School of Information Management & Systems. Sprin 2000.
285: Design of Library Services.   M. Buckland.

Study Guide / Design Study
Scope Note due April 7; Progress Report due April 18 (sic); Guide due April 28.

Imagine that some-one has hired you to do a preliminary investigation on some library-related topic. Your task is to create a short "portfolio" of materials (max. 20 pages) to be built up piece by piece that will constitute a study guide by the end of the semester. Select some aspect of library service and imagine someone who wants to know about it. What you develop should be designed as a study guide to be placed in the hands of someone else who will investigate this topic after the end of the semester, but, unfortunately, was unable to take this class. So you need to provide an concise presentation of what you have learned and guidance on how continue and to build on what you have done. (You could also think of this as a briefing prepared by a special librarian for a busy professional, or in the form of a consultant's report recommending a new or revised service.)

Group option: Select some group: freshman undergraduates, the homeless, musicologists, market researchers, genetic engineers, recent Russian immigrants, any definable group. What can be said about providing library services and information for this group. Examples: A city councillor wants to know about public library service to the house-bound. The owner of an engineering firm asks how the engineers can remain up-to-date. An environmental activist group want to know how to become and remain better informed. A college president, planning to starting an Ethnic Studies program wants to know what kind of library service would be needed. A philanthropic foundation has been asked for a grant to develop libraries a developing country.

Service option: Pick as aspect of library service that would build on an existing interest or expertise. Examples: A small public library wants to build a website; a special library wants build a corporate internet; an architect has decided to compete to design a library and needs to find out about library-specific building requirements.

Other: Students already familiar with library services can propose a more abstract theoretical and historical topic. Example: A program in Information Management has been described as "regressing, ideologically, to the machinic modernity of Melvil Dewey's Library Economy of 1876" and somebody in the Chancellor's Office wants to know what that might mean.

The contents and design of the Study Guide should use the following structure unless there is reason to do otherwise. The balance between 3 and 4 is likely to vary considerable with choice of theme.
1. Brief introduction to the study guide.
2. Short explanation of theme.
3. Discussion of the issues.
4. An annotated, evaluative guide for finding to selected sources, both print and online, with an emphasis on selecting the best examples of different types of resource, emphasizing library resources: Encyclopedias, textbooks, bibliographies, internet sources, associations, special collections (archives, libraries, museums,...), etc., as applicable.
5. Discussion / explanation of any terminological or conceptual aspects.
6. Recommendations: Problems and priorities for improving library service.
7. What could / should be done to develop an even better guide if you had more time.
Postscript: Summary of what you learned and/or found interesting about this Study Guide.

Draft the best guide that you can, within the balance of the six hours a week. Class time will be devoted continuously to discussion of the study guides. Short in-class presentations, maybe, of what you discovered. Individual consultation with the instructor will be expected. The choice of theme will be subject to the instructor's approval and the relationship of the portfolio to other academic work will need to be explained. The theme may well need to be modified during the course of the semester depending on how much material is found.