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The University of Tennessee

School of Information Sciences

Frequently Used Tools:

INSC 574 Adult Services

INSC 574: Resources and Services for Adults


All your assignments have to be completed by an individual student. All your assignments will be deposited via the class Blackboard site. I will grade and give comments on your assignments via email. After receiving my feedback you will make modifications to the original work and submit ALL your assignments in web module format by May 6 (midnight) using the web template that we will discuss in class. 25% of each grade assignment will be deducted if its web module component is not deposited by that deadline.For naming of files to upload: for example, if you were to deposit your Assignment 1 as listed below, the following is the name of the file to deposit: [Your net-ID][Assignment number].html (no brackets included in the file name). For example, bmehraAssignment1.html

All assignments will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The presentation of the paper [Follow APA Style for citing and referencing].
  • See URL Purdue OWL
  • The quality of the writing [e.g. Evidence to support your claims; Use of authoritative sources to support claims].
  • The quality of the organization of the paper [e.g., use of sub-headings to divide the various sections and give structure to the narrative].
  • The quality and amount of critical thought exhibited in the paper including description, reflection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • The use of appropriate literature and source material.

Assignments cannot be re-written for improved grades. Late submission is subject to 2 point deduction per day and will not be credited if the graded assignments have been distributed. Mark your calendars for due dates.

Each student is required to complete five assignments each from EITHER the Reader's Advisory Track OR the Management of Adult Materials and Services Track. Additionally, all students have to complete the Memorable Fiction Assignment and the Final Project Assignment. Students should complete their first five assignments from either one of the tracks to match their interests. Assignments should not be selected from both tracks by any student: stick to one track!

Assignments are due on:

  • Assignment 1 DUE January 27 (10% of the total grade)
  • Assignment 2 DUE February 10 (15% of the total grade)
  • Assignment 3 DUE March 3 (10% of the total grade)
  • Assignment 4 DUE March 24 (15% of the total grade)
  • Assignment 5 DUE April 21 (10% of the total grade)
  • Memorable Fiction DUE April 7 (15% of the total grade)
  • Final Project DUE May 4 (25% of the total grade)
  • Web Modules DUE May 6(25% of assignment grade deducted if this is not done)


These assignments are designed for those interested in working with library users to make reading, viewing, and listening selections (the management track follows this one). Please see the instructor if you have concerns, questions, or wish to modify an assignment to better meet your needs. Genre Selection: Select a non-fiction topic from the following: consumer health, arts and crafts, financial planning, or gardening. Other subjects may be selected in consultation with the instructor. OR Select a genre from this list--adventure, western, mystery, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, Christian/inspirational or horror--for your focus. Reader's advisory work, regardless of format, is easier if you have some strength in a particular genre. While this course is intended to focus on adult fiction or non-fiction, students may use YA or teen genre content for some exercises (please consult the instructor on the matter). However, adult genre fiction is typically more popular with teens than teen genre fiction. It might be better to work with adult fiction and attempt to find content that is suitable for a teen audience.

Assignment 1: Subscribe to FICTION_L (DUE January 27) This discussion list is devoted to reader's advisory work. This should give you a good taste of what reader's advisory work involves. Please note that the traffic is heavy and you should sign up for the digest version. See if you can find the subscription information on your own. However, if it takes more than a few minutes, the instructor will give you the needed URL. Although the focus is on fiction and books, much content will apply to any format. From the listserv archives, based on analysis of posts made during one-month period, prepare a log where you comment/react to the posts that you have read (add list of post titles as appendix). Look for patterns and MAJOR issues as well as tips and hints that seem especially useful. Turn these into a thoughtful paper (at least 1500 words) with relevant and reflective conclusions about common problems and trends.

Assignment 2: Identify Subject or Genre Appeal + Current Awareness (DUE February 10) Appeal): As advisors, it is important for us to understand the appeal that a particular subject or genre has. Why do people read, view, or listen to this content rather than another? Using whatever sources seem appropriate, including contacts with subject or genre enthusiasts if they are available [Suggestion: Find and consult them], prepare a thoughtful essay that considers the several appeal elements associated with the genre or subject that you have selected (at least 1000 words) as it relates to a selected partnering library community.

Part 2 (Current Awareness): One of the major problems facing the advisor in selecting and suggesting genre fiction or topical non-fiction is keeping up with new content, authors and creators, and the like. Often, the standard LIS sources provide inadequate coverage. Using traditional hard copy and web resources, identify the 5-10 resources that you would use on a regular basis to keep up with your content area. Provide a descriptive and evaluative annotation and a persuasive rationale for each selection. Do compare similar sources. At the beginning, include some indication of your strategy and which resources were most useful in compiling your list. Note which sources have a RSS feed (at least 1000 words).

Assignment 3: Survey Colleagues (DUE March 3) In many smaller libraries, it is difficult for one or two librarians to keep up with the several genres. You may be able to secure help from colleagues, both professional and non-professional, who are thoughtful genre readers. Survey your staff, to discover which colleagues regularly read, view or listen to which content areas. If you do not work in a library, assume that SIS students or other friends are colleagues in a simulated public library. Survey SIX of them. Ask these questions:

  • Which content areas do they read, view, or listen to regularly?
  • How long have they been active in this area?
  • Favorite authors?
  • Favorite publishers?
  • How do they select items to experience?
  • Where do they get this content?
  • Would they be willing to help with (1) selecting items to be added to the collection and (2) help with advisory work?

Summarize your findings and ADD conclusions (at least 1500 words).

Assignment 4: Appeal Elements and the Annotation (DUE March 24) Chapter 3 in Readers' Advisory Service in the Pubic Library (Saricks, 2005: On Blackboard) lists appeal questions and their application. Select an item in your chosen content area and answer these questions. You may need to be flexible in working with non-fiction and non-book formats. (at least 1000 words).

Chapter 5 in Readers' Advisory Service in the Pubic Library (Saricks, 2005: On Blackboard) discusses annotation writing and provides an example. Select two items in your chosen content area and prepare proper annotations. Add a "lessons learned" conclusion at the end. (at least 1000 words in analysis without including the actual annotation).

Assignment 5: Browsing (DUE April 21) Large chain bookstores (Borders and Barnes & Noble, for example) generally have good selections of current, popular fiction and non-fiction as well as popular back list items. Video stores often have good film selections. Visit such a store (If this is not possible, visit The experience is different, but can substitute). For your chosen content area, answer the following questions (at least 1000 words):

  • How many [guess estimate] shelves are devoted to this genre? Guessing, what is the ratio of hard cover to mass market paper editions? [for books] Which authors [directors or whatever] have a relatively large number of titles on the shelf? Note and comment on the titles and subtitles used in typical examples. Note and comment on the cover art, especially appeal elements, used in typical examples. Note and comment on the appeal elements (claims, blurbs or whatever) used on the front and back covers of typical examples. Add a summary conclusion.


These assignments are designed for those interested in managing public services for adults.

Assignment 1: What Business Are We In? (DUE January 27)

In relation to your library of work (or partnering library for this course) prepare a thoughtful essay that answers the question: "What business are we in?" For example, is your library in the book business? (Subsection A). The information business? (Subsection B). The entertainment business? (Subsection C). The popular reading business? (Subsection D). The education business? (Subsection E). Other kinds of business? Address each of these questions as a subsection and: 1) Provide evidence to support your rationale for each. 2) Use authoritative sources to identify and support your claims for each. 3) For your decision and rationale for each, discuss the collections and services that are appropriate for that kind of business in relation to your library community. In addition, provide a conclusion for the essay. (at least 250 words each for the sub-sections A-E).

Assignment 2: Lifestyle Analysis (DUE February 10) Using market segment analysis and zip code lookup (URL:, select an adult audience segment and create a portfolio of services appropriate for that segment in your library community. While some services are appropriate for several audiences, some audiences need particular services. Being able to relate services to particular community segments is an essential part of adult services. (at least 1000 words).

For the audience discussed above, prepare an appropriate program in your library community. Indicate the resources needed, who will be involved, the topic, how it will be promoted, and how success will be evaluated. (at least 1000 words).

Assignment 3: Website Evaluation (DUE March 3)

Visit at least five public library websites to see how visible adult services are. All the library websites should have reasonably visible adult services. Justify why you selected a particular library website for this assignment. How close is this information to the library's home page. How attractive and useful is the adult services page? Which adult services are available? Were any of these innovative? Would this content attract the adult user? How might this aspect of the website be improved? For these questions, refer individually to each library website. (at least 1500 words).

Assignment 4: Program Evaluation (DUE March 24)

Attend a program for adults at a local library or other community organization. Evaluate the program: Was it well-done? Was it appropriate for the community? Did it enhance the reputation of the library or other organization? Was the event well attended? How might the program be improved? (at least 2000 words).

Assignment 5: Facility Design (DUE April 21)

Prepare a rehab for your partnering physical library to make it more attractive to adults. Using a floor plan [need not be to scale], show the existing arrangement and the revised one. Describe and discuss specific steps you would take to make the library more welcoming and interesting with some consideration to showcasing collections and services. (at least 1000 words).

Memorable Fiction and the Final Project: Assignments described below.

I. Memorable Fiction Assignment (DUE April 7 as three posts on Blackboard, 5% of total grade for each): We will cover different fiction genres on March 10, March 24, and March 31. For each of the three days come prepared to class to share in breakout session your critique of one selected work from any of the genres covered during that day that has been memorable to you in what you have read, viewed, or heard in your past. You will share your ideas with other students in your breakout session. By April 7 (midnight) post your three short essays (500 words each without the bibliographic information included in the word count) for the three works describing why you found the work memorable and justify why you would recommend the work as representative of the particular genre to a library patron. The instructor will not give separate comments (and grades) on these contributions beyond checking that the posts meet the described criteria of expectation (e.g., word count and time deadline, works representing the three different genres corresponding to the three days are included). This is because the purpose of the assignment is to promote information exchanges, develop and share criteria of expertise to evaluate works from different genres, and build a community of sharing amongst the student body.

II. FINAL PROJECT: LIBRARY 2.0 Assignment (for students in Track 1 and Track 2) (DUE May 4)

Select FOUR different Library 2.0 tools/applications of your choice.

Section 1 (at least 1000 words): Describe and analyze the selected tools/applications in terms of how they apply Library 2.0 agendas (based on what you have learnt in class) towards extending the library or information agency's resources or services for adults.

Section 2 (at least 1000 words): Compare and contrast the selected Library 2.0 tools/applications in terms of the similarities and differences and advantages and disadvantages in their creation and implementation as related to your library community.

Section 3 (at least 1000 words): Evaluate the selected Library 2.0 tools/applications in terms of the nature of responses/feedback (e.g., quantity, quality, etc.) gathered via the USE of the Library 2.0 tool/application from users/patrons/people. Develop a plan of how you would use and implement the selected Library 2.0 tools/applications in a library where you work.

Spring 2015

Contact Bharat Mehra

454 Communications Building, 1345 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996-0341


Fax: 865-974-4967


Web Developer: Lisette Hernández