INF 7050: Public Libraries

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s):  INF 6010, INF 6080 and INF 7040

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

This course is intended to expand the concepts which are broadly introduced in INF 6010 (Introduction to the Information Profession), INF 7040 (Library Administration and Management), and to build on other courses which are required of MLIS candidates in a manner which is specific to public librarians. It provides library and information science students with knowledge of the history, organization, and function of public libraries, and the skills necessary to deliver the wide range of services unique to this challenging area of librarianship.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Identify current trends in public librarianship.
  2. Independently and collaboratively assess library programs as appropriate for persons of any age, background, occupation or interest.
  3. Relate library services and programs to needs arising from information-seeking behaviors in the community the library serves.
  4. Plan and articulate a rationale for deciding how to allocate resources.
  5. Comprehend the development and maintenance of library collections
  6. Identify major sources of financial, political and intellectual aid to the public librarian (e.g., trustees, friends, professional associations, authors, researchers).
  7. Be familiar with the major publications targeted to public librarians.
  8. Write and speak in a variety of genres, styles, and settings (bio, article, report, speech).
  9. Discuss major means of delivering public library services -- main library, branch, bookmobile, deposit collection, consortia, state and national organizations, etc.  

Course methodology

Class presentations and discussion (synchronous and asynchronous), assigned readings, group projects, research assignments, site visits, and guest lecturers.

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Attendance (face-to-face classes), Blackboard participation, audiovisual presentations, papers, individual and group field projects


To be selected by instructor

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 8/13