School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 548 Outline

 Library Services to Children and Young Adults


Dr. Joanne de Groot 
skype: joannedegroot

Course Description:

This course will examine the principles and practices of library service to children and young adults, including cultural and educational programs, summer reading programs, outreach to schools, and literature-based and other ongoing programs. Services such as reference, readers’ advisory, and homework help will also be explored. 


By the end of the course, students will have had opportunities

  1. To develop an awareness of the responsibilities of librarians working with children and young adults and working with or supervising staff who also work with children and young adults.
  2. To examine the range of possible library services for children and young adults.
  3. To develop programs that relate to the library and its services to its users.

Course Content may include:

  • The library and the community
  • What are services for children and young adults and why are they important?
  • Goals, policies, and standards for youth services
  • Roles and responsibilities of youth services librarians
  • Facilities
  • Collections & Reader’s Advisory
  • Issues and trends in library service to young people
  • Types of programs for different ages
  • Planning, carrying out, and evaluating programs
  • Outreach: serving and working with schools, day cares, other social agencies
  • Marketing and promotion of library services to children
  • Relationships between school and public libraries

Methods may include:

  • Online discussions
  • Assignments
  • Readings
  • Guest speakers (via elluminate)
  • Individual library visits

Assignments may include:

  • Informal observation and evaluation of virtual and physical library spaces for children or young adults
  • Current events assignment
  • Book Trailer
  • Annual program plan for a children’s or youth services department

Measurable Learning Outcomes:

  • Through the development of a local and global “professional learning network,” students will become aware of current news and trends in youth services and build and learn to maintain ways of keeping up to date with these developments through the skillful use of digital tools to suit their developing personal and professional needs.

                measures           current events assignment
                                        class discussions

  • Working from a thorough understanding of how the affordances and limitations of any given library may foster or constrain youth programming, students will learn how to design, budget for, and plan a sustained program of activities for youth in a public library setting.

                measures           library observation assignment
                                        grant proposal assignment
                                        annual program plan assignment

  • Drawing on the potential of new media to support traditional library practices, students will learn about and get experience with ways to promote reading and literacy in new and meaningful ways that are of interest to young people.

                 measures           book trailer assignment
                                          student leadership of class discussion
                                          current events assignment

Course Expectations:

Students will need to have access to a computer with an Internet connection throughout the course.  A microphone will be necessary to participate in several online meetings that will be scheduled throughout the term using Elluminate.

To complete the course requirements, students are expected to spend a minimum of 15-18 hours per week on course readings, weekly preparation, and discussions.  Assignment preparation may require additional time.

Course Relationships:

Elective course. Prerequisite: LIS 501.

Inclusive Language & Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of equality and respect for all people within the university community, and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds. Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.

Academic Integrity

The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behaviour (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

*Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.