INLS 241
FALL 2002

This is a required course for school library media specialists working for certification in the MSLS degree program at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Course Description
Objectives of the Course
Conduct of the Class
Class Policies and Honor system


"The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students ... are effective users of ideas and information." Information Power

"Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
Through the Looking Glass

The development of the school library media program is a complex undertaking which calls for an understanding of sound management principles, good interpersonal skills, and a broad vision of what the library media program can mean to student learning. The role of the school media specialist is multi-faceted and demands skills in information retrieval, instruction, management, planning, and public relations.

This course will address the library media specialist's responsibilities for the successful operation of a media program. It will emphasize systematic program development to help teachers, students, administrators, and others in the school community to become "effective users of ideas and information." The focus of the course will be on the building level professional and his/her role and responsibility to provide an effective and integrated program and set of services to make the media center a vital part of the total educational program of the school.

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By the end of the course, you will be able to:
  1. Talk knowledgeably about current educational and social issues and their implications for school library media centers.
  2. Articulate a philosophy about the nature, roles and functions of the school library media program and the school library media specialist.
  3. Perform a community analysis of a school and its context -- the school system and the community - and, from the results, determine design considerations for the school library media program and services.
  4. Design a program of services appropriate for the SLMC in a particular school.
  5. Devise a working draft of a policies and procedure manual for an SLMC.
  6. Develop a budget, devise ways of working with staff, design a schedule, and set policies for the use of SLMC materials and services.
  7. Write a materials selection/deselection policy and understand the process for reacting to material challenges.
  8. Plan public relations events and activities for the SLMC.

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Four books are required, one of which (the Guidelines) many of you will already have. These texts are:

IMPACT; Guidelines for Media and Technology Programs. Public Schools of North Carolina, September 2000. Available at A useful companion guide is also available directed to administrators and focusing on program evaluation and effectiveness. See

Information Power; Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. Chicago: American Library Association and Washington, DC: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1998.

Wilson, Patricia Potter and Josette Anne Lyders. Leadership for Today's School Library; A Handbook for the Library Media Specialist and the School Principal. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Woolls, Blanche. The School Library Media Manager. 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1999.

In addition, other books and articles are available through reserve and interlibrary loan. A list of recommended readings will be provided.

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The class is offered as a web-based distance education program, one of a series of courses offered in this manner to enable students seeking initial certification as part of an MSLS program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or as a post-MLS student who now seeks prepartion as a school library media specialist. The class will meet face to face at Chapel Hill on Saturday, August 24, for an all day initial workshop (9-4). Subsequent meetings will be online via discussion forums, email, and chat room. A final face to face meeting at Chapel Hill is planned for Saturday, November 30. Class work will be both individual and in small groups and may be accomplished asynchronously for the most part. Monthly electronic gettogethers are planned -- dates to be set -- where the class can interact in real time. The instructor is available to you via email, telephone, and the occasional meeting throughout the course.

During the course the general content will flow from a general consideration of the social and educational environment to a more detailed analysis of a particular school system and a particular school library media center. Students will be asked to "adopt" a school media center and use it as the basis for their practice in the techniques of community analysis and user-centered design. The draft manual will either be a revision of an existing manual or a first cut at a manual for the selected school.

A series of assignments and weekly entries on the various Discussion Forums will occupy your time throughout the semester. Most of the assignments will be practical exercises that I hope you will find helpful in your future professional life.

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You will have assignments each week. There will always be assigned readings and you will be asked to share your reactions to them on a Discussion Forum on a weekly basis. I hope you will want to add a few pictures of your adopted school library and its ongoing programs and services in addition. You will be asked to create a simple web page for the class and to link your assignments (insofar as possible) to the web page. We will use time on the workshop day to provide you with a template for a web page and a space on the SILS server for you to use. Each assignment will be detailed more completely under the session where it is assigned. A duplicate copy of all the assignments will appear in the Assignments section of Blackboard. The following are some of the activities that will be assigned. You will have choices and will not be required to do all of them. I have marked the four that are required. The rest are optional but you will need to select four of them. You may also suggest an alternative to any assignment if you think it might meet your needs better.

Draft assignments may be submitted to me for feedback before the final to-be-graded version. I'll do my best to give you comments and suggestions for improvement. It may depend on time availability.

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Graduate students may receive the following grades: H, P+, P, P-, L, F. Although pluses and minuses are used in the internal grades awarded by the school, only H, P, L, and F will appear on the official transcript. Pluses and minuses on the internal record are used to determine class rank and Beta Phi Mu candidacy. The SILS grading policy is based on the University Grading Policy. SILS uses the graduate grading scale, which is defined as follows:

H - Clear excellence
P - Entirely satisfactory
L - Low passing
F - Failed
IN - Work incomplete
To provide some additional guidelines for this course, here is my interpretation of that grading scale for INLS 241. I will use a 100 point scale to grade your work in INLS 241, as follows:
95-100 = H
90-94 = P+
80-89 = P
73-79 = P-
60-72 = L
Below 60 = F
Each of the graded assignments will be accompanied by a statement of how the assignment will be evaluated. As an example, below is the evaluation criteria for participation in the Discussion Forums.

Discussion Forum Participation: 20 points (10 for first half - 10 for second)

Evaluative Criteria: The student will earn high points if he/she

  • Initiates questions about issues
  • Shares observations that are relevant and documented through the readings, especially professional literature beyond that listed as required
  • Attaches still pictures, video and audio clips of adopted school illustrating program and facility aspects.
  • Summarizes discussions and highlights points learned and understood for others; clearly ties observations to those of fellow classmates, field professionals, and literature.
  • Participates on a regular basis, at least twice a week on average (but not more than four times per week), on the discussion forums.

An excellent to outstanding posting on the discussion forum will follow the criteria above and consist of at least 200 words.

In addition to your weekly task of adding comments to the discussion forum, ten assignments are proposed; some are required and some are optional. Each assignment is worth ten points and are intended to be completed in a week. Four assignments are required (40 points). Of the six optional assignments, you are to select four to complete (40 points).

If you wish to make a suggestion for one or more alternative assignments as a substitute for either a required or an optional assignment, please speak with me via email or telephone as early as possible to discuss possibilities. We should be able to work something out.

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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a student-administered honor system and judicial system for over 100 years. Because academic honesty and the development and nurturing of trust and trustworthiness are important to all of us as individuals, and are encouraged and promoted by the honor system, this is a most significant University tradition. More information is available at The system is the responsibility of students and is regulated and governed by them, but faculty share the responsibility and readily commit to its ideals. If students in this class have questions about their responsibility under the honor code, please bring them to me or consult with the Office of the Dean of Students. The web site identified above contains all policies and procedures pertaining to the student honor system. I encourage your full participation and observance of this important aspect of the University.

Your assignments are to be done individually but collaboration with your classmates is highly desirable and encouraged. Sharing your work and giving and receiving assistance from others in the class is valuable. My major interest is in your learning which will best take place as all of us share questions, answers, and experiences.

Class policies that you should be aware of include:

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Contents copyright ©2002, Evelyn H. Daniel.
All rights reserved.

Revised: July 15, 2002