Southern Miss College of Education & Psychology
School of Library & Information Science

LIS 664: Government Resources and Publications
Online, Spring 2015

Teresa S. Welsh, Ph.D., MLIS
Professor of Library & Information Science
Cook Library, Room 206H
Office hours by appointment
Phone: 601.296.0528 or

This three hour course is a study of local, state, and federal government resources, publications and bibliographic organization.

Virtual online class sessions are scheduled on Wednesday evenings, 8:00 - 9:00pm Central time.

Drop Dates
Last day to withdraw from a full-term course without financial penalty and without professor permission is January 20th.
After January 20th, students must request a withdrawal 'W' from the professor.

Required Text:

Fundamentals of Government Information
by Forte, E.J., et al.
ALA/Neal-Schuman, 2011

Recommended Web Site:

Resources for New Government Information Librarians

Course Objectives
After completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Discuss issues pertaining to public policy on Federal information access and dissemination, including changing user needs, effects of new technologies, retrenchment, and private sector developments

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the history, functions, and purposes of the Government Printing Office, the Superintendent of Documents, and the Depository Library system

  3. Identify and use major publicly and privately produced indexes, catalogs and guides to U.S. government publications, in traditional and e-formats, to access government documents

  4. Identify and use a variety of government documents and related sources to answer specific questions

  5. Identify publications that are generated at each step in the congressional legislative process

  6. Use the SUDOCS classification system to locate desired documents.

Teaching Strategies
Online lecture notes, directed readings, virtual classroom sessions, and discussion board postings will form the basis for the course. Students will retrieve and evaluate information on specific topics from government sources. Students will complete weekly exercises and a report on a specific government agency of their choice.

Weekly Schedule
Subject to Revision

Week 1: Background and History
Forte, et al., Chapter 1: The People's Information

Week 2: Government Docs Librarianship
Forte, et al., Chapter 2

Week 3: Congress/Legislative Branch
Forte, et al., Chapter 3

Week 4: Regulations
Forte, et al., Chapter 4

Week 5: Law/Judicial Branch
Forte, et al. Chapter 5

Week 6: Presidential Documents, Libraries
Forte, et al., Chapter 6

Week 7: Executive Branch
Forte, et al., Chapter 7

Week 8: Statistical Information
Forte, et al., Chapter 8

Week 9: Spring Break

Week 10: Health Information
Forte, et al., Chapter 9

Week 11: Education Information
Forte, et al., Chapter 10

Week 12: STI
Forte, et al., Chapter 11

Week 13: Environment, Energy Information
Forte, et al., Chapter 12

Week 14: Business, Economis, Consumer Information
Forte, et al., Chapter 13

Week 15: Census, GIS
Forte, et al., Chapter 14

Week 16: Historical, Archival Information
Forte, et al., Chapter 15

Course Requirements

  1. Search exercises (5 x 5 points each = 25 points)

  2. Midterm Annotated Bibliography (30 points)

  3. Report on a government agency, its history, administration, and publications (30 points)

  4. Class Participation (15 points)
    • Students are expected to read the online material and required texts in order to participate in virtual classroom discussions and discussion board postings.
    • Students are expected to attend each virtual classroom session for the entire time of the session. All absences from the virtual classroom sessions will be recorded. Points will be deducted from the participation portion of the grade for missed participation in the virtual classroom or failure to post responses to questions or topics on the Discussion Board.



Course Policies

Students are responsible for reading syllabus content and becoming familiar with course policies and procedures.

Students may request, under extraordinary circumstances, an incomplete (I) if the majority of assignments have been successfully completed. A student who receives an incomplete will have only ONE semester in which to complete the work before the I automatically turns into an F.

Students may request a withdrawal (W) from the course. If this is the only class a student is taking then the student must call the USM graduate school to properly withdraw.

If a student commits plagiarism, that student will receive an F in the course. A student may not self-plagiarize or submit work done in another course unless receiving prior permission from the instructor. Any assignment that is self plagiarized without prior permission from the instructor will receive zero points.

Virtual classroom attendance and participation is expected. Participation is a large part of the grade and consists of the virtual classroom participation and discussion.

Students are required to subscribe to listnews, the LIS listserv. Subscribe to lisnews by completing the online form available at

All assignments should be saved in .doc, docx, or .rtf format and posted to the Digital Drop Box. Work not turned in on time will be assessed a penalty of 10% per week without prior approval from the instructor.

Failure to follow specific instructions for content and formatting of assignments will result in lower grades. All work must be in Standard English; inappropriate grammar, punctuation, and/or spelling will result in lower grades.

Academic Code of Conduct

Students are expected to follow the Academic Code of Honor, which is based on academic honesty and mutual respect, and exemplified by the Southern Miss Creed.

Plagiarism is serious. You must give credit for five or more words in a sequence by using quotation marks and indicating the source of the quote, and you must indicate the source of other factual information and ideas. Copying another student's work in part or whole is also plagiarism. Plagiarism in an assignment will result in a failing grade for the assignment.

The following is from the USM Graduate Bulletin ( Plagiarism is scholarly theft and is defined as the unacknowledged use of secondary sources. More specifically, any written or oral presentation in which the writer or speaker does not distinguish clearly between original and borrowed material constitutes plagiarism.

Because students, as scholars, must make frequent use of the concepts and facts developed by others, plagiarism is not the mere use of another's facts and ideas. However, it is plagiarism when students present the work of other scholars as if it were their own work.

Plagiarism is committed in a number of ways: 1) reproducing another author's writing as if it were one's own; 2) paraphrasing another author's work without citing the original; 3) borrowing from another author's ideas, even though those ideas are reworded, without giving credit; [and] 4) copying another author's organization without giving credit.

Plagiarism is a serious offense. An act of plagiarism may lead to a failing grade on the paper and in the course, as well as sanctions that may be imposed by the student judicial system.

Academic Honesty
When cheating is discovered, the faculty member may give the student an F on the work involved or in the course. If further disciplinary action is deemed appropriate, the student should be reported to the Dean of Students. In addition to being a violation of academic honesty, cheating violates the Code of Student Conduct and may be grounds for probation, suspension, and/or expulsion. Students on disciplinary suspension may not enroll in any courses offered by the University of Southern Mississippi.

Disability Statement

If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. Mailing address: 118 College Drive, # 8586; Telephone: 601- 266-5024; TTY: 601-266-6837; FAX: 601-266-6035.

Note: This is an abbreviated version of the course syllabus. The complete syllabus is posted on the Blackboard LIS664 course site.

Web Page Design
Teresa S. Welsh
Updated 10/12/2014