School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Information Policy

LIS 598: Information Policy

Course Outline
Winter 2016 

Instructor: Michael B. McNally
Phone: (780) 492-3934
Office: 3-03 Rutherford South
Office hours: By appointment

Calendar Description:
An examination of the government policies in Canada that shape the production, transmission, dissemination, storage, access, use and destruction of information.  The course also investigates major and current trends in information policy and the impact of such policies on libraries and other information intensive workplaces.

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

  1. Evince an awareness of the government policies that shape the information lifecycle
  2. Understand and analyze the theories, trends and influences on information policy
  3. Advocate on behalf of librarians, libraries, professional organizations, patrons and the public on information policy issues
  4. Contribute to local, regional and national discussions on information policy 

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

  • By following media coverage and discussion of information policy issues in class, students will be able to identify the current issues in information policy and evaluate how the media covers and mediates information policy issues with a specific emphasis on the role of power relations in information policy.
  • Drawing on class readings, discussions and assignments students will be able to analyze how both publicly and privately ordered information policies affect information workplaces and be able to develop strategies for advocating and engaging in policy discussions.
  • Through readings, discussions and the writing of an essay, students will evaluate various trends and influences in information policy and be able to critically assess how these trends and influences shape policy creation and implementation.


History and scope of information policy; trends and issues in information policy; access to information; privacy; surveillance; copyright; innovation; open government; open data; open access; telecommunications policy; broadcast policy.


  • To be determined

Course Relationships:

Pre-requisite: LIS 501

Required Texts:

Assignments and Weighting:

  • To be determined

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade.

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.

Inclusive Language and Equity:

The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of 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 background. 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 Student Accessibility Services.

Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.

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