INLS843 Seminar in Public Libraries

We will spend most of our time discussing topics related to the subject. Our first few weeks will be spent thinking about why the public library exists, what its milieu is, and how the librarianship profession has related to it. Our goal will be to develop a nuanced understanding of the public library as an institution, a big picture appreciation of the concept, which will lead into a more fine-grained introduction to issues of concern to public libraries today.

There are four graded components in this seminar

35% Final Product:

This is a fuller explanation about we will be doing for our final project, the annotated bibliography.

You will create a document that will be a useful tool for future generations of students who want to know more about public library topics. Your work may be published as a SILS Technical Paper, a resource that we plan to continually update by having subsequent INLS843 classes add more to it. Each of you will have chosen a topic of special interest, a topic you will be leading a discussion on. This is the topic you will use to create your annotated bibliography. We would expect at least 15-20 bibliographic entries per topic. (You don't have to stop at 20, but do try to reach 20).

If two or more of you all are sharing a topic, try to stretch yourselves to include at least 15 entries apiece. They don't all have to be books or articles. You might well want to critically annotate some online resources. You might find the Internet Public Library's own annotated bibliographies a good jumping off point. The final project will be part of the process of SILS putting some useful tools and resources online.

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To start, what are we talking about? Googling the term gives us a good range of clues.

Cornell University Library asks the question: WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

I think Cornell's 150 word characterization of an annotation is a tad long, but I wouldn't think an annotation should exceed that length

An example of an annotated bibliography on information technology, for example, is Current Cites. If one uses Current Cites to create a bibliography on demand for the topic "libraries" (by typing the word "libraries" into the search box), one gets a pretty good dynamic product. However, for us, a topical arrangement (with an author name sort within the topic) would be a better model.

Other explanations and descriptions

Tools that might be useful

Plan to submit your annotated bibliography as an attachment to the assignment in Sakai). You may use any document generating program you wish, but be sure that the paper meets these specs:

  • one inch margins top and bottom, .75 inch margins left and right
  • font size no larger than 12 points
  • double spaced
  • place your name and the page number in the header or footer of each page

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We will use the American Psychological Association (APA) format for this paper. APA is the citation format most commonly used in the social sciences. If you are not familiar with this format, you should locate a style guide. The following links may be helpful with this format

Again, UNC Libraries has a good tool to assist in the use of APA Style.

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Due by

It is due at the same time you would have had to take a final exam for this class, were there a final exam. That means it is due on Saturday, 08 May 2021 at 1200.

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For these tasks, the following grading standard will be applied. You may infer from the grade you receive that I felt the performance could be described in the terms in this table.

Points HPLF grade/PF grade Description
95-100 H/Pass Clear excellence of thoughtful and well-researched resources, combined with insightful, illustrative, and reflective commentary on the resources - an effort that will make the resultant annotated bibliography a strong research tool for subsequent users
80-94 P/Pass Entirely satisfactory selection of resources and evaluation of them
60-79 L/Pass A marginal performance reflecting inadequate research and unimaginative evaluation of the selected resources
below 60 F/Fail If you try to do the task, you will not see this grade

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