School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Principles and Concepts in Technology Management

University of Alberta

October 25-27, 2013

LIS 598: Principles and Concepts in Technology Management



Robert Zylstra, M.Mus, MLIS
Campus Librarian
Centre for the Arts and Communications
MacEwan University

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the theory and practice of library systems administration and management.  The course will focus on information technology management concepts, high-level information technology concepts, assessment and evaluation of technologies, and technology competencies in a library context.

This course is applicable to both the technology savvy and the less technically inclined.  The less technically inclined will increase their capacity to discuss technical needs with library professionals.  Likewise, the technology savvy student will discover ways to translate technology needs for administrators.

*Objectives: by the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand and apply concepts of “system administration” as it applies in libraries.
  • Discuss and articulate current issues of technology as they apply to libraries.
  • Select and evaluate technology (products and vendors) in a library setting.
  • Creatively apply current technologies to core library services.
  • Understand, support and/or contribute to innovation in library service delivery.

Methods: A combination of pre-reading, lectures, and in-class discussion of practical experiences will be used throughout this course.  Guest lecturers and/or special presentations will also be included.

Course Relationships: This course complements concepts discussed in LIS 598 Information Securities and builds on concepts taught in LIS 506.

Marks: There are three components to the marks for LIS students. The final mark assigned will be based on the University’s guidelines regarding grade distribution.

Class Participation (15%):

All students are expected to participate fully in any class activities and discussion. Completion of the pre-assigned readings will help prepare students to participate fully, but is not considered mandatory. Students are encouraged but not required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to class.

Timely Works Assignment: (10%)

The purpose of this assignment is to engage students with recent innovations in technology and their application in libraries.

Students will choose a timely article, blog post, website, interview, video or other popular or academic work on Friday evening.  Students will be given 5 minutes to orally report on their chosen piece on the last day of class.  Student reports must address these questions: What technologies or concepts illustrated in the work can be applied to libraries?  How could these concepts or technologies be applied in a library setting to improve efficiency, quality of service or user expectations?

Presentations will be marked based on:

  • demonstrated understanding of the work (2)
  • fully addressing the above questions (4)
  • clearly expressed opinion on the argument presented in the work (2)
  • clear and articulate delivery (2)


Final Paper (75%): (1500-2000 words) (Due Nov 15, 2013)

  • In this paper students will summarize and reflect on the concepts discussed during the course. This paper must include sections containing the following:
  • your reflections on one of the timely works a classmate read and presented (5)
  • what you learned about the virtual services integration or technology advocacy by listening to one of our guest lecturers (10)
  • your opinion and understanding of ‘user experience’ and how technology in our daily lives influences future directions of the library (10)
  • a description of how you feel about the use of technology in libraries and how your thoughts have changed, expanded or been confirmed as a result of this course (40)
  • clarity, grammar and spelling (10)

Assignment Formatting

  •  This assignment must be submitted electronically in .doc or .docx file format. 
  • Please use a standard font, Times New Roman, Arial, etc.
  • Citations must be in a consistent style 

Class Timetable:

*This timetable is subject to change




Delivery Method


Introductory Remarks






What is Technology Management?



Personal Technology Statement






Personal Technology Statement

discussion, activity


Discovery, Access and the User Experience

lecture, discussion


Next class instruction









Welcome and Review



Product Selection and Review

lecture, discussion


Technology in Library Consortia






Guest Speakers: Wendy Sears Ilnicki and Stephanie Thero

Topic: Mashup! Customizing Collection Development



presentation followup

discussion, questions





Managing IT Staff

lecture, discussion


System Administration

lecture, discussion



lecture, discussion



lecture, discussion


Guest Speaker: Eva Revitt

Topic: Technology Advocacy




lecture, discussion


review + preparations for next class









Welcome and Review




lecture, discussion


Mobile Computing

lecture, discussion, activity





Timely Works Assignment

class presentations


Final Remarks



Required Reading

McGeary, Timothy M. (2011) “Applying Lessons from 8 Things we Hate About IT to Libraries.” Code[4]Lib 13.

Schmidt, A. "The User Experience: Services Before Content." Library Journal 135.12 (2010): 22-3. Web.

"The Web is Dead. Long Live the Internet." Wired 18.9 (2010): 118-1. Web.


Recommended Reading

Casalo, Luis V., Carlos Flavian, and Miguel Guinaliu. "Generating Trust and Satisfaction in E-Services: The Impact of Usability on Consumer Behavior." Journal of Relationship Marketing 9.4 (2010): 247. Web.

Dolinšek, Slavko, and Peter Štrukelj. “Technology, Wealth and Modern Management of Technology.” Managing Global Transitions: International Research Journal 10.1 (2012): 29–49. Web.

Fried, Jason. “Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work.” TED, Nov. 2010. Web. 14 July 2012.

"Introduction." Library Technology Reports 45.8 (2009): 5-14. Web.

Kahney, Leander. “John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview Transcript.” Cult of Mac. Web. 6 June 2012.

Pace, Andrew. “21st Century Library Systems.” Journal of Library Administration 49.6 (2009): 641–650. Web.

Schmidt, A. "The Benefits of Less." Library Journal 136.1 (2011): 22-24. Web.

Walker, Cecily. "A User Experience Primer." Feliciter 56.5 (2010): 195. Web.


*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 & 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.

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


Class Participation - 15%

Timely Works Assignment - 10%

Final Assignment - 75%


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