Jim Gerland

LIS506 Information Storage and Retrieval

  • Instructor: James R. Gerland, Sr.
  • Time and Place: UBLearns
  • US Mail Drop:
    534 Baldy Hall
    North Campus
    Buffalo NY 14260
  • Email: (The best way to reach me)
  • Office Hours: To be arranged
  • Course Website: UBLearns LIS506 course site.

Show DivCourse Description

This course introduces students to basic computing concepts and information processing/management skills through practice. Topics covered are organized into four units: 1. How computers work, including topics about data presentation, hardware, software, operating system; 2. The networked information environment including topics about computer network technologies, how the Internet works and practical skills on construction of web sites to organize information resources; 3. Common information management tool: Database management systems; 4. Information storage and retrieval; Library System; XML, Web2.0 and library.

The knowledge and skills conveyed in this course will assist students in applying information technology in various information services, and will pave the way for further related LIS courses. For detailed topics covered in this class, please see the class schedule.

Show DivObjectives

The objectives of the course are to have students to:

  • Be familiar with fundamental concepts, techniques and issues in information processing and management.
  • Understand the networked information environment, familiarize themselves with commonly used Internet protocols.
  • Be able to design, construct and evaluate Web-based information resources.
  • Gain practical experience with MS ACCESS and XML language, form a solid IT basic knowledge for further studies in LIS.

Show DivMethodology

This course combines lectures, demonstrations, assignments and lab hands-on exercises in the Computer Lab. Lab exercises will be related to the same or previous week's lecture.

Show DivRequired Resources


DMMT Donít Make Me Think!
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Steve Krug / New Riders / 2005 (2nd Edition) / 216 pages
ISBN-10: 0321344758 | ISBN-13: 978-0321344755
Publication Date: August 28, 2005
Book is required.
Reserved at Lockwood Library.
New Perspectives on Computer Concepts New Perspectives on Computer Concepts - Introductory.
June Parsons and Dan Oja.
Course Technology.
Any version after 2006.
ISBN-10: 1423925173 | ISBN-13: 9781423925170
Book is optional.
Reserved at Lockwood Library.

Optional Textbooks:

  • A book or online tutorial or manual about Dreamweaver CS3. You can find a list through the UB library, for example:
    Bruce, B. (2007). SAMS teach yourself Macromedia Dreamweaver CS3 in 24 hours [electronic resource]. Indianapolis, IN: Sams. (Online version accessible in UB Library)
  • A book or online tutorial or manual about MS ACCESS. For example:
    Palmer, S. (2005). Access for Starters: the missing manual Sebastopol, CA: Reilly (Online version accessible in UB Library).
  • A book or online tutorial about XML. For example:
    W3C School XML tutorial at http://www.w3schools.com/xml/default.asp
  • A computer/Internet dictionary (either printed or online)

Show DivAdditional Readings

Additional readings may be available through the Internet or in the course website.

Show DivCourse Requirements

  • Assignments (45% of final grade):
    There are five assignments for the course. Each assignment will focus on previous week(s) topics. Assignments will be posted electronically through UBLearns ahead of time. Assignments should be handed in at the beginning of class on the due date following the hand-in instruction. Late submissions will be accepted with a penalty of at least one level lower of the grade the assignment would otherwise deserve.
  • Quizzes (20% of the final grade):
    There are two in-class, open-book quizzes.
  • Final Project (30% of final grade):
    This is a group project. Each group should contain 3-4 members. You will develop an informational website around: either a library technology topic, or a real organization, company, program or group. As part of this process, you will conduct a usability test of your initial work and improve your site based on the test results. Other types of projects are possible with permission from the instructor. (More detail will be given in week 3 or week 4.)
  • Class participation (5% of final grade)

Show DivCourse Policies

Academic Integrity: Students are expected to abide by the universityís graduate students Academic Integrity Policies, The Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual. Be honest. Students found to be engaging in plagiarism, cheating, and other types of dishonesty will receive an F grade for the course and their activities will be reported to the proper UB authorities.

Assignments Submission: All assignments should be submitted as specified. Generally, you need to upload your work to your own UBUnix space and post the link to your work in the specified UBLearns discussion board.

Assignment Due Dates: The Course Schedule will list specific due dates for assignments, and reminders will be given in class. In general, late assignments will receive 10 point deduction per day late.

Show DivGrading

Grading scale: Grading is based on a studentís performance on all assignments, lab exercises, class participation and final project. The following will serve as a guideline for your final grade:

Grade Range   Grade Range
A 100 - 95 C+ 79 77
A- 94 - 90 C 76 74
B+ 89 - 87 C- 73 70
B 86 - 84 D 69 60
B- 83 - 80 F 59 0

How to get a good grade: In addition to attending class, completing assignments and taking examinations, students also have the following responsibilities:

  • Read all assigned readings for that day. Stay on top of the required readings. There is a lot of raw information and vocabulary in this class; avoid the frustration of falling behind.
  • Read, understand, and follow the assignment instructions.
  • If you aren't sure what I expect, post a question in the appropriate UBLearns discussion board for clarification. I will answer all questions there so the whole class can benefit -- it is likely others are wondering as well.
  • Make own arrangement to use the computer laboratory outside class time to practice the skills you have learned in classes. This course is not a "three hour a week" commitment. Plan on spending independent time in the computer lab.
  • Technology is an information power tool, but never forget that video games drive much of the computer hardware evolution. Try to find aspects of the material that are genuinely interesting to you