School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 598 Project Management

LIS 598: Project Management
Course Outline

Fall 2015


Instructor: Sonya Betz
2-10U Cameron Library
Office hours
: December 9 & 16, 12:00 – 1:00 pm, or by appointment


Calendar Description:

Create a new summer reading program; conduct a system-wide collection assessment; launch a new institutional repository. Projects are everywhere in libraries and other information environments, and librarians and information professionals often find themselves in the role of accidental project managers for projects of all shapes and sizes. Using established project management strategies can consistently and effectively take a project from an idea to a finished product by helping you define and plan projects, communicate effectively with your team and stakeholders, and track your progress from start to finish.

This course will provide students with an overview of project management as it relates to projects undertaken in today's libraries, archives and information/IT sectors. This course will provide an introduction to project management theory and practice, with an emphasis on the practical skills required to work successfully within a team-based environment 

Course Objectives:

Introduce students to project management concepts and theory, and explore the relevance of PM to library work in a range of settings.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Define a project and describe a basic project management lifecycle.
  2. Discuss the types of projects libraries and information professionals regularly undertake and how project management is used in the contemporary workplace
  3. Define the roles and responsibilities of project teams and describe established project management strategies for working effectively to accomplish goals.
  4. Plan a project from start to finish, applying working knowledge of project planning, execution and post-project assessment.


The topics include: introduction to project management, the project lifecycle, working with project teams, communication, decision-making, risk and evaluation.

Course Outline (Subject to Change)

Friday, December 4, 2015: 6 pm – 9 pm


Overview of project management in organizations

Project management and libraries

The project lifecycle

Project initiation and selection

Discussion: Assignment

Saturday, December 5, 2015: 9 am - 5 pm

Project Planning

●     Defining the project

●     Define and sequence activities

●     Estimating effort, time and cost resources

●     Project teams, roles and responsibilities

●     Communications planning

●     Risk management

Project Execution

Controlling and Monitoring

Guest Speaker: Erika Smith, Assistant Professor & Faculty Development Consultant, Mount Royal University

Sunday, December 6, 2015: 9 am – 12 pm

Project closeout and assessment – The Post Mortem

Guest Speaker: Gordon Bertrand, Associate University Librarian: Information Resources and Scholarly Communication, Wilfrid Laurier University Library

Final thoughts from the field – Q & A

Final assignment review



A combination of lectures, small group discussions, and case studies will be used throughout this course.  Where appropriate, guest lectures and special presentations will also be included.

Course Relationships:

No course prerequisites

Required Texts:

Abbott, J.A.M.  &  Laskowski, M.S. (2014). So many projects, so few resources: Using effective project management in technical services. Collection Management 39 (2-3): 161-176.

Cervone, F. (2007). How Not to Run a Digital Library Project. OCLC Systems & Services 20(4): 162-166. 

Horwath, J. A. (2012). How do we manage? Project management in libraries: An investigation. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 7(1).

Kinkus, J. (2007). Project management skills : A literature review and content analysis of librarian position announcements. College & Research Libraries 68(4): 352-363.

Winston, M.D. & Hoffman, T. (2005).  Project management in libraries. Journal of Library Administration, 42(1): 51-61.


Assignments and Weighting:

Final Assignment: 80%

Create a high-level project plan for a library-related project of the student’s choosing. The project can be real or imagined. Suitable project ideas will be discussed in class. A project plan template will be provided.  Final Assignment is due by midnight on Friday, December 18th.

Participation: 20%

It is expected that students are present, and participate fully in class discussions and activities.


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.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy.

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 Specialized Support and Disability 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.