Undergraduate Bulletin, 2002-2003

School of Information Science and Policy


Philip B. Eppard, Ph.D.
Brown University

Distinguished Professors

Vincent J. Aceto, M.L.S. (Collins Fellow)
University at Albany

Millicent Lenz, Ph.D.
Northern Illinois University

Professors Emeritae/i

John Farley, Ph.D.
New York University

Thomas J. Galvin, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University

William A. Katz, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Irving Klempner, D.L.S.
Columbia University

Ben-Ami Lipetz, Ph.D.
Cornell University

Joseph H. Morehead, Jr., Ed.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Susan Smith, Ed.D.
Columbia University

Lucille Whalen, D.L.S.
Columbia University

Associate Professor Emeritae/i

Pauline Vaillancourt, D.L.S.
Columbia University

Richard S. Halsey, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University,

Norman E. Hoyle, Ph.D.
Duke University

Associate Professors

Philip B. Eppard, Ph.D.
Brown University

Hemalata Iyer, Ph.D.
University of Mysore, India

Assistant Professor Emeritae/i

David Mitchell, M.L.S.
University at Albany

Lillian Orsini, M.S.L.S.
University at Albany

M. Geraldene Walker, Ph.D.
Syracuse University


Lokman I. Meho, M.S.
North Carolina Central University

Assistant Professors

Deborah Lines Anderson, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Thomas P. Mackey, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Terrence A. Maxwell, Ph.D.
University at Albany

William J. McIver, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Boulder

Rong Tang, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Adjunct Faculty

Theodor J. Borys, M.S.
University at Albany

Meredith A. Butler, M.A./M.L.S.
Ohio State University/Syracuse University

Guy J. Cortesi, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Linda Fox, M.L.S.
SUNY College at Geneseo

Belle Gironda, Ph.D.
University at Albany

Adjuncts (estimated): 6
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 0

Professional courses in information science and policy are usually taken on the graduate level. However, as a means of providing undergraduate students with information and library skills which may be of value in their studies or for the purpose of providing a general introduction to the field, a number of programs are available to undergraduates. These include a Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major in Information Science and a combined B.A./M.L.S. or B.S./M.L.S. program. Both of these programs are described below in greater detail.

The school offers a broad program of study which prepares students for careers as information management specialists in corporate, governmental and public service agencies, or as librarians, media specialists and information professionals in schools, public libraries, colleges, and other organizations concerned with providing reference, research, recreational resources, and information services. Undergraduate students contemplating a career in this field are encouraged to review professional opportunities and undergraduate preparation for admission to graduate study with the school's administrative staff. Interested students should also consult graduate bulletin or the web page (https://www.albany.edu/sisp/ba/) describing the school's programs and faculty.

Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science

The School of Information Science and Policy has developed a Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science with other faculty in Computer Science, Communication, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Philosophy and Psychology. The major is concerned with five curricular strands: characteristics and properties of information; the flow of information from its origination to utilization; personal, economic, political and social value of information; the cognitive, intellectual and technological structures that govern information transfer; the public and private organizational environments where information exchange has taken place.

Admission:  Students must obtain the approval of the program director before they can officially declare this Faculty-initiated interdisciplinary program as their major.

Degree Requirements for the Faculty-Initiated Interdisciplinary Major with a Concentration in Information Science

General Program B.A.  A minimum of 43 credits including a 28 credit core: A Csi 201N; R Isp 100, 301, 433, (or substitute from list below), 468, 499Z; A Mat 108 (or substitute statistics course from the list below); A Psy 101M or 102M; A Lin 220M.*

3 credits from: A Lin 301, 325
3 credits from: A Phi 210L, 332
3 credits from: A Psy 270, 380, 381, 382
3 credits from: A Csi 100, 102, 103, 120, 198, 300Z, R Isp 395
3 credits from: A Csi 203, 204, 205, 310; 416, B Msi 330; R Inf 523, R Isp 523
R Isp 433 substitutes: R Isp 361, 633, 640, 658
A Mat 108 substitutes: R Crj 281, A Eco 320, B Msi 220, A Psy 210, A Soc 221

The following undergraduate courses offered by the School of Information Science and Policy are considered liberal arts and science courses for purposes of degree requirements for the B.A. or B.S. degrees: R Isp 100, 301, 361, and 499Z. Courses listed in this section are preceded by the school's letter R.

* Appropriate substitutions may be made with the approval of the program director.

Combined B.A./M.L.S. or B.S./M.L.S. Program

The combined B.A./M.L.S. or B.S./M.L.S. program in information science and policy provides a unique opportunity for capable, highly motivated students to pursue any undergraduate liberal arts major while at the same time beginning their professional preparation for a career in the rapidly expanding information management fields. The emphasis of the program is on the planning, provision and administration of information systems and services in libraries and information centers. A distinctive feature of the curriculum is the stress placed upon user and human as well as technological factors. Students will be able to combine academic study with work experience in a locally based major corporation's information handling facility such as IBM, GE, or a college and university, public, hospital, newspaper, school, bank or law library in the tri-city area (Albany, Troy, Schenectady).

Graduates will be prepared for employment in a wide variety of public and private sector settings within business, industry, law, humanities, health and human services, and education where they will function as librarians, information systems specialists, information analysts or information officers and managers.

The school is especially strong in five areas: (1) information and public policy, (2) reference resources and processes, (3) archives/records administration, (4) indexing and abstracting, and (5) data storage technologies.

Students may be admitted to the combined program at the beginning of their junior year or after successful completion of 56 credits, but no later than the accumulation of 100 credits. A carefully designed program can enable the student to earn the B.A. or B.S. and M.L.S. within 10 semesters. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three supportive letters of recommendation are required. The Graduate Record Exam is not required for admission. In qualifying for the baccalaureate, students will meet all University and school requirements, including existing major and minor requirements, general education requirements, minimum liberal arts and sciences requirements, and residency requirements.

Additionally, students will complete a minor in information science and policy including, as a minimum, the following courses: A Csi 201, R Isp 601, R Isp 603, R Isp 605, R Isp 611, and an elective R Isp course.

In qualifying for the master's degree, students will meet all University and school requirements, including completing a minimum of 42 graduate credits, and any conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, or other professional experience, and residency requirements. The combined program allows students to complete 12 graduate credits as an undergraduate that are applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Students will be considered as undergraduates until completion of 120 graduation credits and satisfactory completion of all B.A. or B.S. requirements. Upon meeting the baccalaureate requirements, students will automatically be considered as graduate students.


R Isp 100 (formerly R Isp 261) Internet and Information Access (3)
Introduction to the Internet and World Wide Web. Information literacy in technology and online information resources. Using, finding, evaluating, and producing information on the Internet. [IL]

R Isp 101 Technology Tools for Information Management (3)
Introduction to information organization and management software tools. Class includes introduction to word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software for use in information organization and management.

R Isp 102 Networking Tools for Information Management (3)
Introduction to networking technology skills for information management. Classes include networked computing, electronic mail, file transfers, web browsers, and web development software for use in information organization and management.

R Isp 301 (formerly R Isp 201) The Information Environment (3)
Introduction to information science. Definitions and properties of information, production, transfer, classification, formatting, evaluation, and use. Role of information organizations including the print and electronic publishing, traditional and digital libraries and archives. Offered in fall semesters only. [IL]

R Isp 361 Web Development (3)
Design and development of producing information for the world wide web. Lectures include the basic program languages for web development and web-authoring software. Design, planning, security, administration and management of web sites will also be examined. Prerequisite(s): R Isp 100 or permission of instructor.

R Isp 395 (formerly R Isp 495) Internet Practicum (3-6)
The course provides students the opportunity to work as a teaching aide and lab assistant in information science. Students will hold weekly lab assistant hours, monitor and respond to student questions on the class listserv, and provide feedback to the course instructor. May be repeated for credit up to a total of 6 credits with permission of school. Prerequisite(s): a grade of B or higher in R Isp 100 and permission of instructor. S/U graded.

R Isp 433 Information Storage and Retrieval (3)
Methods of analyzing, storing, retrieving information and their relationship to perceived costs and benefits in information service

R Isp 452 State and Local Government Sources of Information (3)
Examination of the basic sources that provide a structure for accessing state and local government information. Consideration of state government resources nationwide and an analysis of local government entities nationwide will be followed by a focus on New York State information sources. Students will gain hands-on familiarity with online sources through an assignment involving researching state cases and state statutes on WESTLAW and LEXIS-NEXIS, the two largest legal databases in the United States.

R Isp 457 Introduction to Legal Research (3)
Examination and analysis of the basic and specialized information sources that provide a structure for legal research. Topics include court reports, digests, annotations, constitutions, Shepard's citations, loose-leaf reporters, legal encyclopedias and periodicals. Assignments in WESTLAW and LEXIS-NEXIS online databases will provide hands-on familiarity with computer-assisted legal research (CALR).

R Isp 466/566 Autobiographies of Writers for Young People: 1844-to the Present (3)
A survey of the lives of selected writers for young people over the last 150 years, as told through their writings about themselves in the genres of autobiography, memoirs of life experiences, and fictionalized autobiography. Writers are selected to represent different historical periods, as well as diversity of race, cultural background, and socioeconomic status; the key consideration is the quality of their autobiographical writing, its success in mirroring the era in which they lived and wrote, and the insights it can provide into the nature of creativity. R Isp 466Z is the writing intensive version of R Isp 466/566; only one may be taken for credit. May not be offered during 2002-2003.

R Isp 466Z Autobiographies of Writers for Young People: 1844-to the present (3)
R Isp 466Z is the writing intensive version of R Isp 466/566; only one may be taken for credit. May not be offered during 2002-2003. [WI]

R Isp 468 Internship in Information Science (3-6)
Supervised field placement in a public or private organizational environment where information exchange takes place. Requires preparation of biweekly reports and a major project. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Concurrent registration in R Isp499 is required. S/U graded.

R Isp 469 Independent Study & Policy (1-3)
Student-initiated research policy under faculty guidance. May be repeated for credit up to a total of 6 credits with permission of school. R Isp 469Z is the writing intensive version of R Isp 469. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. S/U graded.

R Isp 469Z Independent Study & Policy (1-3)
Student-initiated research policy under faculty guidance. May be repeated for credit up to a total of 6 credits with permission of school. R Isp 469Z is the writing intensive version of R Isp 469. Prerequisite(s): Permission of instructor. S/U graded. [WI]

R Isp 473Z The History of Children's Literature (3)
Selected literature for children in English from the beginnings to the early 20th century. Texts are selected to represent different historical periods and diversity of authorial perspectives; the key considerations are the quality of the literature and its historical significance. Attention is given to changing attitudes toward children as reflected in the books provided for them. Writing assignments will range from historical/critical analyses to reader-response essays. [WI]

R Isp 499Z Senior Seminar in Information Science (3)
Development of professional skills in information science. This course includes development of student presentation skills including interviewing, web development, resume, and oral presentation skills. Prerequisite(s): Information Science major. [WI]

Graduate Courses

Please note that the graduate course described below are available only to students who meet certain criteria. Please consult the academic rules and regulations portion of this bulletin for the rules governing when an undergraduate may enroll in a graduate course.

R Isp 501 History of Books and Printing (3)
History of the development of books and libraries from ancient times to the present in relation to the society of which they were a part. May not be offered during 2002-2003.

R Isp 523 Fundamentals of Information Technology (1-6)
This course consists of three five-week modules teaching basic skills in information management. Topics include: introduction to programming, data structures, and overview of data base applications. In addition, students may elect up to three additional modules chosen from topics such as UNIX and networking, UNIX software development tools (for students who already have significant prior programming), introduction to programming in C, and new direction in information science.

R Isp 546 Fundamentals of Record Management (3)
Basic concepts and practices of records management in governmental, institutional, and corporate agencies, including those areas of communication, administration and computer technology that relate to the efficient and effective flow of information from its generation to its final disposition. Includes records inventory, active and inactive records control, manual and automated systems, vital records protection, the records center, micrographics technology and applications, and legal and ethical aspects of records management.

R Isp 554 Contemporary Publishing (3)
Structure and problems of the publishing industry (including print and nonprint materials); production and distribution systems and their implications for libraries and other information agencies; legal and economic aspects and technological developments.

R Isp 560 Information and Public Policy (3)
Analysis and evaluation of public policies affecting the production, dissemination, and access to information generated by or for the federal government. Topics and issues include concepts of intellectual freedom, the public's right to be informed, freedom of information and privacy legislation, policies on dissemination of information in nonprint formats, national security classification, privatizing of government information, issues of equity, and related policy matters.

R Isp 562 Economics of Information Management (3)
Principles and theory of economics of managing libraries, archives and other information services. Provides students with the tools of cost benefit, regression and applied microeconomic analysis necessary for management of information systems and information services. The library user fee debate, the economics of journal subscription prices and costs and benefits of on-line searching are examined.

R Isp 571 Literature for Children (3)
Introductory survey of literature for children with emphasis on twentieth-century authors and illustrators. Problems and trends in writing and publishing. Class discussion and written critical evaluations based on extensive readings.

R Isp 578 Literature for Young Adults (3)
Introductory survey of literature for young adults (ages thirteen through eighteen) with emphasis on authors from the latter half of the twentieth-century. Includes characteristics, needs, and reading interests of teenagers, critical study of the literature, an overview of basic selection tools, and practice in booktalking.

R Isp 601 The Information Environment (3)
The evolving social, political and institutional environments within which information services are and can be organized.

R Isp 603 Information Processing (3)
The nature of documents, their bibliographic description, indexing and classification. Controlled and natural vocabularies for document access. Major taxonomies. Information retrieval theory.

R Isp 605 Information Sources and Services (3)
Consideration of reference/information services, the types of knowledge, the kinds of formats in which knowledge is recorded, and the ways in which it is pursued and retrieved.

R Isp 611 Information Systems and Technology Applications (3)
Introduction to information systems and dominant supportive technologies. Emphasis on reprography (printing, replication, micrographic processes,) computing and communications. Applications to library/ information systems administration, technical services, reference services, document delivery systems.

R Isp 633 Information Storage and Retrieval (3)
Methods of analyzing, storing, and retrieving information and their relationship to perceived costs and benefits in information service. Prerequisite: R Isp 603. Recommended: R Isp 607.

R Isp 640 Abstracting and Indexing (3)
Characteristics and applications of abstracts and indexes and techniques for their creation. Impact and implications of recent technology. Recommended: R Isp 603.

R Isp 658 Microcomputer Database Development (3)
Database principles for microcomputers, with emphasis on relational database management systems (DBMS) for applications development in the library and information fields. Database design, creation, and maintenance: the user interface; programming concepts. Creation of the working database system.

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