Special Topics Courses

Special Topics courses (LIS 503) allow students to examine a variety of timely, cutting-edge areas in library and information studies. Taught by our faculty and by experienced practitioners, these courses allow both matriculated and non-matriculated students to keep up with critical trends and topics in the field.

As course topics vary from semester to semester, LIS 503 may be repeated for elective credit.

These courses are available online, through the UBLearns education delivery platform.

New! Spring 2017 Special Topics

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Diverse Users

Course Description: This online seminar takes a multicultural approach to reference and information service, focusing on the information needs of diverse users and how professionals can respond to these needs. General concepts of RIS are explored in the context of under-served library users and non-users, as well as users with special needs. Many sessions will be student led with a research paper and online presentation as the major deliverables.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Database Systems Analysis and Design

Course Description: Introduces basic concepts of management and organization of information using databases. The course includes an examination of system development methodology, project planning and management, relational database theory and technologies such as entity-relationship modeling, normalization, view integration, report generation, interface design, and Web-database integration. Through this course students will gain knowledge and skills of gathering system requirements and modeling, analyzing, and designing corresponding database systems.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Information Interaction

Course Description: Information Interaction

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Social Media in Information Professions

Course Description: This course introduces the basics of social media and the capabilities and concepts of social networking to the work of information professionals. Topics covered include social networking and how business world leverages them, virtual worlds and technologies, skills in designing and implementing social media. Students will gain practical experience while learning best practices around Social Media, developing insights they can carry into take into their professional career, learn how to use new social tools to augment job search and work effectiveness..

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Digital Preservation and Curation

Course Description: This course introduces the basics of digital preservation and curation. Topics covered include preservation levels and strategies, preservation metadata, preservation and curation models such as the Open Archival Information System (OAIS), and trusted digital repositories. Students will gain practical experience while learning best practices and professional international standards around preservation and curation, developing skills and knowledge that match the digital age challenges.


Past Special Topics Course Offerings

Fall 2016 Special Topics

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Information Management

Course Description: This course covers information management tools and techniques, as applied for maintaining, processing, and disseminating digital information, with emphasis on relational database environments. Specific topics of this course include: database design, data normalization and verification, Structured Query Language (SQL), Procedural Language / Structured Query Language (PL/SQL), database administration, data security, and physical data storage. Course exercises demonstrate techniques of data modeling, implementing and querying databases, and administering databases. Pre-requisite: LIS 506

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Scholarly Communication

Course Description: This course will be an exploration of the significant changes occurring in the digital research environment and the resulting evolution of how scholarly information is communicated. Particular emphasis will be given to understanding how libraries and information organizations need to understand and manage these changes. The course will include examinations and lively discussions of contemporary issues like commercial publisher exploitation, the tenure system, the peer review system, copyright, open access, open educational resources, digital repositories, large data sets, bibliometrics, altmetrics, bibliographic management, and the burgeoning importance of scholarly communication professionals. Several web-based scholarly collaboration and communication tools will be explored, and the concept of scholarly communication as a genre will be discussed. This will be a highly interactive class; it will include online discussions and the analyses of several real-world case studies. The course is intended for students who will work in academic, public, or special libraries, or in other research-focused information centers.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: System Administration in a Networked Environment

Course Description: Introduces the principles of the installation, maintenance, and administration of client-server systems and related technology. The course covers major platforms including Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Topics include filesystems, user account management, backups, disaster recovery, security, logging, local area network, domain name service, web hosting, performance analysis, policies, and ethics. Prerequisite: LIS 506 or instructor permission.

Spring 2016 Special Topics

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Search Technology

Course Description: Introduces the technology of text-based information retrieval (IR). Topics include: popular IR models such as the Boolean model, vector space model, and probabilistic models; text processing techniques including tokenization, segmentation, and stemming; techniques for efficient indexing; techniques for improving search performance including relevance feedback and local context analysis; techniques specific for web search engines including PageRank and HITS; and IR evaluation and user interface design. Through this course students will gain a deep understanding of the working mechanism of search engines and their strengths and limitations in supporting information access.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Digital Preservation and Curation

Course Description: This course introduces the basics of digital preservation and curation. Topics covered include preservation levels and strategies, preservation metadata, preservation and curation models such as the Open Archival Information System (OAIS), and trusted digital repositories. Students will gain practical experience while learning best practices and professional international standards around preservation and curation, developing skills and knowledge that match the digital age challenges.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Social Media in Information Professions

Course Description: This course introduces the basics of social media and the capabilities and concepts of social networking to the work of information professionals. Topics covered include social networking and how business world leverages them, virtual worlds and technologies, skills in designing and implementing social media. Students will gain practical experience while learning best practices around Social Media, developing insights they can carry into take into their professional career, learn how to use new social tools to augment job search and work effectiveness..

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Database Systems Analysis and Design

Course Description: Introduces basic concepts of management and organization of information using databases. The course includes an examination of system development methodology, project planning and management, relational database theory and technologies such as entity-relationship modeling, normalization, view integration, report generation, interface design, and Web-database integration. Through this course students will gain knowledge and skills of gathering system requirements and modeling, analyzing, and designing corresponding database systems.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Diverse Users

Course Description: This online seminar takes a multicultural approach to reference and information service, focusing on the information needs of diverse users and how professionals can respond to these needs. General concepts of RIS are explored in the context of under-served library users and non-users, as well as users with special needs. Many sessions will be student led with a research paper and online presentation as the major deliverables.

Fall 2015

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Advanced Archives Mgt.

Course Description: This course builds on basic knowledge and skills acquired in LIS 509 and will cover advanced aspects of archival appraisal and preservation of Web 2.0 archival records.  The course will also explore the use of MARC cataloging for archival records and EAD cataloging for finding aids.  An examination of the management and leadership skills needed to successfully administer an archives will also be covered. Pre-requisite: LIS509

LIS 503 - Special Topics : System Administration in a Networked Environment

Course Description: Introduces the principles of the installation, maintenance, and administration of client-server systems and related technology. The course covers major platforms including Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Topics include filesystems, user account management, backups, disaster recovery, security, logging, local area network, domain name service, web hosting, performance analysis, policies, and ethics. Prerequisite: LIS 506 or instructor permission

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Information in Decision Making

Course Description: This course will provide the student with an introduction to information use and management. The course is broken up into 2 units: Introduction to Information Life Cycle and Management; and Introduction to Information Use and Behaviors in Decision Making. Unit 1 will cover the theories and applications of information management, including information policy, information maintenance and security, and information access within organizational settings. Additionally it will cover the activities involved in managing information throughout its life e.g. information creation, acquisition, storage, retrieval, communication, use, and destruction within organizational settings. Unit 2 will build on Unit 1 by learning the applications of information use and behaviors, including how people seek, provide, and use information in decision making processes

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Organizational Story Telling

Course Description: This course will provide the student with an introduction to the developing field of organizational storytelling which combines information, communication, strategy, administration and organizational studies into a powerful communication tool for use in for-profit, non-profit and other organizations. Properly done, organizational storytelling is used to communicate information, strategy, and decisions while providing a more innate understanding of organizational actions, decisions, or activities to both internal and external organizational members or stakeholders in both positive and challenging times in an organization’s lifespan. Students will learn the components, methods and audiences of organizational storytelling and develop efficient frameworks for applying organizational storytelling to any organizational environment.

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Emerging Technologies

Course Description: Technological innovations such as computer games and simulations, intelligent (cognitive) tutors, MOOCS, and mobile devices have tremendous potential to support learning in both formal and informal environments. What is less clear is how these technologies can best be designed and applied to support learning outcomes. The goal of this class is to use learning science theories as a lens for reflecting on these issues. We also will examine the research on the impact of new technologies on learning outcomes and consider the challenges inherent in studying emerging technologies.

Spring 2015

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Humanities and Social Sciences Information

Course Description: Examination of the specialized needs and behaviors of users of humanities and social sciences information. Examination and evaluation of bibliographic resources and information technology that support information seeking and research in these disciplines. Appraisal of the patterns of communication and research, as well as current information issues, in these fields. Prerequisite: LIS518.

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Introduction to Legal Research

Course Description: This online course introduces students to basic legal research in federal and New York state law. Primary and secondary legal resources will be explored. Online legal research will be the focus of this course, however, print research will be integrated when instructive. This is an introductory course. No legal knowledge is required. There is a required textbook. All other reading materials will be distributed or accessible online. Physical access to a law library is not required to be successful in this course. Prerequisite: None.

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Database Systems Analysis and Design

Course Description: Introduces fundamental concepts of management and organization of information using databases. The course includes an examination of system development methodology, project planning and management, relational database theory and technologies such as entity-relationship modeling, relational schema, normalization, view integration, report generation, interface design, and Web-database integration. Through this course students will gain knowledge and skills of gathering system requirements and modeling, analyzing, and designing database systems. Prerequisite: LIS 506 or instructor permission

LIS 503 - Special Topics : System Administration in a Networked Environment

Course Description: Introduces the principles of the installation, maintenance, and administration of client-server systems and related technology. The course covers major platforms including Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Topics include filesystems, user account management, backups, disaster recovery, security, logging, local area network, domain name service, web hosting, performance analysis, policies, and ethics. Prerequisite: LIS 506 or instructor permission

Fall 2014

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Emerging Technologies for Libraries and Information Studies

Course Description: Employment in library and information science professions often requires having to learn and determine how emerging technologies can best be used to meet client needs. The purpose of this class is to guide students in examining technology trends of the 21st century such as mobility, openness, and literacy. Students will examine how emerging technologies promote new ways of thinking about information and productivity. Special emphasis will be placed on meeting diverse learning needs, including adult learners in informal settings. Students will experiment and plan how to use specific technologies to meet their current or potential objectives. This class will be offered online.

LIS 503 - Special Topics : Information Services for Diverse Users

Course Description: This online seminar takes a multicultural approach to reference and information service, focusing on the information needs of diverse users and how professionals can respond to these needs. General concepts of RIS are explored in the context of under-served library users and non-users, as well as users with special needs. Many sessions will be student led with a research paper and online presentation as the major deliverables. Prerequisite: LIS 518 .

Spring 2014

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Introduction to Information Management

Course Description: This course will provide the student with a comprehensive introduction to information management. The course is broken up into 3 units: Introduction to the Information Life Cycle; Introduction to Information Use and Behaviors; and Introduction to Information Management. Unit 1 will cover the activities involved in managing information throughout its life e.g. information creation, acquisition, storage, retrieval, communication, use, and destruction within organizational settings. Unit 2 will cover the theories and applications of information use and behaviors, including how people seek, provide, and use information in an organizational settings. Finally, Unit 3 will cover the theories and applications of information management, including information policy, information maintenance and security, and information access within organizational settings. Prerequisite: None. Credits: 3.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Introduction to Legal Research

This online course introduces students to basic legal research in federal and New York state law. Primary and secondary legal resources will be explored. Online legal research will be the focus of this course, however, print research will be integrated when instructive. This is an introductory course. No legal knowledge is required. There is a required textbook. All other reading materials will be distributed or accessible online. Physical access to a law library is not required to be successful in this course. Prerequisite: None. Credits: 3.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Humanities and Social Sciences Information

Examination of the specialized needs and behaviors of users of humanities and social sciences information. Examination and evaluation of bibliographic resources and information technology that support information seeking and research in these disciplines. Appraisal of the patterns of communication and research, as well as current information issues, in these fields. Prerequisite: LIS518.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: Database Systems Analysis and Design

Introduces fundamental concepts of management and organization of information using databases. The course includes an examination of system development methodology, project planning and management, relational database theory and technologies such as entity-relationship modeling, relational schema, normalization, view integration, report generation, interface design, and Web-database integration. Through this course students will gain knowledge and skills of gathering system requirements and modeling, analyzing, and designing database systems. Prerequisite: LIS 506 or instructor permission.

LIS 503 - Special Topics: System Administration in a Networked Environment

Introduces the principles of the installation, maintenance, and administration of client-server systems and related technology. The course covers major platforms including Linux, Windows and Mac OS. Topics include filesystems, user account management, backups, disaster recovery, security, logging, local area network, domain name service, web hosting, performance analysis, policies, and ethics. Prerequisite: LIS 506 or instructor permission.