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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Library Services for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities
INFO 275

  • Fall 2023
  • Sections 01, 10
  • 3 Unit(s)
  • 08/21/2023 to 12/06/2023
  • Modified 08/08/2023

Canvas Information

This course will be available on Canvas beginning August 21st, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Dr. Ziming Liu
Office Hours: Virtually by e-mail.

Course Description and Requisites

Focuses on developing skills for planning, implementing, and evaluating programs for addressing the information needs of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities. Reviews the major national, state, and local studies.


INFO 200, INFO 204.

Classroom Protocols


Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. Disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. In accordance with San José State University's Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

Program Information

Course Workload

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Goals

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes) Supported

INFO 275 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Articulate the importance of designing programs and services supportive of diversity, inclusion, and equity for clientele and employees.
  2. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics, challenges, issues, needs, interests, and concerns associated with providing information services to diverse groups.
  2. Develop skills and methods for identifying appropriate resources and communication channels for service delivery to these patrons.
  3. Design, implement, and evaluate effective and responsive programs and services.
  4. Review readings and studies reflecting major national, regional, state, and local trends for providing culturally appropriate library services to racially and ethnically diverse groups.

Course Materials


No Textbooks For This Course.

Outline & Readings

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

*Note: required readings

Part I. Background/Issues

Caidi, N.; Allard, D. (2005). Social inclusion of newcomers to Canada: An information problem? Library and Information Science Research, 27(3), 302-324.

Courtney, N. (2001). Barbarians at the gates; A half-century of unaffiliated users in academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27(6): 473-480.

*Mestre, L. S. (2010). Librarians Working with Diverse Populations: What Impact Does Cultural Competency Training Have on Their Efforts? Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6), 479-488.

*Shepherd, J., Petrillo, L., & Wilson, A. (2018). Settling in: How newcomers use a public library. Library Management, 39(8), 583-596.

*Singh, M., & Emmelhainz, C. (2019). Listening to Unaffiliated Users of the Academic Library. SAGE Open, 9(2), 1-8. Available at:

*Stern, S. (1991). Ethnic libraries and librarianship in the United States: Models and prospects. Advances in Librarianship, 15, 77-102.

Lee, S., Chancellor, R., Chu, C., Rodriguez-Mori, H., & Roy, L. (2015). Igniting diversity: actionable methods and ideas for advancing diversity in LIS education in the US. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 56, S47-S60.

Part II. Groups

Asher, C., Case, E., and Zhong, Y. (2009, May). Serving generation 1.5: Academic library use and students from non-English-speaking households. College & Research Libraries, 70(3), 258-272.

Burke, S. K. (2008). Use of Public Libraries by Immigrants. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 48(2), 164-174.

Bushman, B., & Fagan, M. (2019). Public library programs and accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in the United States. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 24, 74-83.

*Doucette, W. C. (2019). Culture matters: Three initiatives to understand international students’ academic needs and experience. Tennessee Libraries, 69(1). Available at

Gehner, J. (2005). Poverty, poor people, and our priorities. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 45(2), 117-121.

Giesler, M. A. (2019). The collaboration between homeless shelters and public libraries in addressing homelessness: A multiple case study. Journal of Library Administration, (59)1, 18-44.

*Haras, C. (2011). Information behaviors of Latinos attending high school in East Los Angeles. Library & Information Science Research, 33, 34-40.

Hughes, H. (2005). Actions and Reactions: Exploring International Students' Use of Online Information Resources. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 36(4), 169-179.

*Jensen, B. (2002). Service to day laborers: A job libraries have left undone. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 41(3), 228-233.

*Katopol, P. (2016). Stereotype Threat and the Senior Library Patron. Library Leadership & Management (Online), 31(1).

Kelleher, A. (2012). Not just a place to sleep: homeless perspectives on libraries in central Michigan. Library Review, 62(1/2), 19-33.

Khoir, S., Du, J. T., & Koronios, A. (2015). Linking everyday information behaviour and Asian immigrant settlement processes: Towards a conceptual framework. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 46(2), 86-100.

Kosciejew, M. (2019). Information's importance for refugees: Information technologies, public libraries, and the current refugee crisis. Library Quarterly, 89(2), 79-98.

Lombard, E. (2016). Translating information literacy: Online library support for ESL students. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 10, 312-319.

Mcgowan, S., Martinez, H., & Marcilla, M. (2018). AnyAbility: Creating a library service model for adults with disabilities. Reference Services Review, 46(3), 350-363.

*Mooko, N. P. (2005). The information behaviors of rural women in Botswana. Library and Information Science Research, 27(1), 115-127.

*Payne, R. G., & Ralli, J. (2019). How Can Libraries Support Children and Immigrant Families? By Doing What We Do Best. School Library Journal. Available at

Sirikul, P. & Dorner, D. (2016). Thai immigrants’ information seeking behaviour and perception of the public library’s role during the settlement process. Library Review, 65 (8/9), 535-548.

VanDyne, H. (2018). Reaching the Hispanic Community through Bilingual Storytime Outreach. Endnotes, 9(1), 28–32.

Walker, C. & Click, A. (2011). Meeting the reference expectations of ESL students: The challenges of culture. College & Research Library News, 72(1), 20-23.

Witteveen, A. (2016). Word of mouth: As local demographics change, English-language learning programs in public libraries evolve. Library Journal, 141(7), 45.

Wu, D. & Li, Y. (2016). Online health information seeking behaviors among Chinese elderly. Library & Information Science Research, 38(3), 272-279.

Part III: Services/Programs

(collection development; bibliographic instruction; reference; recruitment)

Cichanowicz, E.; Chen, N. (2004). Planning for multilingual chat reference service in a suburban public library system. The Reference Librarian. 85, 115-126.

Clay, E. S. (2006). They don't look like me: Library multicultural awareness and issues. Virginia Libraries, 52(4), 10 - 14.

*Collins, L.N., Howard, F, and Miraflor, A. (2009). Addressing the needs of the homeless: A San Jose Library partnership approach. The Reference Librarian, 50(1), 109-116.

Friedman, A. (2006). Defining images: Redefining outreach to new Americans. Virginia Libraries, 52(2), 31-33.

Giesler, M. A. (2017). A place to call home?: A qualitative exploration of public librarians' response to homelessness. Journal of Access Services, 14(4), 188-214.

*Gomez, M. (2000). Who Is Most Qualified to Serve Our Ethnic-Minority Communities? American Libraries, 31(11), 39-41.

Gonzalez, M., Sanders-Jackson, A, & Emory, J. (2016). Online health information-seeking behavior and confidence in filling out online forms among Latinos: A cross-sectional analysis of the California health interview survey, 2011-2012. Journal of Medical Research 18(7), 1-27.

*Harper, L. (2020). Recruitment and retention strategies of LIS students and professionals from underrepresented groups in the United States. Library Management, 41(2/3), 67-77.

Lloyd, A., Kennan, M., Thompson, K., & Qayyum, A. (2013). Connecting with new information landscapes: Information literacy practices of refugees. Journal of Documentation, 69(1), 121-144.

Marquis, S. (2003). Collections and services for the Spanish-speaking: Issues and resources. Public Libraries, 42(2), 106-12.

Shipman, J., Daly, D., Henry, J. (2004). Partnering with the community: A women’s health network for multicultural communities. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 8(4), 27-39.

Tetteh, B. (2011). Serving African immigrants in Colorado public libraries. Colorado Public Libraries Journal. 35(4). Available at:

Part IV: Impact of New IT

*Hall, T. D. (2021). Information redlining: The urgency to close the digital access and literacy divide and the role of libraries as lead interveners. Journal of Library Administration, 61(4), 484-492.

*Weiss, R. J. (2012). Libraries and the digital divide. Journal of the Library Administration & Management Section, 8(2), 25-47.

van Deursen, A., & van Dijk, J. (2019). The first-level digital divide shifts from inequalities in physical access to inequalities in material access. New Media & Society, 21(2), 354-375.

Zickhur, K. & Smith, A. (2012). Digital differences. Available at:

Course Requirements and Assignments

Assignments and Grading
The assignments for this course are:

Online Discussions 20% Supports CLO #1CLO #2
Visit Reports 10% Supports CLO #3
Critical Notes 20% Supports CLO #4
Term Paper 50% Supports CLO #1CLO #2CLO #3 

Grading Information

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100A
94 to 96A minus
91 to 93B plus
88 to 90B
85 to 87B minus
82 to 84C plus
79 to 81C
76 to 78C minus
73 to 75D plus
70 to 72D
67 to 69D minus
Below 67F

In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA) level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, or BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9 (PDF), relevant university policy concerning all courses, such as student responsibilities, academic integrity, accommodations, dropping and adding, consent for recording of class, etc. and available student services (e.g. learning assistance, counseling, and other resources) are listed on the Syllabus Information web page. Make sure to visit this page to review and be aware of these university policies and resources.

Course Schedule












Topic Selection

Theoretical models & approaches

Online Discussion

  • Mestre (2010)
  • Stern (1991)




Needs assessment

Online Discussion:

  • Shepherd, Petrillo & Wilson (2018)
  • Singh & Emmelhainz (2019)

Library visit report

Due by 9/17



Community analysis and survey research

Online Discussion

  • Mooko (2005)
  • Haras (2011)

Critical notes #1

Due by 10/8




Report the proposal for your term paper

Barriers of providing libraries for special groups

Online Discussion

  • Gomez (2000)
  • Collins, Howard & Miraflor (2009)
  • Katopol (2016)




Issues in collection development

Online Discussion

  • Payne & Ralli (2019)
  • Jensen (2002)

Critical notes #2

Due by 11/5




Library use by foreign students

Online Discussion:

  • Doucette (2019)

Digital Divide

Online discussion

  • Hall (2021)






Report the findings of your term paper


Term paper

Due by 12/3