INF 6010: Foundations of the Information Professions

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): None

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

Foundational information is essential to providing knowledge of, and appreciation for, the nature and functions of the information professions. This course assists in the development of a conceptual framework to understand the role of information organizations in society, past, present and future, and promotes a personal philosophy of professional development. Social justice is a critical element to working in information organizations and to the creation of personal beliefs and values. The integration of both professional knowledge and personal values toward working in an information organization creates the structure of the course. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:   

  1. Interpret and critically analyze the philosophical principles and theoretical foundations of the profession.
  2. Debate issues and challenges confronting the profession.
  3. Distinguish the professional’s relationships within society, institutions and professional associations.
  4. Clarify and communicate personal career goals and opportunities.
  5. Illustrate the effects of social, demographic and technological factors on the origins, purposes and functions of various types of libraries and information environments.
  6. Appraise the major types, functions and resources of major LIS organizations.
  7. Judge the merit of various continuing education and professional development paths. 
  8. Recognize that the MLIS degree is a preliminary, foundational career step. 
  9. Understand the implications of diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice for work in information organizations.
  10. Accurately use LIS concepts and vocabulary. 
  11. Analyze the library literature and utilize it for additional study and research.
  12. Comprehend and demonstrate effective collaboration and group processes. 


The Library in Society; Library History; Types of Libraries; Nature of Information and Its Organization/Retrieval; Education of Information Professionals; Professional Concerns; Emerging Technologies; Career Development. 

Course methodology

A mix of lectures, readings, class discussions, videos, group and individual presentations and guest speakers. 

Basis for evaluation of student performance

Papers; oral presentations; class attendance and participation; assessment activities. 


To be selected by lead instructor in consultation with other instructors.

Updated: 04/23