INF 7070: Special Libraries and Information Centers

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): INF 6010, INF 6080, INF 6120 and INF 7040

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

Special libraries and information centers have long served as essential information gathering and disseminating units within corporations, associations, other institutions and within major academic and public libraries. The service ethic that has evolved within these information centers or libraries serves as a model for all types of libraries. However, in order to be truly successful, special library managers must understand the corporate culture of their organizations, and adapt appropriate services to meet their clients’ needs. This course will provide students with the knowledge of the history, organization and functions of various types of special libraries and the competencies necessary to deliver a wide range of services.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Analyze a particular institution to determine the relevant proactive information services.
  2. Analyze a company's organizational structure and develop an organizational chart showing the position of the library manager within its organization.
  3. Recognize various management styles and understand when they should be used to facilitate a particular outcome.
  4. Analyze the theory and application of planning, organizing and staffing a special library.
  5. Apply marketing services and develop effective public relations programs within an organization.
  6. Recognize the importance of providing the level of service needed, not the service requested or expected.
  7. Understand the budgeting process within the organizational setting.
  8. Recognize non-traditional career path opportunities.
  9. Understand and implement the Special Library Association’s Competency Document
  10. Understand new business processes such as benchmarking, information audits, project management and knowledge management and be able to apply them in the special library setting.


  1. Types of special libraries and information centers.
  2. Non-traditional roles for librarians.
  3. Corporate culture.
  4. Management.
  5. Customer service.
  6. Marketing and communications.
  7. Networking and continuing education.
  8. Adding value to an organization.
  9. Evaluation techniques.
  10. Benchmarking and process measures.
  11. Value of information.
  12. Developing a balanced scorecard.

Course methodology

Class presentations and discussions, readings, research assignments, site visits and guest lecturers

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Evaluation of student performance will be based on class participation, completion of assignments including class presentations in a timely manner. Quality of the written and oral assignments will be used to determine the final course grade.


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 8/13