Category Archives: SJSU SLIS

Crisis Informatics: Perspectives of Trust – Is Social Media a Mixed Blessing? by Dr. Chris Hagar

From the new issue of SJSU SLIS Student Research Journal:

This paper highlights one of the key concerns in the emerging area of crisis informatics: issues of trusted information in crises/disasters and how the unregulated nature of social media affects information creation and dissemination. Deciding which information providers to trust and what sources of information to trust in crises is critical as acting upon trusted information can shape and influence the nature of the crisis. Social media is a powerful tool for sharing information during crises and can be used to improve emergency management capabilities, however, it has the power to misinform and to hinder response efforts.

Dr. Christine Hagar is an Assistant Professor at San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science. Dr. Hagar holds a PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Office Hours Extra: A Reimagined Core by SJSU SLIS’s Robert Boyd


I wrote about working on re-evaluating our core classes at “Office Hours” last month. Robert Boyd, one of our faculty, continues the discussion at our CIRI Blog:

I am also using some new-found time between semesters to read and reflect on two noted thinkers/practitioners, one old and one new.   The Idea of a University by John Henry Newman was originally published in 1852 where Newman proposed the theoretical underpinnings of what would become University College, Dublin.  At core, Newman argued  “the general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already.”  The interaction with faculty, practitioners in the field and with fellow classmates animate and deepen our own learning and can, and should, be introduced and fostered through a re-considered core.

Published a few months ago, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reconsidered written by the founder of the Khan Academy directs our gaze forward.   In describing what higher education could be like, Salman Khan imagines an education “rather than taking note in lecture halls, (where) students will be actively learning through real-world intellectual projects”.   Key elements in the content, delivery and assessment of the curriculum must be further explored, but the innovation actively promoted at SLIS makes the discussions, questions and possibilities for the foundation of our curriculum full of promise, rigor and creativity for faculty and students, alike.


Transformative Learning & Technology Literacies Round 2

In my Library Journal column “Office Hours,” I explored the concept of learning everywhere.  Here’s a snip:

This semester, I’m teaching a new class based on Mezirow’s concepts of transformative learning, the work of Char Booth in the arena of user instruction, and the Learning 2.0 model…. We’re working with consultant Polly-Alida Farrington, who teamed up three groups of my students with two libraries and a school library consortium in New York State. Over the course of our 15-week semester, each group is adapting, designing, and running a “mini-23 Things” for its assigned organization.

It’s been a fun, chaotic, and messy experience. In our weekly group chats online, the mantra has become “Learn by doing….” Real-world messiness offers a level of experience unmatched by classroom activities. This high-tech/high-touch experience sets the students on course for getting jobs and taking on future projects.

We’re winding up the second iteration of #transtech – and I am knocked out be the work five students groups did for five project site libraries! This was truly a class on a global scale – the groups worked with libraries in the US, Australia and Japan:

Public Libraries



Over the course of the semester the students adapted Learning 2.0 content and then ran a 5-6 week course for staff at each institution. Here’s the cool thing. We’ve archived all of the modules the students created for their programs here with the modules from last semester:

We want them to be available for any future Learning 2.0 programs or just for individual library staff to explore. Please share far and wide.

I also want to take a bit of space here to thank some important folks:

The group was also excited to continue learning together and asked me to provide a clearinghouse for the exported blogs from our course site. Check out their blogs here:  I look forward to teaching the class next semester and will be looking around for libraries to partner with for the mini Learning 2.0s. :-)


A future librarian’s promise – A TTW Guest Post by Carlie Graham

Note from Michael – Carlie is a WISE student taking my Hyperlinked Library course. Carlie wrote this post as part of her course blogging.


I’ve been reflecting on what kind of librarian I wish to become, and in the process, I discovered the social media guidelines I developed form a beautiful basis.

As a future librarian, I promise the following to members, colleagues, and to myself that I will:

Be curious.
My learning will never be finished. I want to learn from colleagues and members, and promise to never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” I will give others the benefit of the doubt that their intentions are positive even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment.
I will read outside the boundaries of library literature.

Be appreciative.
I will be grateful for all the positive things librarianship brings to put into context the few negative interactions that will occur.

Be a valued member.
I will contribute to the profession, and create meaningful learning opportunities for members. I will be mindful as I navigate my community to look for opportunities in disguise that the library could easily fix. I will also pay it forward and support MSLIS students just as I have been mentored by amazing librarians.

Be collaborative.
I will continue to enjoy group work, and will task myself (and for those who know me, you know what a huge task this is) to listen more and talk less.

Be participatory.
I will speak up to create engaging, meaningful, and fun library that demonstrates to members the library cares. I will set aside funds to attend favorite conferences.
I will work to counteract hierarchy by building networks.

Be proud.
I refuse to say “librarian” apologetically or to accept library stereotypes. When I see other librarians exhibiting them I will be curious and engage in a dialog that helps move the profession forward, respecting tradition and people.

Be authentic.
Of everything on this list, this one feels the most important. I know I will do work that I don’t absolutely love, but if I think it’s moving the profession or the library in the wrong direction, I will be brave and speak up.

Be respectful.
I will treat others as they want to be treated. I commit to create a truly inclusive library. I will honor the skills of all library staff, and will never belittle anyone for not having an MLIS degree, because I know what that feels like.

Be responsible.
I won’t waste the time of others, and won’t use my powers of reference skills to hold members hostage as I show them how to search at times when they just want the answer. Sometimes, it’s OK to take shortcuts if it’s for the right reason.

Be transparent.
I will consciously seek to make sure my physical and online presence matches, so that when members meet me, they’ll feel like they already know me.

Be empathetic.
I will stop myself when I leap to judgment and try to remember to reach for empathy instead.

Be creative.
I will never stop looking for ways to innovate to bring truly cool and useful things to library members. I promise to work to bring art, culture, beauty into libraries, and will seek out simplicity.

Be a curator.
I will continue to research my interest towards curation as an alternative to searching, and I will think like a museum professional when I look at the physical library too.

Be funny.
Because it’s awesome. And it’s good policy not to take oneself too seriously.

I know I will stumble, and promise to learn from my mistakes.
I hope others help me to continue to learn and grow as I enter the profession.


Carlie Graham is by day a manager at the University of Victoria Libraries in British Columbia, Canada, and is by night a distance graduate student at the Syracuse University iSchool, polishing her brain to become shiny new librarian. You can follow her on Twitter @carliebrary

SJSU SLIS Post-Master’s Certificate Program Designed for Lifelong Learners

Note from Michael: I serve as advisor to those in the Digital Services and Emerging Technologies area.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Designed for Lifelong Learners

Professionals now have an opportunity to continue their education by earning their Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science from the nationally-ranked San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. The new certificate program features five career pathways within the ALA-accredited graduate degree program, and all courses are delivered fully online. The deadline to apply for admission for Spring 2013 is Monday, December 3rd, 2012.

The fully-online certificate program is designed for individuals who already hold a master’s degree in any discipline and would like to continue their education to stay current with emerging trends in the library and information science field. Because all courses are fully online, students can live anywhere and complete their coursework when most convenient for them. The certificate program can be completed in as little as one year.

Certificate program students can choose courses in any of the following career pathways:

To earn a Post-Master’s Certificate, students complete six courses (16 units), including a one-unit course that introduces the School’s sophisticated online learning environment, and five courses in a selected career pathway. Certificate program students will engage in a collaborative learning environment with graduate students and faculty in the School’s ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, as well as other Post-Master’s Certificate Program professionals.

The San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science offers two fully-online master degrees, a fully-online certificate program, and a doctoral program: Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS), Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA), Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science, and the San Jose Gateway PhD Program. Learn more at:

Reaching All Users: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patrons in the Library – A TTW Guest Post by Holly Lipschultz

For those of you who already know me, I’m profoundly deaf and wear a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. For those of you who don’t–now you know! Many don’t, particularly if I wear my hair down. I talk quite normally thanks to the cochlear implant, and I hear well enough to “pass” for hearing. However, I struggle in some situations, and people get frustrated and say, “Never mind, it wasn’t important,” or assume I’m stupid or rude.

Deafness is an invisible disability. It’s easy to remember to make sure that there are ramps and elevators for people using crutches or wheelchairs. It’s easy to be aware of the blind person navigating the library with a cane or a seeing eye dog. But it’s not so easy to be aware that someone is deaf unless they have short hair and colorful, clearly visible earmolds.

Fortunately, it is fairly easy to accommodate the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people, making them feel more welcome in the library. I can write at length on the subject, but for now, I’ll give you tips on two things: communication and accessibility of library programs and services.


First, you DON’T have to know sign language, either ASL or SEE, in order to communicate with the culturally Deaf people who communicate primarily through sign. Is it useful? Undoubtedly yes. But not every library branch has an employee that can sign. And unlike, say, finding Spanish speakers for predominately Hispanic neighborhoods, there are no “Deaf” neighborhoods to relocate these signing staff to. It probably wouldn’t be feasible to be sure to train at least one staff member at each library location to know ASL.

And besides, not every deaf person knows sign language. I didn’t learn it in any real, systematic way until I started college; my parents raised me as hearing. Many others are late-deafened (think about your grandparents) and still prefer to communicate aurally and verbally. And many others are only mildly to moderately deaf, and have had little difficulty with hearing.

So, how can you communicate with deaf people?

First, get their attention. Don’t flap around like a crazy person, or else we’ll ignore you out of embarrassment. But if you don’t have our attention, waving your hands is okay. Light touching on our arms are okay. Then start talking. Normally. Oh, please don’t try to move your lips in an exaggerated manner. It’s like trying to listen to someone who is talking while his mouth is full of marshmallows. Yelling doesn’t help either. It’s hard to understand overly loud speaking, the same way it’s hard to drink from a fountain if it’s shooting at your mouth like a fire hydrant geyser.  Just talk normally. Easy, right?

Background noise freaking sucks. I’ve heard that hearing people can somehow “pick out sounds” and focus on it even if there is some background noise. It’s a mythical concept to me. So, if it gets temporarily loud in the library, pause during the loud noises, and repeat what you said as needed. Sometimes you might repeat things two or three times, so be patient. A trick some people use after the second repetition is to rephrase the sentence. Use synonyms. Reorder the sentence. “Are you looking for a specific breed?” can become, “What dog breed are you looking for?” and it can finally help make the sentence click in our minds.

If verbal communication is exceedingly difficult, or if you’re talking to a completely deaf person, use writing tools. The traditional means of communication can be a pencil and paper, though it can be annoying to both sides. Here’s another idea: Use Word on your computer. Turn the screen around so both of you can see it. Bring up Word or Google Docs in a separate window. Type what you need to say. We’ll tell you verbally in return. Or if they are completely deaf, let them use the keyboard to type what they need to say. Turning the screen around during reference and circulation transactions helps anyway.

Other communication tips

Hopefully your library has a TTY number and if you’re more forward-looking, chat assistance. Some deaf people use a relay service when calling, so be aware of that. Though, personally, relay SUCKS anytime there is a phone tree, so please have other contact options. Be sure to provide email addresses on your library websites for reference and circulation, or have an online contact form. Some deaf people do call. I do, with great reluctance. So please be patient and ready to repeat and rephrase things.

Library Programs/Services Accessibility

Now that we’ve covered the basics of communications, can you see where some of the problem areas might be for library programs and services? How you accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing can greatly depend on the library’s budget and grant income. Here are your options, from cheapest to more expensive:

Priority seating. Save some seats near the front where us deaf and HOH folks can read the speaker’s lips. Be sure to remind the speaker to always face the audience when talking, otherwise it doesn’t help at all. Make sure we know that those seats exist.

Printed transcript. If at all possible, procure and print some copies of the transcript, speakers’ notes, etc, and have them on hand for when people ask, so they can read and follow along during the program.

Captioning for online video/audio resources. It is possible to do this yourself thanks to YouTube. If you can’t afford the staff time, post the transcript. If you can afford the time, have someone upload the transcript to YouTube’s automatic caption-fier. Then go through and correct the text, since YouTube uses a combination of your transcript and it’s voice recognition to create the caption file, and voice recognition isn’t the best. Another option is to outsource the captioning to a company for video posted elsewhere that does not have caption service. There are many companies, big and small, but here’s a couple of examples to give you an idea: VitacAmeriCaptionCaptionMax.

CART captioningCourt reporters often make a little extra money using their equipment and skill to create real-time captioning. The downside to this is that, as far as I know, it serves only one or two deaf people at a time.

Sign language interpreter. In contrast to CART captioning, sign language interpreters can help a larger group of people. Although if you do have a large group of deaf people, getting an interpreter makes more sense than the other options.

There you go! I hope this helps make reaching out to deaf and hard of hearing people less daunting.

Holly Lipschultz is a graduate student in the San José State University School of Library and Information Science and works at the University of Chicago Library.  She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband and three cats.

Faculty Position Opening at San Jose State University SLIS

Live anywhere*
Teach great students –
Use the newest technologies to develop innovative online classes
Work with a top grant writer and collegial faculty.

San Jose State University seeks to dramatically expand its faculty working in the area of cyber security/data science by hiring a cluster of five new faculty members. The university seeks people who are able to initiate and participate in interdisciplinary collaborations in the area of cyber security or data science, and who are skilled researchers and teachers in one of five areas: ComputerScience, Computer Engineering, Library and Information Science, Management Information Science, or Psychology.

As part of this initiative the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is looking for a faculty member with a focus in either information assurance/information integrity or large data sets/information visualization. The successful applicant will teach online classes for SLIS and conduct research, build online interdisciplinary certificates, and develop fundable research proposals with colleagues in the cybersecurity and data science clusters in the University.

A successful applicant focused primarily in the area of information assurance/information integrity will teach online classes and conduct research with cluster faculty members in one or more of the following areas:

  • Protection of records and archives via trusted digital repositories that ensure the accuracy, reliability, and authenticity (i.e., identity andintegrity) of records in the cloud and records delivered via mobile devices
  • Information risk analysis, management, and compliance of digital records
  • Sustainability of digital records
  • Privacy and freedom of information
  • Encryption management strategies
  • Recovery and disaster techniques including disaster planning

A successful applicant focused primarily in the area of large data sets/information visualization will teach online classes and conduct research with cluster faculty members in one or more of the following areas:

  • Analysis of unstructured and machine generated data from social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)
  • Information visualization to help users gain new and deeper knowledge from complex information
  • Tagging of data for ease of analysis and findability
  • Metadata systems, architectures, and applications
  • Semantic networks and linked data
  • Data analytics
  • Text/data mining
  • Pattern recognition
We require an earned doctorate; a strong record of scholarly and professional achievement; and an excitement and enjoyment for teaching and working online.

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University is fully accredited by the American Library Association through 2014. It has 2000 students and since Fall 2009 delivers its degrees only online.   In addition to the online Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree SLIS offers an online masters degree in Archives and Records Administration (MARA), a gateway Ph.D. program with Queensland University of Technology, and a Post Master’sCertificate program. The School is part of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at San Jose State University.

The School has a rich technological environment (Desire2Learn Learning Management System, Blackboard Collaborate Web conferencing, WebEx, Blackboard IM, Panopto, and Web 2.0 tools such as social networking, blogs, wikis, podcasts, and collaborative environments).
Check out Innovate Magazine, SLIS’s 2012 Annual Review, to see what our students and faculty are doing.
Send by February 1st 2013: 
(1) A letter of application that addresses in detail the requirements listed above and into which of the two cluster areas you feel best fitted
(2) A curriculum vitae
(3) Three original letters of reference with contact information
Application material should be sent electronically (pdf or a URL) to:

Dr. Linda Main, Chair of the Search Committee at:

Please include Job Opening ID: 22461

San Jose State University is home to theSilicon Valley Center for Cyber Security, is a partner in the NSF-funded national Center for Science and Technology for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST) at UC Berkeley, and hosted the national symposium on Curriculum Development in Security and Information Assurance (CDSIA) as well as the Oates Security in the Cyberage Symposium.

*Employment is contingent upon proof of eligibility to work in the United States. In addition, you will be required to visit the San Jose State University campus four or five times a year at your own expense.