School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 International Government and Agency Information

Course Outline

Winter 2010
March 19, 20, 21

Instructor:
Jane Wu

Calendar Description:
An introduction to reference services, collection management, and classification involved with international government and international agency information

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

  1. Describe various aspects, similarities, and differences in gov’t information published by selected countries other than Canada
  2. Identify the challenges of reference work with, collection management of and classification of international government and agency information and the methods used to address those challenges
  3. Discuss the barriers to equitable access to gov’t and international agency information in selected countries, and the human rights and political elements associated with those barriers

Methods:
Lectures, guest speakers, field trips, on-line 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 (online at http://www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca/gfcpolicymanual/content.cfm?ID_page=37633) 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.

Reading List and Course Outline

Reading list:

For any ten of the following acronyms, find the organization they represent and review their websites: 

CIAT   CIMMYT  UN-HABITAT ICLA
UNICRI UNICEF
IWMI IRRI UNEP ILO IMF UNFPA
CIFOR ESCWA IITA WHO UNHCR UNESCO
WB FAO IFAD WFP    
 ECLAC ESCAP ECA      

Course outline:

  1. Working in an international environment, the highs and lows and in-betweens
  2. Your career in an international organization?   Explorations and options.
  3. Access to information – enabling legislation and barriers.  A case study.
  4. Major U.S. and other government information resources. 
  5. Other international organizations -- information resources.
  6. Trends in Government and international libraries and librarianship. 

Assignment for Workshop:LIS 598 INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENT & AGENCY INFORMATION

This Assignment is in two parts.  The first part must be completed before the workshop and students should be ready to present their findings at the workshop.    The second part could be drafted at the same time and is due March 30, 2010 at the latest.  Assignments will be graded on content, presentations and participation. We will also discuss whether a compilation of findings would be a useful tool for participants. PART I Choose an organization from the list below, one per student, on a first-come-first-served basis, and, using its website prepare a presentation (10-15) minutes addressing the following topics:
  • Full name, mandate and structure of the Organization.  Centralized or decentralized.  Major operating locations.
  • Existence, format, frequency and clarity of reports to stakeholders (member countries)
  • Information resources and databases made available by your chosen Organization.  Are they free of charge?  What kinds of questions could they answer?
  • Library mandate and services

Other observations

Students will deliver the presentations at the workshop and a short discussion will follow each presentation.  In lieu of a reading list for this workshop, to stimulate discussion, students are encouraged to review websites of as the other agencies in addition to the one he or she has specifically chosen .  Discuss amongst yourselves to avoid duplication.  Could someone please send me a list with your names, email address and chosen agencies.

LIST of Organizations:
ILO    WHO    UNICRI    IMF    UNHCR    UNICEF    UNFPA   UNESCO    WB    FAO     IFAD    WFP   ECA    ECLAC    ESCAP    ESCWA    UN-HABITAT     UNEP    IITA   ILCA   CIAT   CIMMYT   IWMI    CIFOR     IRRI

PART II

Prepare a two to three page summary in point format of your findings, adding additional information resulting from class discussions and questions.  Due March 30, 2010.  Send to me electronically at janemarywu@yahoo.com