Contact Information

Dr. Paul Marty, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Florida State University

Office: 240 LSB
Office Hours: By appointment

The best way to reach me is by email: I make every effort to respond to emails within 24 hours; if I don't respond within 48 hours, please email me again, as your message might have gotten lost or junked accidentally. Please remember to include "LIS 5203" in the email subject line.

This syllabus is available online at the following URL:

Course Materials

There is one required text for this course:

There will be additional readings each week, all available online through databases to which FSU subscribes or on reserve in Blackboard. These additional readings were selected to introduce you to some of the seminal historical works in this area over the past decades, as well as more recent articles which illustrate current approaches to "information needs, seeking, and behavior research." Reading these articles will help you see how the topics we discuss each week are implemented by scholars and researchers, past and present.

Course Description

This course provides students with an overview that emphasizes the user's perspective in the analysis of information needs and preferences, including the fundamentals necessary for the study and understanding of human information-seeking behaviors of a variety of users and user groups.

Course Objectives

After the completion of this course, students will be able to:

Course Policies

Attendance policy for this course is consistent with Florida State University Policy as stated in the Bulletin. Your regular attendance at class meetings of this course is expected, and you are required to participate in class discussions. All students are expected to abide by this class attendance policy.

If a situation arises where you will not be able to meet a deadline, let me know well in advance! Work submitted late with a reasonable excuse will be accepted if discussed with the instructor before the due date. Do not expect an incomplete for the course without extreme and unforeseen mitigating circumstances.

Accommodations will be made for documented illness, deaths in the immediate family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities in a way that does not penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

You are required to check your official FSU email accounts and the course sites regularly. All emails to the instructor must include a subject line that begins with the number of the course. You try to should set up your email account so that your full name accompanies each email (e.g. I should receive email from John Q. Smith, not from jqs4432). Emails that include neither your full name somewhere in the email nor the course number in the subject line will not receive a response.

University-wide policy requires all students to attend the first class meeting of all classes for which they are registered. Students who do not attend the first class meeting of a course for which they are registered will be dropped from the course by the academic department that offers the course. In order to enforce this policy, instructors are required to take attendance at the first class meeting and report absences to the appropriate person in their department or school/college. For further information, consult the FSU General Bulletin at:

Grading / Evaluation

The most important criteria for grading are timeliness, completeness, and quality. Please get your assignments in on time; please complete all parts of each assignment; and please make every effort to clearly present your thinking at each stage in the process. The effort you put into your assignments is just as important as the final outcome.

Assignments that have not been demonstrably spell-checked, grammar-checked, and proofread for absolute nonsense will not be accepted. Unacceptable assignments will receive a zero, and may be resubmitted at the instructor's discretion. Please note that all of your work for this class must be original.

Percentage weights for each assignment are listed below. Letter grades will be allocated using the following scale: 100-93 = A, 92-90 = A-, 89-87 = B+, 86-83 = B, 82-80 = B-, 79-77 = C+, 76-73 = C, 72-70 = C-, 69-67 = D+, 66-63 = D, 62-60 = D-, 59-0 = F.

Assignments / Responsibilities

Please see the course assignments page at the following URL:

The following list is provided for quick reference:

Papers (50%)

Participation (50%)

Course Content / Outline

Please see the course outline at the following URL:

The following list is provided for quick reference:

Academic Honor Policy

The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of students' academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to ". . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University." (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at

Americans with Disabilities Act

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:

  1. register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and
  2. bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.

This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the

Student Disability Resource Center
874 Traditions Way
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

Syllabus Change Policy

This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.