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College of Professional and Global Education · School of Information

Beginning Cataloging and Classification
INFO 248

  • Spring 2023
  • Sections 11, 12
  • 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

Dr. Lei Zhang
Office Hours: Email or Zoom by appointment

Course Description and Requisites

Theory and practice of bibliographic control including the study of descriptive cataloging standards (RDA with reference to AACR2), online cataloging using MARC format and other standards, and subject representation using Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), and Library of Congress Classification (LCC).


INFO 202.

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 248 supports the following core competencies:

  1. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information such as classification and controlled vocabulary systems, cataloging systems, metadata schemas or other systems for making information accessible to a particular clientele.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Apply standardized cataloging tools to catalog and classify materials in different formats.
  2. Describe the basic workings of automated catalogs and how the process of cataloging and classification impacts them.
  3. Define the impact of cataloging decisions on user retrieval.
  4. Identify current issues in cataloging, cataloging policy, and organization of new formats.
  5. Describe basic cataloging and how it fits into the profession of librarianship.

Course Materials


No Textbooks For This Course.

Course Requirements and Assignments

Assignments cover topics that include:

Assignments Weighting
Assignment 1: Descriptive cataloging MARC record CLO #1, CLO #2, CLO #5 10%
Assignment 2: Access points/authority control MARC record CLO #2 15%
Assignment 3: LCSH MARC record CLO #1, CLO #3 15%
Assignment 4: LCC/DDC MARC record CLO #1, CLO #3 15%
Quizzes, exercises, introductions CLO #1, CLO #2, CLO #3, CLO# 4, CLO #5 45%
TOTAL 100%

All assignments are due by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on the due date. Please contact the instructor prior to the due date in the case of illness or emergency. There are also ungraded exercises and quizzes. 

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

A detailed course calendar is available from the course site on the first day of the semester. It is subject to minor changes with fair notice.

Week Topics Assignments & Due Dates

Week 1

Jan. 25-29

Introduction to the course Introductions due Jan. 29

Week 2

Jan. 30 - Feb. 5

Descriptive cataloging  

Week 3

Feb. 6-12

Descriptive cataloging OCLC quiz due Feb. 12

Week 4

Feb. 13-19

Descriptive cataloging

Descriptive cataloging quiz due Feb. 19

Week 5

Feb. 20-26

Descriptive cataloging Descriptive cataloging MARC record due Feb. 26

Week 6

Feb. 27 - Mar. 5

Access points and authority control  

Week 7

Mar. 6-12

Access points and authority control Access points/authority control quiz due Mar. 12

Week 8

Mar. 13-19

Review: Descriptive cataloging Access points/authority control MARC record due Mar. 19

Week 9

Mar. 20-26

Subject cataloging  

Week 10

Mar. 27 - Apr. 2

Spring break  

Week 11

Apr. 3-9

Subject cataloging LCSH quiz due Apr. 9

Week 12

Apr. 10-16

Subject cataloging LCC/DDC quiz due Apr. 16

Week 13

Apr. 17-23

Review: Subject cataloging LCSH MARC record due Apr. 23

Week 14

Apr. 24-30

Cataloging present and future Management of cataloging exercise due Apr. 30

Week 15

May 1-7

Cataloging present and future  

Week 16

May 8-14

Wrap up LCC/DDC MARC record due May 15