School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Government Information

LIS 598 - Government Information: Local, Provincial and Federal

Course Outline:

Winter 2012: February 10, 11, 12

Instructors: Heather Close, Sharna Polard

Calendar Description:

An introduction to reference services, collection management, and classification involved with local, provincial, and federal government information 


Upon completion of the course, a student should be able to:  

  1. Describe the types of government information published by the three levels of government and identify key resources 
  2. Recognize the challenges of reference work with, collection management of and classification of local, provincial, and federal Canadian government information and the methods used to address those challenges 


Lectures, field trip, in-class exercises 

Course Relationships:

Pre-requisites - 501, 502, and 503 

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  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. 

Inclusive Language:

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. 

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



Alberta Legislature Library
216 Legislature Building
10800-97 Ave. NW
Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6  

Legislative Grounds and Parking Map:   

Students should enter the Legislature Building from the north entrance. Please sign in with security and you will be directed to the library, on the main floor, in the south wing of the building.  

Students are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes before class time.  

Friday Evening, February 10: Alberta Legislature Library 

Legislature Library: Introduction to the documents that are the input and output of processes and procedures of the Canadian parliamentary system – with a focus on the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Included will be an overview of expectations and challenges faced by parliamentary reference services.  

Saturday, February 11: University of Alberta SLIS computer lab

An introduction to the organization of the executive branch of the provincial government, the various types of documents published by the provincial and federal government, how to acquire these documents for your library, and the increasing trend to electronic publication.  Depository library programs, federal parliamentary publications, Canadian Research Index, and Statistics Canada resources will also be discussed. 

Sunday Morning, February 12: University of Alberta SLIS computer lab 

Hands on exercises as a follow-up to previous topics and a brief overview of municipal government structure and resources.

Please note:  Throughout the weekend students will have the opportunity to work with resources and material directly, taking part in in-class exercises.

Required Reading:



Students can expect an assignment of reference questions. Marks will be based on students' provision of the correct answer, description of search strategies, and proper bibliographic citation. A component of the final mark will be given for class participation.