questions about your grades (or any other issues) at any time, please feel free to discuss with me. Students at the School of Information and Library Science are expected to follow the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Honor Code:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-led honor system for over 100 years. Academic integrity is at the heart of Carolina and we all are responsible for upholding the ideals of honor and integrity.  The student-led Honor System is responsible for adjudicating any suspected violations of the Honor Code and all suspected instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the honor system. Information, including your responsibilities as a student is outlined in the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. Your full participation and observance of the Honor Code is expected.

For more information, see: http://honor.unc.edu/.

If you feel you may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability, please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. Also, please contact UNC Disability Services at (919) 962-8300 or disabilityservices@unc.edu at the Student and Academic Services Buildings, located in Suite 2126, 450 Ridge Road, to formally coordinate accommodations and services.
Diversity Statement

In support of the University’s diversity goals and the mission of the School of Information and Library Science, SILS embraces diversity as an ethical and societal value. We broadly define diversity to include race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, religion, social class, age, sexual orientation and physical and learning ability. As an academic community committed to preparing our graduates to be leaders in an increasingly multicultural and global society we strive to:

  • Ensure inclusive leadership, policies and practices • Integrate diversity into the curriculum and research
  • Foster a mutually respectful intellectual environment in which diverse opinions are valued
  • Recruit traditionally underrepresented groups of students, faculty and staff
  • Participate in outreach to underserved groups in the State. The statement represents a commitment of resources to the development and maintenance of an academic environment that is open, representative, reflective and committed to the concepts of equity and fairness.

Bad Weather

In the event of snow, I will email you to let you know if class will meet. I will also post an announcement in Sakei, as well as here on the class website,