Special Topics Courses: Library & Information Science | Kent State University

Special Topics Courses: Library & Information Science

The School offers courses on special topics, allowing students to pursue selected interests in greater depth. 

Special topics course descriptions are provided in the Schedule of Classes when the course is offered. These courses are offered as faculty are available and schedules permit.  

LIS 60195 Special Topics Course Descriptions

Archival Selection, Appraisal, and Acquisition

  • The content of this archival knowledge domain covers the most important intellectual responsibility of an archivist, manuscript curator, and special collections librarian. Archival selection asks professionals to make choices, including what paper records and other media (digital) hold enduring value following the acquisition (and sometimes transfer) of records and other media. Through appraisal, selection, and sampling, archivists identify records for their values and long‐term preservation. Students in this course will develop an ability to discover and establish what portion of information ought to be preserved to document institutions and organizations as well as communities in society at large.

Cultural Heritage Informatics

  • Cultural heritage informatics brings a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary approach to supporting the entire lifecycle of cultural information and documentation procedures for the benefit of the preservation, study, and promotion of cultural heritage. This course is designed to respond to the new initiatives in digital humanities that utilize the digital technologies that have radically changed the ways in which materials can be searched, mined, displayed, taught, and analyzed. The course covers approaches of creating descriptions, organizing, and presenting the cultural heritage resources including not only the tangible movable objects and monuments but also intangible cultural products of humankind viewed within the framework of time, such as events. (Preservation, conservation, and digital imaging are covered by other courses.) The course aims to prepare students for careers focusing on or transcending libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions by introducing them the methodologies and technologies commonly used in cultural heritage informatics.

History of Libraries in the Western World

  • This course examines the origins, development and importance of European and North American libraries and archives from antiquity to the twenty-first century. Students will learn about the various libraries and librarians and their role within society through book chapters, articles, and audiovisual presentations.

Information Literacy Initiatives & Instruction

  • This course in information literacy initiatives and instruction for information professionals invites information professionals from any library point-of-view (school, public, academic, archives, special, etc.). Topics include definitions and history of information literacy, standards and objectives, developing an information literacy agenda, library pedagogy and learning styles, information literacy needs assessment, program development and delivery, and experiential learning for MLIS students in library communities.

International and Comparative Librarianship

  • The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the large and varying subject matter that is international and comparative librarianship. We will approach the subject matter through an investigation of the main theoretical traditions and concepts in the discipline and see how well they help us in understanding international trends in librarianship. You will quickly learn that those who write about this subject do not even agree about what exactly constitutes this field and what should be its proper focus of study. Therefore, it will be helpful for you to think of international and comparative librarianship (ICL) as a series of ongoing conversations, rather than a static body of information. To facilitate this vision, you will begin by NOT being forced to memorize concepts and theories, but rather by being encouraged to understand the basic assumptions, historical development, and main approaches to this field, and by utilizing them in a variety of ways to define and elucidate historical and contemporary issues in librarianship around the world.

Introduction to Audiovisual Archiving

  • The aim of this course is to introduce archives and preservation students to the issues and challenges of preserving moving image and sound material. This course has no prerequisites, although those students with backgrounds in preservation, archiving, and/or media studies will find that much of the material covered in this class builds upon and enriches the knowledge gained in previous coursework. This course will be conducted as a seminar, and will include occasional lectures on historical and institutional contexts of moving image and sound archiving. Significant periods of time will be devoted to discussion, in‐class case studies, and guest lectures from working professionals in the field.

Issues and Strategies for Serving Teens in Public Libraries

  • This advanced course will allow the student to expand on the material in LIS 60626 by exploring trends and issues relevant to public library services to teens. This course will meet entirely online without face-to-face class meetings.

Law Librarianship

  • The goal of this course is to introduce students to the field of law librarianship. We will cover issues in collection development and management, ways of providing and assessing reference services and issues specific to special law libraries, such as academic law libraries, law firm libraries, public law libraries, and prison libraries. In the course of surveying the field, we will discuss current and emerging issues facing law libraries and cover sources of legal material.

Leadership in Libraries and Information Centers

  • The course will expand on and further develop the introductory library leadership concepts that are presented in the 60610 core course. It will review the concept of library leadership while delving into its relationship to and differences from management, and its application in the personal and professional lives of librarians and information professionals. Beginning with an examination of personal leadership styles, the course will review the major philosophies of leadership thought that affect the library and information fields, the role of mentors, team building, project management, and leading through change in the information world. The moral and ethical responsibilities of leading others will also be reviewed.

Music Reference and Librarianship

  • This course will introduce you to the unique issues facing a music library and music research, whether it is a performers’ reference library, a public library audio-visual branch, or an academic music research collection. We will cover the diverse formats in a music librarian’s acquisitions, the various sources of information about music germane to users’ needs, the specialized use of libraries in the study of music, and the unique issues in cataloging, classification, and management of a music collection, including digital music materials. The course will be taught online, with asynchronous lecture materials and weekly assignments.

Readers' Advisory Services

  • This course will be online, and will be delivered through PowerPoint slides with narrative, copies of the scripts of narratives, documents, assigned readings, online discussions, activities, including a library visit, writing assignments, and a final exam with 100 questions. Completing the reading assignments and viewing the lectures and documents on time is very important, as there will be questions on the final from both sources.

Reference and Research Methods in Local History and Genealogy

  • To study the resources and materials to promote and perform reference services in Genealogy and Local History through lectures, readings, discussion, and practical exercises. The course will use primary and secondary materials available to librarians and archivists in public and academic libraries and on the Internet.

Youth Literature in the Digital Realm

  • According to the Association of American Publishers, we have reached a tipping point in terms of eBook adoption for young people. New digital formats extend books across media platforms, and provide readers with new, interactive ways of engaging with texts. This course will critically examine transmedia formats and related implications for stakeholders in the field of literary production for young people, including librarians, publishers, authors, illustrators, and readers.