INLS 490-121: Syllabus
This course will explore the premise and the promise of so-called Web 2.0 technologies for libraries and other information organizations and services. The principles of Web 2.0 will be explored, and specific Web 2.0-style tools and technologies that may be used in libraries and other information organizations will be used and critiqued (e.g., tools to harness explicit and implicit collective intelligence, mass amateurization, mashups, self-publication). It will be considered whether the philosophy of Web 2.0 is compatible with the profession of librarianship and the information professions as currently construed at all.
Three overarching questions guide this course:
- The Web 2.0 question: To what tasks can collaboration add value?
- The librarianship question: What roles can and should libraries play with respect to these tasks? (The answer may, in some cases, be "none.")
- The technology question: What tools can aid libraries in accomplishing their goals with respect to these tasks? (These tools may or may not yet exist.)
Note: This course differs from INLS 461 in the following way: Information Tools covers a broad set of topics, from operating systems to web authoring to databases. What unites these topics is that they are all technologies that, as the course description says, are "tools and concepts for information use." This course will be much more narrowly-focused than 461. This course will cover only topics that: (1) are arguably Web 2.0 tools, or in other words involve collaboration and user contribution, and (2) are or may be used by libraries and other types of information services.
By the end of this course, students will:
- Evaluate existing implementations of Web 2.0-style tools and processes in the context of libraries and other information organizations.
- Plan and design Web 2.0-style tools and processes that may be implemented in the context of a library or other information organization.
- Write specifications for and build a software application based in Web 2.0 ideas that may be implemented in the context of a library or other information organization.