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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Materials for Children
INFO 263

  • Spring 2023
  • Section 10
  • 3 Unit(s)
  • 01/25/2023 to 05/15/2023
  • Modified 05/22/2023

Canvas Information: Courses will be available January 25th, 6 am PT.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Contact Information

Elizabeth (Beth) Wrenn-Estes, Full-Time Lecturer
Cell Phone: 510-410-1959
Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Information

Mandatory Zoom Sessions: 3/7 & 4/11 (Both from 6:30-8:30pm PT)


NOTE: The Instructor uses “I” and/or “me” throughout the document.

This course will open on CANVAS Wednesday, January 25th, 2022

  • Students are responsible to review the Syllabus and the Canvas course site.
  • These two important information sources (Syllabus and Canvas Course site) work in tandem to give students directions, requirements, and information needed to be successful in understanding issues in intellectual freedom for youth. You need to understand both.
  • Questions should be posted to the instructor through the "Ask the Professor" discussion tread on the Canvas site.
  • Each student is expected to check the CANVAS site at least once per day for course updates, additional resources, announcements, and other new information that may be posted by the instructor.
  • The student should read the Syllabus carefully and then visit the website and read through everything that is there. Compile questions or clarifications that you need to ask and post to “Ask the Professor”. Only send me emails for critical things like sickness, death of a loved one, etc.
  • The instructor makes every effort to proofread the information in both the syllabus and the Canvas course website. However, errors may occur.

"Ask the Professor" Discussion Thread

Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the discussion thread under Discussion Threads on the CANVAS class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature, send directly to the instructor’s email address ([email protected]).

Questions, Comments, Concerns- Discussion Thread
Please post all questions, concerns, and general comments on the "Ask the Professor" discussion thread under the Modules link on the CANVAS class site. If the question or concern is of a personal nature, you may send directly to the instructor’s email address ([email protected]).

E-mail Subject Lines/Naming of Assignment Files – Mandatory

  • Format for subject line for all email correspondence
  • Format the file name for all assignments:

Official school Email Policy

  • Instructor will respond to student emails within 24 hours of receipt. The instructor will inform the class if a longer response time is needed (instructor out of town, illness, etc.).
  • Students are expected to answer emails from the instructor and fellow students within the same timeframe.

Crisis or Emergency:

  • Please CALL, TEXT or EMAIL the instructor (in advance if at all possible) if a situation will prevent you from completing assignments or another class activity. You will receive a zero for any coursework missed unless you have received permission from the instructor for an extension. Most extensions are granted for extenuating circumstances only and not for being overwhelmed at work (for example).
  • The instructor reserves the right to deduct points (the number of points is determined by the instructor) for any work not submitted on time or lack of participation in any class activities or assignments.

Course Description and Requisites

Survey of materials in a variety of formats including nonfiction, beginning chapter books, fictional genres, paperback series and electronic resources, and how they can help meet developmental needs. Collection development tools and techniques for this material will also be included.

Note: This course will also cover "toy" books, flap books, board books, picture books, juvenile literature various media and technology appropriate for the age groups 0-8 years, and how they can meet the developmental needs of those ages. The course adds content that is also relevant for lower aged tweens. 


INFO 200, and either INFO 260A or INFO 261A.

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 263 supports the following core competencies:

  1. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital information items.
  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 an understanding of the external (societal) and internal (developmental) forces that influence children's choices of recreational and informational sources and materials.
  2. Evaluate selection tools, and demonstrate the ability to use appropriate resources to develop a collection of materials for the preschool and elementary school-aged children (ages 0-9), including all appropriate formats.
  3. Critically examine representative materials designed for the pre-school and elementary school-aged child (ages 0-9), including but not limited to books, television, movies, and the Internet, and apply criteria to evaluate them in relation to child development, multicultural concerns, and creating a collection that meets the informational and recreational needs of this age group.
  4. Evaluate children's digital resources to determine the most developmentally appropriate ones to recommend to parents, and identify ones that are less appropriate or useful.
  5. Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their children 0-9 years old.

Course Materials


Required Textbooks:

  • Huck, C. (2018). Charlotte Huck's children's literature: A brief guide (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education. Available through Amazon: B07HHCQBLP

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 level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, 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

COURSE CALENDAR - Points/Assignments with Due Dates - TOTAL POINTS FOR ALL ASSIGNMENTS = 100


Discussion Threads

  • All students post to the same discussion thread for the Video Introduction and the Reflection. The class will be divided into two groups for the remaining threads (A-L and M-Z).
  • All discussions start on Monday and end on Sunday at 5 pm Pacific.
  • Discussions, except for Introduction and Reflection have 2 substantial posts and 2 responses to classmates.
  • More details will be included in each discussion thread on the Canvas site.


DT #1/Week 1 January 25th to January 29th
Introduce yourself to the class by creating a SHORT VIDEO
This is your opportunity to tell us a few things about you. Please tell us where you live (State and Time Zone). One of the things I’d like to know if where each of you is in the iSchool program and what you are doing in your professional life right now. Feel free to tell us other things about yourself, but only if you are comfortable doing so - post pictures, background, etc. Everyone loves to see and hear about dogs, cats, children, and hobbies.
1 post - must be video /3 pts

DT #2/Week 4 February 13th to February 19th
Topic: Selection Tools
Evaluate selection tools for all formats of materials for children - these can be for books both fiction and non-fiction (board, easy readers, etc.) audiobooks, online programs, games, etc.

Selection tool sources can be in print or online - a few examples of what you could discuss are School Library Journal and Hornbook.
4 posts/4 points

DT #3/Week 6 February 27th to March 5th
Topic: Digital Technology
There is a large number online or computer programs for kids 0-8years old. In this discussion thread students need to do some research into online or computer programs that would be in a library or at home for kids to use.
4 posts/4 points

DT #4/Week 8 March 13th to March 19th
Topic - What trends do you see in children's fiction and non-fiction? 4 posts/4 points
Couple of resources to get you started: see what you can find.....
What's Trending in Children's Literature and Why It Matters.

2021 Trends in Global Literature for Children and Adolescents

The Top Children's Book Trends for This School Year

DT #5/Week 11 April 3rd to April 9th
Topic – Resources for Parents
Librarians are always putting together resources for parents; what are some of the resources you would provide as a children's librarian to your young and adult patrons which would enhance their use and enjoyment of the materials you have in the children's section of the library?
4 posts/4 points

DT #6/Week 15 May 1st to May 7th
Topic: - Reflection on the class – things learned and carried away from the class this semester. 1 post/2 points

CLO’s #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Lecture/Guest Speakers

10 pts-Session

2 pts
Reflection Paper

ZOOM Session #1 -MANDATORY - Tuesday, March 7th (Week 7) - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Pacific.

Speaker: TBD

Reflection Paper on Session due Thursday, March 9th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 6)

CLOs #1, #3

Diversity/Inclusion/Equity and White Privilege Study in Children's Fiction/Non-Fiction (Paper)

Note: Students may request to do the assignment as a blog or website.

15 pts

URL Due Friday, March 24th, 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 9)

CLOs #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Lecture/Guest Speakers

10 pts-Session

2 pts
Reflection Paper

ZOOM Session #2 –MANDATORY - Tuesday, April 11th (Week 12) - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Pacific.

Speaker: TBD

Reflection Paper on Session due Thursday, April 13th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 12)

CLOs #1, #3

Final Assignment/Project

Blog or Website




Blog or Website = 34 pts

Evaluations= 3pts each/6pts total

Total pts = 40 pts.

URL Due Friday, May 1st, 11:59 p.m. Pacific (Week 15)

Students will be asked to either choose a topic from a list provided by the instructor or propose a topic to the instructor for their final project.

The project topic must be presented to the instructor by the end of Week 5 (February 26th) for approval.

Instructor will assign each student 2 blogs to evaluate - the evaluations will be due on Tuesday, May 4th (Week 15)


CLOs #1, #2, #3, #4, #5