Course Syllabus

Department Library Tech. Asst. Pgm.
Instructor Colby Glass, Professor Emeritus
Phone 210-561-7905
Office Location None (retired)
Course Title Introduction to Libraries
Course # LBRA 1371.001
Call # 12576
Credit Hours 3-3-0


Grades | Student Responsibilities | Learning Skills | Professor Responses | Disability Policies | Classes | Curriculum Vitae


Comprehensive study of advanced communication skills for library assistants including techniques in reading, writing, listening, studying, and speaking. Emphasis on clear concise written and spoken communication; techniques for time management, prioritizing reading materials, and comprehending the main ideas and salient details of technical materials, including journals and reports, and other work related materials. Covers types of information organizations and employers, role of the LTA (Library Tech. Assistant), automation, history of the book, tools, and terminology, basic library philosophy, seeking a job, library vendors, conflict resolution, and dealing with change.



All the traits of a good student will have to be employed. Read the following carefully:

Becoming a Student Follow the links at the end of each page and read the sites until you arrive at the last link "How To Take an Exam." These pages are critical for you maximizing your college experience and becoming a good student. There will be a quiz on this material, so be sure to go through all the pages. Don't miss the pages on MOTIVATION and METANOIA.

A side note: There are two accepted ways to recall information useful to you. One is memory. Aristotle tells the story of Simonides, a man who could remember all the guests murdered at his banquet by the places where they sat in the destroyed building. Your place memory, for some reason, is much better than other types of memory. (For instance, although you may have been gone a long time, you can still remember all the details of the house in which you grew up.) This placement mnemonic method was expanded in the early Middle Ages to the so-called "Cathedral of memory." The technique was to construct in your mind a vivid picture of a cathedral (like your home), every room, every piece of furniture, every picture on the wall, everything. Then, when you wanted to remember something, you would relate (mentally attach) the items to the items in your mental cathedral. The vividness of the place memory would facilitate your retaining the list of items or whatever you needed to retain.

The other method, used since antiquity, is note-taking. Not only does the act of note-taking facilitate the retention of material, but you also have the notes to take with you and review while you are traveling, waiting, or otherwise wasting time.

On a more general note, "... it has been abundantly proved that there is no more effective means of strengthening the mind than by the earnest pursuit of [the Latin language] (D'ooge, p. 4). Check the previous link for more information on Latin and free learniing materials and books.



There is no textbook required for this course. Textbooks have become far too expensive and are an exorbitant burden on students. All readings are on the Internet or in Canvas.

(NOTE: A student of this institution (any of the Alamo colleges) is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a college-affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be available from an independent retailer, including an online retailer. ) [Textbooks are now available in the college-affiliated bookstore to RENT. -Colby]



Covers types of information organizations and employers, role of the LTA, automation, history of the book, tools, and terminology, basic library philosophy, seeking a job, library vendors, conflict resolution, and dealing with change.



By the end of this course, you will be familiar with types of information organizations and employers, role of the LTA, automation, history of the book, tools, and terminology, basic library philosophy, seeking a job, library vendors, conflict resolution, and dealing with change.



Students will be assessed on the following three areas:

-Content and Purpose-The student uses relevant content that conveys understanding to the audience or reader.

-Organization-The student uses conventions unique to the discipline for organizing and presenting content. If the student should organize the assignment according to a particular disciplinary convention, please indicate this on the assignment.

-Tools-The student uses communication tools appropriately and skillfully for academic and professional contexts i.e. Written Assignments-grammar or punctuation, Oral assignments-eye contact or fluency, and Visual-high quality techniques or color contrasts.

Students will be assessed in the Discussions area of Canvas. 4 is excellent, 3 is good, 2 is needs improvement, 1 is inadequate. For more detailed information on grading, see Student Communications Skills



Performance objectives are that students will be at least 70% proficient in all course content and practices.


METHODS OF MEASUREMENT (grade requirements):

Quizzes and discussions.


COLLEGE and/or DEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENTS: (added by each college to template)

Department requires that the student earn at least a grade of C to earn credit towards the LTA completion certificate.


ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTOR REQUIREMENTS: (added by individual instructor)




A. Attendance

Effective Spring Term 2010, student absences will be recorded from the first day the class meets. Regular and punctual attendance in all classes and laboratories, day and evening, is required. Students who are absent for any reason should always consult with their instructors.

NOTE: A new program this year, called "Smart Start," requires that if a student has not shown up for class in the first week that the professor drop them from the course.

Course syllabi must provide specific information regarding attendance, including, for courses involving the internet, online activity that constitutes "attendance." Also, both tardiness and early departure from class may be considered forms of absenteeism. In all cases, students will be held responsible for completion of course requirements covered in their absence.

Note from Instructor: Weekly discussions and quizzes will constitute attendance in this online course.

Additionally, it is the student's responsibility to drop a course for nonattendance.

Course instructors establish policy with regard to attendance in their respective syllabi and may drop a student for excessive absences. Absences are considered excessive when more than 12.5 percent of the total contact hours of instruction in a semester, including lecture and lab, are missed. For example, in a three-credit-hour lecture class, students may be dropped after more than six contact hours of absences. In a four-credit-hour lecture/lab class, students may be dropped after more than eight contact hours of absences. Absences are counted regardless of whether they occur consecutively.

In special programs with additional accreditation or certification standards, additional attendance requirements may be enforced but faculty must clearly explain these policies in their syllabi.

Note from Instructor: Any grade less than C is not applicable toward the LTA completion certificate.

Students who stop attending class for any reason should contact the instructor and the college registrar to officially withdraw from the class. Students may be required to consult with an advisor or designee before dropping. Failure to officially withdraw may result in a failing grade for the course. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw officially from a class by submitting a completed Withdrawal Form to the Admissions and Records Office.

B. Other information such as Student Code of Conduct, Children on Campus Policy, Computer Usage, Grievance Policies, Emergency Student Contact Policy, Equal Opportunity, and Plagiarism/Scholastic Dishonesty for which students are responsible can be located in the "Student Responsibility and Regulations" section in the college's eCatalog located through the home webpage.

Student Responsibilities

Students are expected to read the weekly materials, take the weekly quizzes, participate in the class discussions and other communications, all in a timely manner--in the week specified. Students should immediately inform the instructor if they are ill or otherwise incapacitated. Adjustments can be made if I know what's happening.

In addition, students are to look up any words they encounter and do not understand in the dictionary and begin developing a professional vocabulary. (I suggest you get a blank notebook for vocabulary and carry it everywhere with you.) They should also use the tools and links provided, taking careful notes in preparation for the weekly quiz.



Professor Responses & Communications

I normally check this course and grade anything pending on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at a minimum. You can expect answers to your emails and Discussions questions accordingly. If technical difficulties or other stresses to the class arise, I will check on things much more frequently. If you have a need, please contact me at or call me at 210-561-7905.

Most questions you will have, other students in the class will also have. For that reason, I ask that you please ask those questions in the discussions area so that all the other students can see the questions and answers. Some students, in fact, may have better answers than I do. If your question or comment is very personal, then by all means use email.



Disability Access Statement - It is the student's responsibility to self-identify with the appropriate office to receive an evaluation of accommodations and services in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Only those students with appropriate documentation will receive a letter of accommodation from the DSS office. The DSS office will also forward a copy of the letter of accommodation to the student's instructor(s). Instructors are required to follow only those accommodations outlined in the letter of accommodation. For further information, please contact 210-486-3020 or online at Disability Support Services. If you have specific needs, please discuss them with your instructor.


For technical problems call Support Central at 210-486-3777.



The semester for Fall 2014 runs from August 25 through December 13 (16 weeks).

Students please contact Prof. Glass by Monday, Aug. 25th. (email is For all other communications, unless very personal, please use the "Discussions" area in Canvas.

Week 1 Aug. 25-31 Orientation and Introduction to Libraries: Types of information organizations and employers.

Come to the on-campus orientation on Aug. 25th, Monday. The orientation is at 6:00pm in the evening in room 133 of the Ozuna bldg. It will end promptly at 7pm because there is another class scheduled immediately after ours. If not possible to attend, go to Introduction to Libraries. Carefully read the orientation and syllabus which will also be on the quiz (in addition to the reading for week 1). If you are unable to attend the mandatory in-person orientation, please let me know why by email.

Week 2 Sep. 1-7 Role of the LTA

Week 3 Sep. 8-14 Tools and Terminology

Week 4 Sep. 15-21 Automation

Week 5 Sep. 22-28 History of the Book

Week 6 Sep. 29 - Oct. 5 History of Libraries

Week 7 Oct. 6-12 Basic Library Philosophy

Week 8 Oct. 13-19 Critical Thinking and Information Literacy

Week 9 Oct. 20-26 Advanced techniques in reading, writing, speaking, thinking and listening

Week 10 Oct. 27 - Nov. 2 Research Techniques (six online classes) 2 weeks

Week 11 Nov. 3-9 Research Techniques continued

Week 12 Nov. 10-16 Seeking a Job

Week 13 Nov. 17-23 Library Vendors

Week 14 Nov. 24-30 Conflict Resolution

Week 15 Dec. 1-7 Dealing with Change; being the boss; being the employee

Week 16 Dec. 8-13 (Final)



Brief description of each major course requirement, including each major assignment and examination.

Read all weekly unit reading assignments in detail (either online or in Canvas).
Sign in with your BioSig ID.
Take weekly quizzes in Canvas.
Communicate weekly in the Discussions area of Canvas. (Three discussions posts per week are expected for an A.)
Take the final.


Course Assignments and Grading Policies

Course assignments include reading the material under each week, reading the links included, discussing the weekly topic in Discussions, discussing additional topics when given, responding to other students in Discussions, and taking the quizzes and the final.

Grading Policies:

A = 90-100
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
D = 60-69
F = below 60

Any grade below a C for the semester is unacceptable for the program certificate. The course will have to be repeated.

Note that the system will not allow anything other than one-digit grades. Therefore, you may earn an A+ or an A-, but your recorded grade will still be just A. If you are a Continuing Ed. student, I can only give you a pass or fail grade. I regret this, but it is a system limitation.

Semester grade includes:

50% = Adequate communication and involvement with the class (45 "Discussions" expected)
40% = Average of Quizzes
6% = Final
4% = Communications Skills (see Student Communications Skills)

Midterm grade includes:

50% = Adequate communication and involvement with the class (45 "Discussions" expected)
50% = Average of Quizzes

Discussions. Pay particular attention to communications in the Discussions area. I expect at least three entries each week, or a total of 45 for a final grade of A in the 50% accorded to communications. You need not stick to the topic in all three. You can react to other students' posts, or other things relevant to the course or your life. I shall also include additional topics for your consideration and discussion. I shall also include any announcements or important communications in the Discussions area.

Late assignments--which includes class participation and weekly quizzes--will have one point deducted for every day they are late.


Technical Requirements, Downloads

In order to view certain multimedia elements and documents on the Web, you need specific plug-ins. The most popular plug-ins are QuickTime, Real, Flash, Shockwave, and Acrobat Reader, and they are all freely downloadable.

Get QuickTime Player for Apple and MacIntosh machines,

or Get Real Player for PC machines.

Get Acrobat Reader.

Get the Flash Player.

Get Shockwave.

For any technical difficulties, call 210-486-3777. Also, please email me and let me know what is going on.


Students with Disabilities

Disability Support Services or call 210-486-3020 or 210-486-3025. To call using a TTY, dial 711 or 1-800-735-2989



Instructor Vitae Information

Colby Glass, Professor Emeritus

Retired, Spring 2009.

Awarded Professor Emeritus status by the ACC Board shortly thereafter at least in part for the following accomplishments:

Hired in fall of 1989. Promoted to full time tenure track in Spring, 1990. (18 years).

Won the NISOD award in 1994 for team teaching with Ellen Shull in English.

Won a $4 million dollar NEH Challenge Grant in 1994. Was not funded due to federal budget cut backs.

For the first ten years also taught Philosophy as an adjunct (in addition to full time in the library) at PAC.

Developed and maintained the PAC LRC website since 1998 (10 years).

Part of the first group of faculty at PAC to receive Internet Certification to teach online in 1999.

Has taught information literacy since 1992 until now. (16 years)

Was a Summer Fellow at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 1993.

Served as secretary of the Faculty Senate in 1995-6.

Helped develop the Information Research Certificate program in 2000. It later became an Achieving the Dream initiative.

Recipient of the Department of Education Success Grant for Spring, 2002.

In 2003 began developing the Library Technology Assistant program, an Occ/Tech program, which is now a successful online certificate and degree program.

Recipient of the GROW Award for the highest percentage increase of graduates in Palo Alto College for the Library Technology Assistant program in 2007-8.

Served 12 years as chair of the teaching faculty in the LRC: 1997-2008.


Higher Education Institutions Attended and degree(s) earned:

North Texas State University. BA in English and Latin.
Trinity University. ABT for MA in Philosophy
Universtiy of Texas at Austin. MLIS in Library Science.
University of Texas at Austin. ABD for PhD in Higher Education



Married, 2 grown children. A dog (Barney--deceased 8/14/14) and two cats (Molly and Jacob).

My interests, besides library science, are philosophy, the classics, Latin language, Greek language, other ancient languages and philology. My favorite bookstore is The Loeb Classical Bookstore at Harvard University Press.

Amy, Best Dog Ever

Prof. Colby Glass, MLIS