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

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 Services for Diverse Populations

  • Explores services for diverse populations to ensure equity of access to information in a range of LIS institutional settings. Special interests or needs include sensory or mobility-impairment; learning disabilities; illiteracy; incarceration and institutionalization; demographic factors (age, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity); non-native English speakers; and homeless persons. Covers Federal regulations, materials, programs and services, professional attitudes, techniques, and technology issues.

Introduction to Data Mining and Machine Learning

  • Data mining and machine learning are two important topics in this regard. Machine learning is the field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Data mining uses the algorithms developed in machine learning and is the science of discovering structure and making predictions in large, complex data sets. This course is designed to provide a conceptual understanding of these methods to the library and information professionals and to introduce students to the basic concepts and techniques of Data Mining. By the end of this course student will develop an understanding of the strengths and limitations of popular data mining techniques and machine learning algorithms and will be able to identify promising applications of data mining

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.

Scholarly Communication

  • This course aims to provide students with an understanding of core principles and topics of scholarly communication as well as enable students to acquire knowledge of the role of the information professionals in scholarly communication. This course examines the ways in which scholarly information is produced, disseminated, and evaluated. It also discusses challenges and opportunities for providing access to information, including open access movement and institutional repositories.

The Age of Disinformation

  • Information professionals are now confronted with coping with an onslaught of misinformation and disinformation, either in the minds of some information seekers or in asking to provide support for their claims of disinformation or misinformation. How are information professionals to respond? This course will look at: the varieties of false information flooding the information market place, particularly fake news and doxing; the psychological grounds for why the misinformed or disinformed hold onto their beliefs; principles of information ethics that contrast to the goals of misinformation of disinformation; and techniques for coping with forms of misinformation or disinformation, in part derived from the professional literature.