Competency E



Competency E

Competency E: Design, query, and evaluate information retrieval systems

Statement of Understanding of Competency E:
An essential part of being an information professional includes being able to design, queries and evaluates information retrieval systems. Information professionals need to utilize information retrieval systems in order to assist patrons and staff. Being able to query an information retrieval system is a skill required to meet the information needs of contemporary library patrons.  According to Chowdhury the use of information retrieval, systems have become increasingly important,

“in today’s world we use information retrieval systems in almost every aspect of our daily lives: retrieving an email message received or sent on a specific date, to a specific person; finding something or someone on the web; searching for a book in an online library catalog or in a digital library; searching for a song or finding a video on YouTube; and so on” (Chowdhury, p X1, 2010).

In order for an information professional to optimize their ability to retrieve the information, they need to be able to evaluate information retrieval systems capabilities so they can choose an appropriate system to meet the needs of their staff and patrons. Understanding how information retrieval systems are designed and being able to design an information retrieval systems aids in a librarian’s ability to retrieve information efficiently and effectively. Information professionals need to be able to evaluate an information retrieval system’s ability to disseminate relevant information to its users so they can choose systems that are capable of meeting the needs of their patrons.


Understanding design of an information retrieval system is complicated and a great deal consideration is required when it comes to creating an information retrieval system. The design of an information retrieval system needs to be accessible to the vastly different types of users that exist in libraries and organizations. Chowdhury states that, “An information retrieval system is designed to retrieve the documents or information required by the user community. It should make the right information available to the right user” (Chowdhury, p.6, 2010). When designing an information retrieval system, the user needs must be taken into consideration. If a user cannot locate relevant information then the information retrieval system is inadequate to meet the user’s needs. When information professionals understand, the complexities involved in information retrieval system design it gives them better insight into using and producing an information retrieval system that are able to extract the largest amount of relevant results. When designing an information retrieval system, a good deal of thought needs to be applied to how its interface is arranged and how information is represented. Norman (1993) describes how proper design can impact usability,

“The form of representation most appropriate for an artifact depends upon the task to be performed. The same information may need to be represented differently for different tasks. With the appropriate choice of representation, hard tasks become easy” (Norman, 1993, p.20).

When an information professional understands design, they can make information understandable and useable. Utilizing proper design techniques can allow every user maximum access to information with minimal effort while yielding relevant results to a user’s query. In the early period of information retrieval systems, Rijsbergen (1979) introduces the concept of precision versus recall, which is related to the number of documents returned compared to the relevancy of the query. In Information Retrieval Rijsbergen (1979) states that,

“The purpose of an automatic retrieval strategy is to retrieve all the relevant documents at the same time retrieving as few non-relevant as possible. When the characterization of a document is worked out, it should be such that when the document it represents is relevant to a query, it will enable the document to be retrieved in response to that query” (Rijsbergen, 1979).

If an information retrieval system does not return relevant information, accurately reflect the information needed or is not presented in an easily understandable format then; the user will seek other systems for finding information. A designer must be considered whether an information retrieval system is able to return relevant information, accurately reflect required information and that the information is presented in an easily understood format in order to ensure that an information retrieval system is functional.


Querying an information retrieval system encompasses being able to choose appropriate search terms that will result in the retrieval of information that is relevant to a user’s query. Chowdhury (2010) describes querying in the following statement:

“Users interact with an information retrieval system through an interface where they are usually expected to express their information needs in the form of a query, which is presented to the search system through a search expression that may contain one more search terms presented in the form of a natural language sentence, or in a constrained natural language where search terms are linked with various search operators” (Chowdhury, 2010, p.5).

Information professionals need to be able to query an information retrieval system in order to assist users in retrieving information that meets that user’s specific needs. Chowdhury (2010) states that, “the success of an information retrieval system very much depends on the user’s judgment of whether retrieved documents are relevant to their query” (Chowdhury, 2010, p.5). An information professional needs to be able to query numerous systems to retrieve information. Each information retrieval system utilizes different search terms in order to yield relevant results an information professional needs to be equipped to recognize the optimal search terms for each system so they can produce the desired results. Choosing the appropriate search terms and language is essential to producing a user’s anticipated search results. Information Professionals have many tools in their toolkit to query information a few examples are using Boolean logic, controlled vocabulary, and field searching to aid in efficient information retrieval. “Boolean Logic for combining terms: the operators AND, OR, and NOT, and the use of parentheses to affect the order in which the Boolean operators are processed”(Bell, 2015) . Understanding the order of operations in which the Boolean operators are structured is important to efficiency query an information retrieval and reduces the time required for the system to retrieve the information. When considering using controlled vocabulary it is important to understand how to access an Information Retrieval Systems (IRS) controlled vocabulary list which will enable information professionals to retrieve optimal results and relevant variations without having to construct complex keyword queries that may not yield the desired information. Field searching allows information professionals to use established fields to restrict their searches and return precise and efficient results.  Understanding how to query information systems is vital to meeting the information needs of library patrons.


An information professional needs to be able to determine if an information retrieval system can provide their users with their desired results. An information professional needs to evaluate information retrieval systems capabilities and design to ensure library patrons can retrieve relevant results. If an information retrieval system disseminated information in a manner that is inefficient or incomprehensible to its users then that system is not adequate to meet the needs of the library. As stated by Chowdhury (2010),

“The objective of an information retrieval system is to retrieve all of the documents relevant to a query and to simultaneously withhold all those that are not relevant. Thus, a system will attempt to attain both high recall and high precision” (Chowdhury, 2010, p.99).

An information professional needs to understand how to evaluate information retrieval systems so they can choose a system with the capabilities to provide their users with the best results to their queries. For example, the vendor EBSCO’s interface for the ERIC database is a good example of how a vendor can employ field searching to allow to produce the desired results. Users can quickly and intuitively use the established fields to search the database. It is a vast improvement over the interface that ERIC database created by the Institute of Education Sciences provides. Users can only employ keyword queries and use Boolean logic to retrieve results via the ERIC database interface. Results are not as efficient or precise as the results retrieved by filed searching provided in the EBSCO via ERIC interface. EBSCO’s interface is more user-friendly and intuitive while allowing for more precise and efficient information retrieval. EBSCO’s database allows for more advanced search capabilities and uses a controlled vocabulary to quickly retrieve relevant information by keyword searching word variations, synonyms, and differentiate between various meanings of a word or phrase. Choosing the EBSCO via ERIC interface rather than ERIC database interface allows for more precise and efficient results. When information professionals can evaluate information retrieval systems they can subscribe to systems that will effectively meet the needs of their patrons and decide if a system design will function for their users.

Coursework Contributing to the Understanding of Competency E:

My understanding of Competency E was gained from knowledge imparted to me in my classes at San Jose State University.

LIBR 202: Information Retrieval System Design focused on information retrieval systems and their design. In this class, we created a database from a collection of objects. We worked in a group and to develop a database that could retrieve information about items in a collection. We learned to query multiple types of information systems. We gained knowledge on how information retrieval systems are created, function, organized, evaluated and techniques on how to use various systems efficiently.

To satisfy Competency E, I submit the following evidence:

Evidence E-1: LIBR202 – Exercise #1

Exercise #1

This is assignment is a query of primary and intermediary information retrieval systems. A topic was selected for research related to the field of information science. This assignment includes several paragraphs discussing why the topic was chosen and outlining keywords that to use in querying this topic. Ten searches queries were performed in Google Scholar and ten queries in Library Literature & Information Science full text. Then the GETTEXT feature was used to link the full text. Then the citations were exported from Google Scholar and Library Literature & Information Science full text into RefWorks. The full-text documents and citations found from querying each system then saved as full-text documents in RefWorks. This exercise contains a description of searching both a primary information retrieval system where one repository is searched, as is the case with Library Literature & Information Science full text and an intermediary information retrieval system where multiple repositories are search such as with Google Scholar. The two systems are compared and contrasted in this exercise. This exercise helped me to understand the differences and similarities of these two systems. This assignment helped me to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each system. This will assist me in determining how to best use each information retrieval system to meet the information needs of library patrons. Querying both a primary and intermediary information retrieval system has aided me in understanding which type of system to recommend to users based on the type of task the patron is attempting accomplish.

Evidence E-2: LIBR202 – Project #1

Project #1

We worked cooperatively in groups to select a collection, consider design in relation to our user group, and generate a description of our collection. Then described the attributes of each object in our collection necessary to meet the information needs of our user group and that would allow us to distinguish one object from another. We described our user group and considered the types of information needs that they would need to be met by our database. We considered these information needs of when designing our database. We took in consideration theories related to the design of information retrieval system and importance of accounting for our users’ needs in design. We defined the terms classification, systems of classifications and standards. This assignment gave me great insight on how to create an information retrieval system, how information retrieval systems functions, theories of design and the importance of considering the user in your design. This assignment helped me to understand the differences between classifications and standards as well as a system of classifications.

Evidence E-3: LIBR202 – Project #2

Project #2

Table for Project #2

Cataloging rules for Project #2

Rules for cataloging

In this project, we worked collaboratively in groups to present and analyze a unit of description. We designed a database from our collection (selected in project #1) using Webdata Pro. We created rules for cataloging on how information should be entered in each record based on the rules we created for each field. We described each field and why it should be included in our database. The database was created using standard and rules for cataloging.  In the assignment, our group included unique identifiers that allowed us to differentiate from one object in the database from another. Our rules for cataloging included a unique identifier, field length, whether a field was required or not, the fields needed for the attributes that were identified, field formatting, and data type, indexing, and included the form the data took when entered. This project expanded my understanding of the process of creating a database, creating rules for cataloging, and how to structure a database to retrieve information about a collection. I gained a better understanding of the function, organization, and structure of databases. I learned how to produce an operational information retrieval system. I learned about creating fields and entering records this knowledge will be an invaluable future creation of an information retrieval systems.

Evidence E-4: LIBR202 – Project #3

Project #3

In this project, we worked together in groups to evaluate the information retrieval system RefWorks. Together we built a sample bibliography using RefWorks using citations resulting from queries done by each group member. We exported these documents and citations into RefWorks. We analyzed the information retrieval system using the concepts of affordance, constraint, mapping, natural mapping, conceptual/mental models, and the paradox of technology. We define the meaning of each term and discussed how they applied to RefWorks than we analyzed several features of the information retrieval system to determine whether they worked effectively or if we thought they needed improvement. This project required us to think conceptually about using information retrieval systems and to determine the efficacy of a particular system. This assignment equipped me with invaluable knowledge of how to evaluate an information retrieval system for function and usability. This knowledge will assist me with the skills needed to determine which type of information retrieval system will be suitable for a specific user group and will be best at meeting a specific user need.


Understanding every component of an information retrieval system is a required skill set for modern information professionals in order to provide patrons with appropriate service. My classes at San Jose State University have prepared me to be able to create an information retrieval system, design an information retrieval system for the best possible results, evaluate an information retrieval system, and query information from multiple types of information systems effectively. This experience and knowledge will be instrumental in the success of my future endeavors as an information professional and my current studies in the field of the information sciences.


Bell, S. S. (2015). Librarian’s guide to online searching (4th ed.) [Kindle DX version].

Chowdhury, G. G. (2010). Introduction to modern information retrieval. New York, NY:    

Neal-Schuman Publishers.

I Norman, D. (1993). Things that make us smart: defending human attributes in the age of the machine. New York, NY: Perseus Books.

Van Rijsbergen, C. J. (1979). Information retrieval. London: Butterworths.

Competency D


In order to complete competency D students in the library and information science program at San Jose State University must be able to demonstrate an understanding of how to  “apply the fundamental principles of planning, management, marketing, and advocacy” in the context of the library and information science field. Information Professionals are increasingly having to take on more leadership roles. Leading libraries through this technological era takes the ability to plan, market, and advocate for libraries. Understanding and applying the principals of planning and management have never been as important to the information professional as they are in this era. As Evans & Alire (2013) state, “Navigating the library through a highly uncertain world takes many skills and a great deal of thinking and planning”.  During my Information Profession class, INFO 204, we learned to do an organization overview as part 1 of our strategic planning assignment (see Competency B ). Strategic planning, marketing, management, and advocacy are essential to library leadership today because without them libraries cannot survive in this competitive and increasingly technological world.



Information professionals need to understand the principals of planning because they will provide the leadership for their libraries. Planning will help a library have a sense of direction and provide information to their stakeholders about the direction they are heading. As Evans & Alire (2013) explain, “plans are like charts setting forth where you are and where you want to go”. In order to plan effectively, information professionals need to understand where they are as an institution one way they can do this by evaluating their work environment for its weakness and Strengths.

In order to effectively plan information organizations, need to know how to effectively gather information. Performing an organizational analysis can help libraries understand their institutions so they and then determine where they want to go by making not just a plan, but an effective plan. Planning is important because it allows libraries on a tight budget to effectively utilize their resources and optimize their services. Understanding the state of your organization, the needs of your community, and they are required to plan for to flourish in the future. Planning requires more than just thinking about the future it takes action to move an organization forward. Evans & Alire (2013) describe strategic planning as, “the process of creating action steps designed to achieve the overall strategy”.


Today it is essential for information professionals to understand the needs to be involved in the strategic planning process so they can help effectively implement the strategic plans.  As an information professional, we need to be responsive and adaptive to our environment. Management encompasses both supervising daily operations and personnel of information organizations. This requires interpersonal skills as well as an understanding of operational management. Information professionals in their capacity as managers need to motive personnel and ensure that their organization is on track with the goals and plans put in place. They need to initiate planning, but they also need to actively supervise that the actions being taken by their personnel are corresponding with their plan. Management includes keeping the organization’s daily operations running efficiently and effectively. Management means taking into consideration how things run daily and assessing the processes implemented in the operations for efficient application. Evans & Alire (2013) emphasize that, “management involves all the staff in formulating and implementing activities intended to move toward the desired outcome of the strategy and strategic plan”.


Marketing libraries is important because it lets potential users know what your organization is, what it does, and what we can do for the users. As information professionals, we want to market to increase usage of our resources be they physical or digital and overall to increase awareness about our organization. No one can use services that they don’t know exists. Information Professionals need to be able to market themselves, their organizations, and their services to their community. Whether that community is a city or a university its members cannot use tools or attend events they don’t know exists. In this technological age marketing, a broader audience is possible through inexpensive means via Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Foursquare. These social media networking sites allow organizations to spread the word about their services and events freely and easily. According to Evans & Alire (2013), a library should take these steps to market themselves, “The selected tools (such as websites, newsletters, flyers, advertisements, and annual reports) should be those that best fit the lifestyles of the target segment. Receptions or open houses can be effective promotional tools especially when there is a new service or product to demonstrate”. Effective marketing attracts your target users and takes in consideration the needs and types of marketing that will reach your target populations. This takes an in-depth interpersonal understanding of your patrons or the users you are trying to draw into your organization. You need to market where these individuals frequent. If you are trying to draw in senior citizens social media may not be your best marketing strategies since typically less senior citizen use social media.  Surveys can be an effective tool to gain information about your audience so can tools such as Google Analytics. One-way Google Analytics can also help libraries with marketing According to Farney (2016) is by using, “event tracking on your website is very easy with Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a separate tool that offers a user-friendly interface to create “tags” that trigger tracking on specific user actions using Google Analytics’ event tracking ability”. Considering your target audience when choosing your marketing platform or tools is an intricate part of marketing your services. Marketing requires researching and understanding your audience. It also needs a clear message and drives participation by spreading awareness to your audience about how libraries can benefit them. As information professionals, we need to understand how to effectively market our organization and services to our audiences to spread awareness and increase participation in our organizations.


Many libraries are non-profit organizations that require them to fundraise and to justify their continuing funding to various types of stakeholders. In this information age, when Google can retrieve information quickly by providing a user-friendly interface to their users’ libraries must justify their existence more than ever and their value to their communities, to the government, and to private sources of funding. Libraries must prove themselves worthy of patronage and draw resources to not merely keep their libraries going, but to make them thrive in this information age. Evan & Alire (2013), describe advocacy as, “neither marketing nor public relations. Simply put, it is the art of persuading or arguing in the favor of something”. We need to persuade stakeholders that Libraries have value to our communities and that our services benefit their community members in unique ways. Collecting information and surveying the community for how libraries benefit them can be helpful in persuading stakeholders of the benefits libraries to provide. Stakeholders need to understand why we need libraries when Google books and Amazon exists to provide our information needs. Demonstrating libraries importance takes a unique combination of leadership, marketing, management, and planning to perpetuate our organizations. Information Professionals in this age are passing the responsibility to care for these organizations to ensure their continence. Installing to future generations the importance of libraries to lives is an essential part of being an information professional and is critical to the future of libraries. Persuading our communities and stakeholders of the importance of libraries takes evidence, planning, persuasion, marketing, and innovation in this era.

Information professionals need to be able to weave together management, planning, marketing, and advocacy skills to create to ensure successful information organization. In the 21st-century information professionals need to understand the digital tools available to assist these aspects of librarianship and utilize them effectively into their operations. They need to understand the importance and principals of marketing, management, planning, and advocacy to be effective leaders in information organizations. Interweaving these skills is necessary for productive operations of organizations and for allowing libraries to flourish into the future.


In order to provide evidence of my competence in management, marketing, planning, and advocacy, I have assembled these examples of my work:

INFO 204 Strategic Plan part 2

INFO 282 Press release and Marketing Plan

INFO 282 Communication Plan

My first piece of evidence is my strategic planning group project from my INFO 204 course. As I stated in Competency B  the group was assigned was to study a particular library and perform a SWOT analysis and Environmental Scan in order to support the creation recommendation for future services. My group uses the information gained from this organizational analysis to create mission, vision, and values for the library. In part two of our strategic planning project, we were also required to create goals and assessments for our strategic plan based on the information found in part one of our strategical plan. I included this project to demonstrate my understanding of the principals and mechanics of planning.  This project demonstrates my ability to make plans based that are responsive to the environment and to make recommendations for that environment that are relevant.

Click here to read the Strategic Plan: INFO 204 Strategic Plan part 2

My second piece of evidence is my Press release and Marketing plan from my INFO 282 course. The assignment was to create a strategic marketing plan and press release with the purpose of advertising the services that the grant funding created. It is intended to get the word out about the grant and to promote library services funded by the grant received. It is a plan that is intended to be shown to the grant funding organization to demonstrate how the library will promote the services created by the funding. Stakeholders want to ensure that the funding that they supply will use to create a positive impact. Showing the stakeholders how your organization plans to promote your grant can elevate your request for your grant funding project and increase your chances of receiving funding. In this assignment, the marketing plan is intended to market Open education resources for PSY 111 courses taught at a community college funded through a grant intended to lower the cost of education for college students through the University of Maryland. This assignment was included to demonstrate my basic understanding of the principals and techniques of marketing and my basic ability to create a strategic marketing plan for the purpose of spreading awareness about library services.

To read the Marketing plan click here: INFO 282 Press release and Marketing Plan

My final piece of evidence is the communication plan that I created for my INFO 282 course on grant writing. The assignment was to create a communication with the objective of implementing a policy-driven plan to provide stakeholders information about the grant. This plan formally lays out who will be given what information and when that information will be disseminated and through what method of communication. This piece of evidence I included this as evidence of my understanding of the basic principles of planning, policy creation, and management skills. This plan recognizes the importance of communication with a client and internally within your parent organization when working on a project. This is an important aspect of project management and important leadership skills need to be a productive information professional.


In this digital era it is important for an information professional to possess skills in the area of management, advocacy, marketing, and planning. The scarcity of funding source for non-profit information organizations, the increasing popularity of search engines such as Google, and lack of awareness about library services have increased the need for information professionals to have skills in all four of these areas. Being prepared as a information professional requires leadership skills and effective management to lead our libraries to continuous success in these times were competition for information providers is fierce. Understanding and exercising organizational leadership skills and being able to tie information organizations to stakeholders and to funding institutions will be crucial to libraries being able to continue to operate or receive the need funding for operations to flourish. It is equally important to understand how to market our services and spread awareness about the benefits of libraries to their uses and potential user groups. Libraries need to expand patronage and increase awareness if they wish to survive in this competitive information market. Public, non-profit, for-profit information organizations can all benefit from understanding their environments and effective implantation of  activities or policies that will move them towards their goals for the future.


Evans, G.E., & Alire, C.A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals (3rd ed.) [Kindle Fire version]. Available from

Farney, T. (2016, November 17). Improve Your Analytics Data. Retrieved from



Competency C



In order to address competency C students in the masters of library and information science at San Jose State University need to provide evidence to demonstrate ability to “recognize the diversity (such as cultural and economic) in the clientele and employees of an information organization and be familiar with actions the organization should take to address this diversity”. I interpret this statement to mean that as information professionals we need to recognize diversity in the form of diverse opinions in research, serving a diverse client base, and employing a diverse staff. For the purpose of this discussion, I will rely on Evans & Alire’s (2013) reference to Miriam Brewer (2011), definition of diversity:

D-different styles, disabilities

I-individuals, intelligence

V- variety, veteran status

E-education, economic status, ethnicity

R- Race, Religion

S- sexual orientation, social class

T- thought processes, traits

Y- youth, years

Diversity exists in a plethora of contexts and this definition does not encompass all types of diversity, but it gives a basis to discuss diversity. This definition leaves multiple types of diverse populations such as gender as a form of diversity and gender identity. However, it difficult to define comprehensively diversity in all its forms, but this definition is a thought-provoking list that reminds us of the complexity that exists when we are discussing diversity. Addressing diversity in information setting and in information work is important in order to uphold the core value of librarianship as determined by the American Library Association (ALA). As stated recently by the ALA, “Regardless of the type of library, constituency or represented region, our nation’s library community continues efforts to provide community members with free access to diverse collectionsmulticultural staff and diverse resources” (Cho, 2017).

In order to serve the communities in which information professionals work, we must strive to encompass a diverse body of patrons. Our services and resources must be reflective of the diverse communities in which information organization operate. The services and resources provided by information professional must be accessible and representative of as many types of diverse populations that can be found within the environments or service populations that information organizations operate. Information professionals must endeavor to ensure that their organizations provide access, inclusion, representation, and most importantly equity to all types of patrons. We must also be conscious of diversity as it exists within our staffs and provides a culturally aware work environment for a diverse workforce.

Providing access can mean offering services such as story hours told in American Sign Language (ASL) and ASL courses for all ages. It can mean providing a bookmobile for economically disadvantaged populations or for elderly populations that may be housebound or nursing home bound. It can mean providing eBooks and many types of technologies to increase access to information. Providing databases that have multilingual articles, audio features or providing a sensory friendly environment. Having facilities that are accessible by wheelchairs and provide enough space between stacks for wheelchairs to navigate is important to ensure your library is accessible to physically handicapped individuals. It can mean employing a staff member who is multilingual in order to provide service to immigrant populations or ESL students.  It can mean educating and training staff members to meet the needs of various types of individuals with such as individual’s disabilities or mental health issues. It can mean having IPad that have speech to text capabilities so that non-verbal patrons can communicate with employees or so non-verbal employees can assist patrons. It can mean as Evans & Alire’s (2013) site that, “multilingual OPAC’s allow users to work in the language in which they are most comfortable. The use of different languages to describe how to search the catalog and the collections help uses to increase their skills”.  Changing or ensuring that services, technology, staff, and facilities that are accessible to diverse patronage are essential to actions that can be taken to address diversity among our clientele and employees.

Inclusion is another important aspect of recognizing the needs of a diverse clientele. Resources must be accessible for all as well as library events. This can mean that information professionals working in acquisitions need to seek out materials and create collections that reflect the diverse patron base that is served. It requires information professionals to understand the diverse types of patrons that exist within their communities and provide needed information services to those community members or special populations. It means that for example if a library is in a community with many Spanish-speaking residents that the library provides library materials such books, eBooks, movies, and audio tapes in Spanish as well as English. The book talks and story hours are multilingual or bilingual to enhance access and improve language skills. If there are community members that cannot utilize reading materials because they are visually impaired or dyslexic then there need to be resources that these patrons can utilize. Making our resources inclusive is an important part of addressing diversity. These types of patrons can be included by adding materials in braille or having a database that has features that can read the article to a patron.

These changes to a collection can be implemented with minimal effort, but they can deeply impact the lives of members of special populations such as vision impaired or individuals with reading disabilities. Including services that reach out to the special populations in your communities such as individuals with disabilities, veterans, and the elderly it’s about ensuring access to these communities and providing services that can dissipate the isolation that can occur in these communities.  Veteran populations can be isolated due to frequent relocation and deployments which can make it difficult to establish connections in their communities. Veterans can also suffer from issues related to combat-related deployments so having a staff that can be sensitive to these concerns and can recognize the signs of issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder can be imperative to these individuals’ success within society. Another example of address diversity could be recruiting and employing veterans that are familiar with these issues and being well trained to assist any veteran employees is an important action to take to address diversity. Recruiting multilingual personnel and ensuring that your working environment is accessible to employees with disabilities whether they be physical or mental is important as well as adopting more diverse hiring practices to ensure that your personnel is as diverse as your clientele. As suggested by Evans & Alire’s (2013), “Having a diverse selection committee will also assist you in achieving the library’s diversity goals”. Many institutions that information professionals work in such as university have positions for diversity officers to ensure all hiring practices are compliant with legal laws related to diversity and that hiring practices employed are not discriminatory and that they are as encompassing of diversity as possible.

Representation within information settings is an important part of serving our patrons, for example, children’s book that reflects multiple type’s Hispanic heritage and cultures.   In addition, having a collection that includes non-fiction and fictional representations of LGBT community members is an example of providing a representation of diverse community members within a library environment. Having a collection that includes books authored by an LGBT community member can be representative of the LGBT and books on subjects that are relevant to this community. Surveying community members about their diverse need and having events such as book talks that include various authors and topics that are multicultural and multi-ethnic. Representation also includes acquiring and housing a library collection that encompasses the views of the diverse society that we live in and by having literature that is representative of multiple types of individuals including individuals that live within our communities such as individuals with disabilities, veterans, elderly, religions, races, and ethnicity.

This can include authors from these groups or library materials on topics of interest to varying groups, or that represent these groups through various types of depictions. Representation also means having a collections, settings, and employees that include multiple viewpoints on any given topic. It is important for information professionals to develop relationships with their community to understand the needs and wants of individuals within their communities. Then adopting services to assist under serve populations or fill gaps in their collections basis on feedback, surveys, or environmental scans by purchasing materials that fill those gaps.

Equity in the treatment of individuals from diverse backgrounds is creating a diverse environment and addressing diversity in our clientele and staff. Many stigmas exist in this society based on race, gender, economic status, religion, ethnicity, and age. These biases can influence our working environments negatively and our interactions with patrons. Treating all individuals with respect, kindness, and fairness is the essence of equity. Whether it is to an employee, a patron, volunteer, or an idea impartial and equal treatment needs to be reflected in our training, actions, policies, practices, and services. For example, if a hiring committee assumes that a potential candidate lacks technical skills because they are elderly instead of asking the candidate about their technological skill set. This is treating this candidate unfairly.  This can also be true for potential employees that are younger they can be dismissed as inexperience due to their age. There are many ways to begin to combat these biases such as in altering hiring practices, for example, having a hiring committee made up of diverse members that agree upon questions that represent the skill set required to perform the job.  Offering potential employees or current employees reasonable accommodations for any disabilities such as hearing, vision, sensory, or physical limitations that can be addressed while still employing a capable individual is important to have a diverse workforce. Being open-minded about the possibility of accommodations for an employee can allow you to have inclusive hiring practices. There are many cost-effective and easy way to accommodate employees with disabilities. Adding preferences to your job description such as language skills or requirements such as experience working with diverse groups can help ensure that your staffing individuals who are prepared to work in a diverse environment and meet the needs of diverse individuals.  Having strategic plans that include a mission, vision, and goals that reflect an understanding of diversity and address the needs of diverse patrons are important to information organizations taking action to create environments that are more diverse.

Impartiality and equity in ideas and opinions is also something that needs to reflect the collections of information organizations and through the service provided by information professionals. Regardless of personal opinions or dislikes for any particular opinion information professionals must assist patrons in finding materials that meet the patron’s information needs or wants. This can be through databases that reflect multiple opinions such as CQ Research or Opposing Viewpoints in Context. It can also be done through find materials that reflect the patron’s ideas and beliefs. The library needs a collection that reflects a diversity of opinion on topics that are relevant to their community. Information professionals need to be prepared to address diverse opinions on social issues, politics, economics, gender, sexuality, and many other controversial topics with impartiality and kindness. Information professional’s personal beliefs or opinions must not affect their treatment of patrons seeking information and judgment of the diverse types of opinions that information professional encounter is not acceptable. Providing kind, fair, and respectful services to individuals of all backgrounds and opinions is essential to recognizing and addressing diversity in our profession.

In order to provide evidence of my competence in issues related to diversity, I have assembled the following collection of my work

  1. Info 204 Strategic plan presentation
  2. Info 200 Blog Assignment #5 Special populations in libraries 
  3. INFO 200 Blog assignment #1



My first piece of evidence is my strategic plan presentation from INFO 204 Information Professionals class. This assignment had us chose an information organization and survey that organization for strength and weakness than create a plan that addressed those areas of weakness. One of the areas of weakness that we addressed in our strategic plan was taking action to provide services that are more inclusive to diverse groups of library users. My group also created mission, vision, values, and goals that reflected the need for inclusion and diversity. According to Evans & Alire (2013), the main purpose of managers in relation to diversity is to:

  • Create an organizational culture that values diversity in all its manifestations’
  • ensure that everyone has and demonstrated respect for the views and experiences of other
  • Implement practices based on sound policies so that diversity brings benefits to the library for both staff members and users.

My group created goals to address these gaps in services, the collection, and facilities. The goals also include measurable assessment to ensure that the library is meeting the needs of its patronage.  Changing the organizational structure of the library to reflect the diverse needs of its community members and altering organizational management practice to recognize diverse needs.  Creating policies, practices, and services that benefit staff and users is an important part of recognizing diversity and taking action to address diverse needs and populations. Continuously assessing the needs of your organization and your community can help organizations to cultivate an institutional structure that promotes diversity.  The strategic plan presentation that combined our first and second assignments in a presentation format that gave a visual representation of all the information we gathered and the strategic plan that we created to implement change in our library organization. The presentation included an environmental scan of the community surrounding the library chosen by my group reveal some underrepresented groups that the libraries current services and collection did not reflect.  Information was collected to gain a better understanding of the populations that exist within the community. Information was gathered on the labor trends of the area, the economic status, ethnicity, political trends, funding trends, legal trends, and socioeconomic trends. This information was used to gain a better understanding of the needs and the environment in which the library was operating. Understanding these trends helped my group to create a plan that addressed the diverse needs of its community. This presentation also includes the SWOT analysis performed for our library organization and the goals that we implemented to address the weakness revealed by this analysis.

Info 204 Strategic plan presentation


My second piece of information is a blog assignment #5 for Information communities. This assignment was to discuss a special population that exists in information communities. I chose individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as my special population since I have strong background knowledge in this area and with working with this population. The assignment asked us to describe issues concerning special populations and give various way information organizations can address the needs of these special populations. This assignment to describe any specialized needs that may exist within an information community and how libraries can address their needs. My blog post describes how misunderstandings can occur or prevent individuals with ASD from accessing libraries services and how library facilities can thwart individuals with ASD attempts to utilize the library. Aspects and features of this disorder can be impacted negatively by environmental factors such as sound or light. Understanding needs of special populations can help libraries to recognize and address the needs of this population. Recognizing these needs, implementing policies, practices, and understanding effective approaches to assisting members of this population can help create a more diversity-friendly atmosphere while helping members of special population thrive.

Info 200 Blog Assignment #5 Special populations in libraries 

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a special population in libraries


My course assignment asks to describe any issues concern special populations related to my community. My information community is parents with children on the Autism spectrum. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder are considered special populations. Serving parents of individuals with ASD can come with similar issues to serving the ASD population. Autism is a lifelong disorder that has no known cause and presents itself differently in every individual. ASD is a developmental disorder that

The needs of individuals with ASD are specialized.  Many individuals with ASD have aversions to noise, lights, touch, and smells. They also have sensory needs that are different from those of neurotypical individuals. Individuals with ASD neurological functions in the brain are different from those individuals who are non-autistic, “Imaging studies have revealed that autistic children have too many nerve fibers, but that they’re not working well enough to facilitate communication between the various parts of the brain” (Watson, 2007). These differences in the brain cause individuals with ASD to be more sensitive to sounds, touch, light, and smells. They have an over-reactive fight or flight responses that can produce meltdowns and sensory overload. Their brains cannot handle all the sensory input they are receiving.

My son has ASD and he often describes it as being stung by bees coming from you in all directions. This can make bright lights painful for individuals with ASD. Fluorescent lights with the buzzing and the brightness are terribly uncomfortable for individuals with ASD. My son tends to blink uncontrollably in rooms with bright noisy fluorescent lights and the sound is almost unbearable to him. Individuals with ASD are often very repetitive and socially awkward. They are unable to read social cues and making eye contact with people can be painful. My son says that other people’s eyes look creepy like alien’s eyes they make him feel uncomfortable to the point he cannot keep looking at them. Individuals with ASD often have a hard time reading other people’s emotions. My son once said to me after we saw the children’s movie home that he wished all people would turn the color of their feelings so that he could understand when they were mad, sad, or happy. Many individuals with ASD also avoid touch and just small touches can really make them feel uncomfortable or even be painful. Individuals with ASD can be extreme schedule orientated and repetitive. They can wear the same clothes every Monday for the past 3 years and changes to their routine can be extremely difficult for them to process.

When working with individuals with it is important to not force eye contact or assume they are not listening because they are not making eye contact. Understanding that an individual with ASD maybe social awkward and not taking their awkward or inappropriate statements as being rude but help guide them to responses that are more appropriate. It is also important not to touch individuals with ASD because this can cause extreme and poor responses. Walking an individual with ASD through each thing you are going to do before you do it or storyboarding can be extremely helpful. It can also take individuals with ASD longer to respond to questions it is important to be patient and give them up to 3 to 5 minutes to respond per questions. Even though many individuals with ASD our average or above average intelligence, it can take their brains longer to process verbal communications. There is high and low functioning autistic on the low-functioning end of the spectrum individuals with ASD might have severe language delays or be unable to communicate verbally. IPad can be very helpful as well as texting or other forms of technological communication.

Having an environment that is sensory friendly is also helpful just a small area that has dim lighting, minimal noises, and sensory toys to help individuals with ASD recharge so they can prevent becoming overwhelming by sensory information. Having these spaces available to children in the library would be a lot to allow parents of individuals with ASD to have access to the library as well as sensory friend hours that are open to individuals with ASD before or after the library’s regular operating hours or special sensory friendly times such as sensory friendly story times or book groups for YA readers. Having these spaces can open access to this special population who are often isolated due to their social deficiencies. Even though individuals with ASD are socially awkward and avoid touch, they do want to have friends as well as interact with others. They just like the social skills and are often limited due to the sensory issues that often can make it uncomfortable to leave their homes. This can lead to the isolation of not only children with ASD but to the isolation of their parents. These small changes in service can mean a lot to these parents, children, and their family members.


My final piece of evidence is my blog from INFO 200 assignment number 1 on Information communities. Our assignment was to choose an information community to research. I chose individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parents as an information community. I researched and became more familiar with this diverse information group in order to describe the community and them as clients. I described in my blog post common traits and features related to ASD. I also described some of the difficulties that individuals with ASD face especially since it is an “invisible” disorder that is not easily identified just by looking at individuals. Understanding the issues related to a diverse information group allows us as information professionals to better address their information needs. Understanding the features that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder present helps us to identify these traits in clients and adjust our service accordingly.  Becoming familiar with the adversities that individuals with ASD face in a library environment makes us better able to welcome this diverse group into our libraries and address their information needs thus making libraries better able to meet the needs of diverse populations.


Information Communities

Autism Awareness

According to the five definitional characteristics of information communities provided by Karen E. Fisher and Joan C. Durrance in their article “Information Communities,” Information Communities can consist of a group of individuals that have a shared set of interests in common or a shared set of circumstances. In my Library course 200 for my master’s program in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. In this class, our assignment requires us to explore an information community.

The information community that I can have chosen to explore is the community of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This group of people comes from diverse backgrounds, but share common circumstances and informational needs. Fisher and Durrance (2003) explain that one of the characteristics of information communities is that they collaborate with diverse groups. They also come together on social media to discuss this information need in a multitude of ways. They form Networks such as the Autism Network or through nonprofit organization’s boards such as Autism Speaks.Fisher and Durrance (2003) notes that information communities utilize technology to share information to benefit the information community. Parents of individuals of with Autism Spectrum Disorder to share parenting tips and centralize information access.  Websites for an organization like Autism Speak have collected their own library of resources to help members of this information community to access information. Organizations such as Autism Society of America which was started by parents and family members of individuals with ASD.

This information group has a collective information need in order to assist and advocate for their children. Children with ASD come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, and racial backgrounds. According to Center for Disease Control (2016), children with ASD have social, emotional, and often communication difficulties. These children frequently have sensitivities to light, sound, smells, noises, and touch. The Center for Disease Control (2016), state that ASD presents itself differently in every individual, but that some of the signs that an individual may have ASD are the following:

  • not point at objects to show interest (for example, not point at an airplane flying over)
  • not look at objects when another person points at them
  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • have trouble adapting when routine changes
  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)

This group needs medical information regarding the research surrounding the causes of ASD, educational research techniques to schools assist them in addressing the specialized needs of their children, legal understanding of laws surrounding individuals with ASD, parenting strategies for assisting individuals with ASD, and a myriad of other informational needs.  Fisher and Durrance (2003) suggest that information communities form because of the collective needs of potential members. This community has formed due to the collective needs of these parents to assist their children and to understand their children’s specialized needs. This is a major information need and drives this information community to explore therapies, strategies, laws, and services for their children.

This information community exists due to overcoming boundaries to information related to parenting an individual with ASD. Since parenting needs cross the boundaries various fields of studies the information can be so spread out that it can be difficult to gather and find the necessary information to educate themselves and find the research related to their circumstance. As Fisher and Durrance( 2003), argue that information communities help overcome boundaries to gathering information and remove barriers to information about needed services. Parents with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder have an information need that can be difficult to gather due to the rapidly evolving information related to ASD  in order to stay up to date on current trends and information including new therapies, services,  and strategies that can help assist individuals with ASD.


You can read the blog assignment here:  INFO 200 Blog assignment #1


Cho, H. (2017, August 03). ALA and affiliates issue joint statement on libraries and equity, diversity, and inclusion. Retrieved from

Evans, G.E., & Alire, C.A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals (3rd ed.) [Kindle Fire version]. Available from


Comptentcy B


Click here for my assignment Info 266 Collection Policy AnalysisIntroduction

Students in the SJSU iSchool’s graduate programs are required to demonstrate their ability to “describe and compare organizational settings in which information professionals practice“. The information profession is broadening and changing with continuing advances in technology. There are new types of information professionals that did not exist previously e.g. Open Source librarians, Digital Asset Librarian, Assessment and Analytic Librarian, and Discovery Librarian. The types of organization in which information professionals work are expanding just as the library science field is expanding. Information professionals now work in a myriad of places outside of the traditional library environment. The ALA lists types of libraries that exist in the many types of fields related to information such as art libraries, music libraries, medical libraries, and law libraries to name a few.

Previously librarians worked for Public, academic, school, Law, medical, government libraries. Now library professionals work in a variety of fields including for corporations, consulting firms, independent firms, and non-profit organizations. Many organizations and services are offered virtually now including librarians who work entirely virtually in games such as second life. The ideal and structure of the organizational setting that now house working information professionals has become vastly different from previous times in the history of librarianship. The world of librarianship has a wide range of flexibility in the types of organizations that employ librarians such as museums, libraries, Law offices, Universities, governments offices, corporations, schools, hospitals, art galleries, military bases, and nonprofit agencies. This list does not include all the work environments in which information professionals can work the American Library Association (ALA) lists many more types of non-traditional jobs for information professionals. It is important to think about information work in the settings and organizations in which it occurs. The main division between these types of organizations is information organizations that are profit versus nonprofit.
The one of the main division between these types of organizations that employ information professionals is information organizations for-profit versus nonprofit. Each of these organizational settings in which information professionals practice have different practices, purposes, and information needs. The for-profit versus nonprofit types of organizations has very different motivations, funding, organizational structures, management, and resources. These create vastly different working environments for information professionals. It is important to understand the dynamics of a variety of working environments and have flexibility in order to be a successful information professional in the 21st century. Understanding organizational makeup will be key to effectively operate as an information professional in this age.
Nonprofit organizations are organizations such as public libraries or libraries that serve the public or local residents. Local governments, federal governments, grants, or charitable donations typically fund nonprofit organizations. As stated by Evans and Alire (2013), “Financial resources are generally derived from outside funding sources (Such as taxes, grants, and private benefactors) rather than from sales of services”. Budgeting and financial management can be a major concern for these types of institutions. These organizations often depend on fundraising in order to operate or to expand services. The budgets to pay staff, purchase materials, and maintain facilities are controlled by outside sources. This type of funding leads to large disparities in resources depending on the income of the surrounding area. Areas with higher gross incomes tend to have public organizations such as libraries with considerable endowments and can leave low-income areas lacking for resources. In addition, as Evans and Alire (2013) describe, “Many nonprofit organizations are public rather than private and are therefore subject to public scrutiny in ways for-profits are not”. Nonprofit typically have to answer to boards or justify budgets to city councils or other local governments. Public institutions are often required to be very transparent with their finances, practices, policies, and these can be subject to outside influences more so than for-profit organizations. The current nonprofit organization a community college requires that its employee’s information be available to the public and its employees’ salaries are published yearly in the local newspaper. These organizations often have an executive office such as presidents, deans, or directors who have to answer to stakeholders for major decisions such as increasing staff or budgets and are typically bound to institutional policies and structures.

For-profit institutions such as corporations, law firms, database vendors, architecture firms, engineering firms my house their own collections or libraries and can employ information professionals to maintain them.  These institutions collections tend to be specialized design for a specific purpose or on specific subject matter. These organizations may house their collections for internal purposes only or for in the case of vendors to market to libraries. Their funding and staffing are dependent solely on profits and budgets. They are typically the goals of these institution revolves around maximizing profits. Their management structure is usually profit driven and can come in various forms such as organizational model s or tied to the organizations’ policies and structures. Library vendors employ information professionals as for a multitude of positions such as consultants, product marketers, product trainers, and product educators. These types of for-profit institutions are not merely service driven but are also market growth. These organizations may have stockholders to answer to and profit growth as well as shareholder value to consider structuring their work environment. This can lead to a considerable different working environment than the non-profit sector.

Government libraries employ information professionals at the state and federal level. This branch of librarianships includes both libraries and institutions that are not libraries such as museums. These libraries are not-for-profit libraries, but they are different from standard non-profit institutions. The Library of Congress, for example, is a federal library that houses a national collection that was created for the purpose of being the research arm of Congress. This library does not loan out materials in its collection, but it is available to read on the premises. The library is open to the public, but it multifaceted and operates differently than traditional non-profit libraries or organizations. Government libraries or institution’s services parameters often deter from the standard practices or purposes of nonprofit organizations. Military libraries, for example, may serve only military personnel and their families without allowing access to the general public. Military libraries that exist on a military base also must follow the procedures and policies of that military installation. These types of institutions typically serve a purpose to the state or federal governments that fund their organization. These types of organizations can be very specialized and may be governed by multiple regulatory standards. Libraries on military installations have to contend with broader privacy considerations such as OPSEC  which is a set of protocols designed to protect unclassified information that could be used to damage national security or endanger the lives of service members, government employees, and their families. These considerations go beyond the standard privacy issues that other types of libraries or institutions have to consider. Even the Library of Congress has to be mindful of military regulations and federal regulation regarding veterans when considering its collections and when working in cooperation with military academies (for example see Library of Congress and five military service academies sign a cooperative agreement ).


In order to provide evidence of my competency in comparing information organizations and their practices I have gathered the following pieces of pieces of evidence to illustrate my understanding of organizational settings and various practices related to these organizational settings:
My first piece of evidence is the Collection Policy Analysis from my collection development course. The assignment required students to choose an organization that employs information professionals and analysis its collection policy and then add into a Google doc to read over and compares the various policies that government multiple types of libraries and organizations that employ information professionals then present your analysis to a group. We discussed whether various institutions had a mission statement, vision statement, selection criteria, textbook policies, weeding policies, and challenged material policies. It also discussed the type of organization, the name of the organization, the date it was revised, and who adopted the policy. I included this project as evidence of my understanding of the nature of information organizations and my ability to describe information settings as well as compare multiple types of information settings. This work includes identifying types of information organizations including school, academic, public, government, and special libraries. It also includes describing policies, who adopts policies within a particular setting, who is responsible for building and maintaining collections in a particular information setting. This assignment gave us the ability to compare our chosen setting against other information settings to gain a better understanding of how various information settings handle collections and policies. It gave me the knowledge required to describe and compare information settings effectively in relation to collection development. The assignment required us to describe policies related to collection development in an information setting. I contributed the policies related to a community college academic library. These collection policies added to Google doc and compared by the class. The practices of public, academic, elementary school, middle school, and high school libraries for students to compare and to gain a better understanding of the organizational settings in which information professional practice:

Click here for my assignment Info 266 Collection Policy Analysis

I included my presentation 1 from INFO 266 as part of my evidence of my ability to describe an organization setting in which information professionals practices. In presentation 1 we need to describe an organizational setting and the collection housed in that organizations setting. We also need to include information describing the community in which the organization operated. This presentation demonstrates my ability and understanding of how to describe a given organization setting.


Click here for my presentation: INFO 266 Presentation 1


My final piece of evidence is the organization Analysis of an information organization that was completed by my group for INFO 201 as part one of a two-part project which included creating a strategic plan for a library. I included both parts of this assignment as evidence. This assignment was to do an organizational analysis of the information organization chosen by the group. We described the mission, vision, performed an environmental scan, described funding, economic trends, employment trends, political trends, socioeconomic factors, legal factors, competition, and technology related to an organization that employs information professionals. We performed a SWOT analysis of an organizational setting and literature review related to organization analysis. This demonstrates an understanding of how to describe, assess, and compare organizational environments in which information professionals operate. We then created a strategic plan for that library. I was the group’s editor, assistant researcher, an assistant writer. When our writer when unable to complete large portions of the writing. I step in and completed the sections in the environmental scan. I collaborated with the group via Google docs to write the mission, vision, and goals. Each group member contributed to writing a goal, the mission, and the vision. The editor is responsible for compiling the final project, editing for style and formatting. The editor may take on additional writing responsibilities and will work closely with the managing writer and researcher.

Click here for my assignment:   Info 204 Part 1 of Organizational Analysis




The information profession is flexible and provides a variety of opportunities to explore under the library and information science umbrella.The information profession is flexible and provides a variety of opportunities to explore the library and information science umbrella. As advances in technology continue to challenge libraries it also has expanded the field of library science. The field is increasing more technical as databases evolve, digital humanities expand, and collections become increasingly digital. This has provided many new types of librarianship and continues to expand our field with positions such as digital humanities librarians, STEM librarians, and discovery librarians. The types of librarianship that exist within the field are extremely diverse and the organizations that employment information professionals are equally diverse. Organizations from universities to elementary schools and all education levels in between offer positions for information professionals. There are opportunities in public and private sectors these institutions share a core set of skills that make up the foundation of the information profession. The skills I utilize in my current position in a community college library are also transferable to four-year institutions and public libraries alike. I have been acquainted with several librarians in my current position that worked in throughout the spectrum of librarianship during the career from, to the school librarian, to the public, and then finally as an academic librarian. The faculty that has taught me during my time at San Jose State University have been equally diverse in their library experience. I have had professors that work in school libraries, as trainers for ProQuest, public librarians, academic librarians, and government librarians each instructor have imparted skills to me that will be valuable to any work environment. The ability to work in diverse environments is an extremely appealing aspect of the information field. I look forward to where the windy path of librarianship might lead me in the future.


Evans, G.E., & Alire, C.A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals (3rd ed.) [Kindle Fire version]. Available from

Competency A



Competency A: demonstrate awareness of the ethics, values, and foundational principles of one of the information professions, and discuss the importance of intellectual freedom within that

As information professionals, we are professionally obligated to ensure that libraries uphold that Library Bill of Rights. We are required to ensure that all library policies and services uphold ensure these rights to our patrons. The main code of ethics in which information professionals are bound to is the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics. These ethical guidelines are the basis for Information Professional ethics and when considering ethics in librarianship we must begin with the ALA’s code of Ethics, which states the following:

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
  3. We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired, or transmitted.
  4. We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

In keeping with the first code of ethics, my information communities’ coursework focused on providing equitable access to services for individuals with disabilities. I explored individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents as an information community. I explored their information needs and information seeking behaviors. They are a diverse community that is served by libraries and need specialized assistance in order to have equitable access to services. They also need assurance of privacy due to the sensitive nature of an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. As information professionals, we must respect these parents right to confidentiality regarding the information they seek and knowledge give to information professional regarding their children’s mental health which is highly sensitive and protected information. Information professionals need for confidentiality is laid out in the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Privacy and Confidentiality statement . This is one of the most important aspects of having ethical behavior as an information professional. Our patrons have, “the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others” (American Library Association, 2017).  Keeping the reference inquiries, reading materials, personal data of borrows private is necessary to protect patrons and to have professional ethics in the library arena. Protecting our patron’s information and access to materials help patrons to build relationships and trusts with us as information professionals. This allows us to provide better service to our patrons and our community.

As information professionals, it is necessary to ensure that all patrons have access to library materials that span a wide variety of topics, opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Ethical behavior as a librarian means that we do not select or censor materials in a collection based on personal beliefs, but we select library materials that serve the information needs of our patrons and our communities. As information professionals, it is our duty to ensure that patrons are able to read materials that may be subject to censor or criticisms from various groups. Offering a choice of information on any given topic allows us to provide access to information and to facilitate information seeking behaviors. Ensuring that reading materials are broad and that they demonstrate multiple sides of any topic can cause difficulties when it comes to collection development. Balancing the libraries budget while attempting to address your community’s information needs and respecting that values of your institution and fighting censorship can be a difficult juggling act. This can cause collection development decisions to be complicated and require a great deal of thought. Constructing careful policies in collection development and examining collection development policies of other libraries can help to prevent any issues related to collection development and intellectual freedom that may arise. When objects or censorship requests or complaints arise in libraries it is important to have policies in place and to have them in line with your institutional strategic plan is essential to avoid unethical removal or inclusion of library materials.


1 The final paper from my Information Communities class

2 Presentation 5 from my Collection Development Course

3 A Blog Assignment # 4 exploring information communities from my Information Communities class from Lib 200 (Information Communities)

Lib200 Final Paper

Information Communities Blog assignment #4

Info266 Presentation 5. Presentation 5

Ethical concerns for Information Professionals when working with parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

EthicsOne ethical concern regarding assisting parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is that they are possibly revealing to sensitive medical information related to their child. There is the matter of protecting their privacy and the privacy of possibly a minor depending on the age of their child. These are serious issues and ensure confidentially of this information is essential to upholding the code of ethics established by the American Library Association. The code of Ethics states that information professionals will, “We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted”(“Professional Ethics,” 2017). Any information given or exchanged when communicating with members of this information community is sensitive information and requires complete confidentially regarding discussions or exchanges of information related to their child’s diagnosis or other pertinent medical information relied on the information professional. Ethical behavior on the part of the information professional is required to address the information needs of this community. Being able to meet their needs discretely and without compromising their privacy is of the utmost importance. Patron privacy related to these issues may also be protected under other state or federal laws. Check the laws of your state related to privacy and confidentiality.

There comes a conflict of ethics in providing information to parents of individuals with ASD and giving medical or legal advice. Librarians are qualified to assist in research, but we are not medical or legal professionals. Interrupting research goes beyond the bounds of our position. This especially becomes an issue when the patrons are asking for assistance with a question that related to a legal, a mental health issue, or a medical issue. If parents begin asking about advice on what to do on this issues or to understand the medical information that they found within books. In our lecture asked the question “when do you cross over from providing information to actually dispensing professional advice” (Hansen, 2014). It is important to think about this when assisting patrons with issues that related to the mental health, medical, or legal professions. It is important to help them find sources to do research on the topic. Just as if a professional librarian would not interpret a book for a student’s assignment, we cannot interpret medical information that is when librarians should refer them onto a professional in the medical field.  According to our lecture, “Librarians are advised to show sources and explain how to use them, but not interpret the information” (Hansen, 2014).  Patrons may come to the desk asking librarians to help them choose which therapies are best for their child. We need to let these patrons know that we can give them information on what therapies are out there so they can make an informed decision with their mental health or physician. Making a recommendation would be unethical.This could be the case for parents of ASD especially when it has been recently diagnosed and they are trying to understand their child’s diagnosis. It can be emotional and overwhelming for a parent to receive a diagnosis of ASD for their child.  As information professionals dispensing medical advice or interpreting medical information would be unethical. We can provide library patrons with appropriate sources, but we cannot make decisions related to the material. The major conflict that exists in the in the world of parents of children with ASD is the issue of vaccines causing Autism. We cannot take a side on this issue because it is unethical to participate in this debate, but we do try to choose the best possible sources of information for any patron regardless of our personal opinions or conflicting public opinions. It is our job to provide information not impose our opinions, convenience a patron, or interpret information. We simply provide information and instruct in research skills patrons need to be able to form and adhere to whatever beliefs or opinions they choose to uphold.

There is also the possibility of parents seeking legal advice regarding the IDEA act or the ADA. There are many laws that apply to individuals with disabilities especially with regards to education. We can provide information on these laws, but we cannot give legal advice regarding how to help them with their child’s IEP or how to get better access to services from the public education system. As information professionals, it is not our job to help patrons interpret the law only to provide them with the information needed to do their research. There may exist books that give legal advice to parents on these issues and we can find these information sources for this information community as long as we do not give advice on whether they follow the advice in these informational sources. It is important to remind patrons that they should contact a legal professional for any legal advice or an advocate for individuals with disabilities. You can also find listings for advocates or lawyers in their area, but we cannot recommend lawyers.

There is also the issue of banned books related to the ASD has been challenged. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a fictional book written from the perspective of a high functioning 15 years boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder. According to Doyle (2014), this book was challenged in 2006 in Texas because the book could cause young minds to become polluted and it was removed from a summer reading program for having foul language in Michigan.  As Information Professional we must uphold the rights guaranteed by the library bill of rights established by the American Library Association which states that ” Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment” (“Library Bill of Rights,” 2017). As an information community parents of individuals with ASD want to understand their child better they also want to spread awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder and what an individual with ASD is truly like to dispel misinformation regarding Autism. The popularity of this book and play has brought worldwide attention and awareness about issues relating to Autism. Ensuring access to this and other books that have been challenged or banned is part of upholding the professional ethics of librarianship. The ALA’s library code of Ethics states that information professional should “uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources”(“Professional Ethics,” 2017). This means making books accessible that may be controversial or otherwise be challenged by certain groups for a variety of reasons. Ensuring that these underserve information communities have access to non-fictional and fictional literature that is relevant to them is an important part of having professional ethics in librarianship. As well as our professional duty to challenge censorship of reading materials and limitations to the access of information.


Doyle, R. P. (2014). Banned Books: Challenging our freedom to read. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Hansen, D. (2014). Ethical Issues and the Information. Addressed at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA.

Library Bill of Rights. (2017, February 16). Retrieved from

Professional Ethics. (2017, August 22). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from

Find out more information here:


Read blog here


This paper is focusing on parents of children with Autism Spectrum disorder as a
community. This community is diverse ranging in age, race, socioeconomic status, and nationality.According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). This community is growing in number and becoming more prevalence with the increasing amount of children identified as having ASD.
Parents of children with ASD are advocating for improvements in research, treatments, politics, services, and understanding of ASD. Parents of children with ASD are affecting our society in both positive and negative ways. It is important to understand this
community and ensure they are informed. Due to the large amount of cases, this disorders is going to have a large impact on the future of our society. Parents of children with ASD make important decisions for children with ASD and these children will grow to be adult members of our society. The better-informed parents of children with ASD are the better they can care for and assist their children improving the lives of their children and improving their ability to function within our society. Parent advocacy has led to researchers to new finding regarding ASD and it has led to widespread misinformation that has had serious consequences for our society. This paper explores the impact that advocacy from the parent of children with ASD has had on improving awareness, research, understanding, services for children, treatments and policy
for children with ASD over the past few decades. This study also explores consequences that have resulted from misinforming parents of children with ASD. This paper describes the affect ASD has on parents and family members. This paper will also recover ways for information professionals to meet the information needs of parents of Children with ASD and to improve services for children with ASD.

Read paper here

Presentation 5: Acquisition

Selection Criteria:

The major factors that influence acquisitions at Andrew G. Truxal library are:

  • Relevance to the education programs of AACC
  • Currency, accuracy, and objectivity
  • Balance in the collection
  • Professional reviewing media recommendations
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, and/or producer


The purpose of the collection is to support other academic and community programs and provide academic library service to residents of Anne Arundel County. The Truxal library seeks to provide quality and relevant materials in a collection designed to support the mission of Anne Arundel Community College.

Responsibility for selection:

The library staff, faculty, and instructional staff share the responsibility for collection development. The faculty makes recommendations in their disciplines and incorporate library materials into course development. The library faculty makes the final decisions concerning acquisition. The director of the library Cindy Steinhoff has chief authority over collection decisions and coordinates the collection development process. All patrons are able to make purchase recommendations to the library director.

Acquisition priorities:

Priority is given to materials that support the curriculum requirements. These materials are given first priority for purchase. The second is to provide faculty members with advanced materials that support faculty research when funds are available. General materials that meet the needs of community members are given final priority and are only purchased when funds permit. The college serves as a repository for major college documents, such as the college manual, accreditation reports, and annual reports.

Format policy:

Hardbound books versus paperback book are purchased due to durability. Paperbacks are purchases as additional copies or for topics whose currency is in constant need of updating. Textbooks are purchased by student associations and available in the reserve collections that library does not purchase textbooks. Priority is given to database purchases over print periodicals. Online is the preferred format for Reference books when funds are available. Online formats use the same criteria as the selection of books process while also considering the ease of uses, cost, and licensing requirements. Open source materials are used whenever possible to provide materials cost-effectively using the same criteria as other electronic resources.

Acquisition process:

The library Director selects materials to purchase based recommendation from faculty and staff. The business office creates a purchase order and items are frequently purchased through book vendors such as Amazon. Online and print periodical subscriptions are handled by an outside subscription service.

Processing materials:

Once materials are purchased they are sent to the cataloging department where the cataloger categories and catalog materials.

Intellectual freedom:

A librarian’s responsibility is to ensure that the materials in the library represent all relevant points of view and represent the college’s mission. The Truxal library supports the ALA Library Bill of Rights and its principals. Patron complaints about materials in the collection can be submitted in writing to the library director. A committee of librarians and faculty members will then meet to review the materials and make a recommendation to keep or remove the materials from the collection. The complaint will receive a written response from the library staff.

Read paper here

Read Presentation 5 here


American Library Association. (2017, May 09). Privacy. Retrieved September 23, 2017, from

Library Bill of Rights. (2017, February 16). Retrieved from



This site is the accumulation of my journey into librarianship.

In 2014, I began my journey to complete my Masters in Library and Information Science. I had been an elementary teacher before having my children and had stumbled into working for libraries when we moved to Hawaii during the middle of the school year. I began working in the periodicals department of an academic library.  I feel in love with librarianship and realized that everything I love can be incorporated into one career field. Reading, teaching, education, and my love for finding information. This lead me to begin considering a change in career paths. After my youngest child began preschool I decided to follow my desire to become an academic librarian.

I chose San Jose State University because I have children and a full-time job that made it difficult to find time for a traditional classroom setting. The program at San Jose State University was also recommended to me by library manager. I recognized that San Jose State University’s program was accredited by the American Library Association and that it was 100% online program. This made the program desirable and able to fit my lifestyle. I also like this type of program because of the digital aspects that are becoming so important to the library science field. I had not been in school for ten years and I had become concerned that I did not have the technical skills to be competitive in the Library and Information Science field.

It was a difficult transition back to school after such a long time and from never taking an online class to having all online classes. At first, it felt overwhelming, but San Jose State University made the transition an educational, inspirational, and possible. I have become so much more technologically capable because I took this leap.

This portfolio represents my journal and the evidence provided shows my progression and technological advancement that has permeated my delve into the library and information science field. My journey began Fall of 2014 and continued until this my final semester of Fall 2017. I have used Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive to house my work throughout my coursework. I have learned how to apply the new ARCL frameworks into my information literacy instructions, how to create a libguide, how to utilize Guide on the Side, how to consider the user in the design of information retrieval systems, and how to design an information retrieval system. I have gone from having minimal technical knowledge to now knowing several programming languages, designing web pages, utilizing PHP, and MYSQL.

I have chosen to create a new WordPress account to house my E-portfolio. This will allow me to easily share my portfolio with potential employers and access my E-portfolio easily after graduation.  I will present my evidence in various formations to include:

  • Embedded or linked media files
  • Linked, downloadable PDF files (for papers and other written assignments; this may sometimes include screenshots of web artifacts presented as images in PDF documents)
  • Links to external content (to the website I designed, Facebook pages, and blog entries created for classes)

The Competencies page lists and describes the required competencies. Each Competency will be addressed in a post including evidence of completion of each competency. I will reflect on my commitment to lifelong learning, professional development, and continuation of my commitment to library and information science in my future endeavors.

I invite you to view my E-portfolio for INFO 289, submitted as required for the completion of my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.




This is my portfolio for my Master’s in Library and Information Science this is my last assignment in order to obtain my degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.

This site is organized by:

Introduction: An introduction to this E-portfolio and description of my approach to completing my portfolio.

Competencies: A collection of my works completed during my time at San Jose State University and how they demonstrate the knowledge required for graduation as well as for success in the field of library and information science.

Conclusion: This is my reflection on this process, program, and knowledge gained throughout my time at San Jose State University.

Affirmations: This is my reaffirming that the work contained within this portfolio is my original work and not the work of another. My commitment to the privacy of fellow students, research participants, and instructors. As librarians, it is our duty to protect the works of others and ensure proper citation or attribution is afford to those who have created original works. It is also our duty to protect an individual’s right to privacy and protect that right to privacy.