Spring 2024 Course Descriptions


PDF: Full Spring 2024 Course List



LIS 102: Introduction to Computing (campus)
Provides a broad overview of computing at an introductory level, including topics such as security, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Increases understanding of how computers work and how algorithms solve problems. Design and implement creative applications in an introductory coding environment. Provides a broad overview of computing and algorithms without an emphasis on programming.

LIS 201: The Information Society (campus)
Examines important social, legal, and historical contexts of information and information technologies, and explores significant social, legal, and moral questions that surround those technologies.

LIS 202: Informational Divides and Differences in a Multicultural Society (campus)
Explores the impact of and barriers to access to information on the lives of low-income ethnic/racial minority communities in the United States. Provides introduction to contemporary information society from a sociological perspective.

LIS 350: History and Future of Books (campus)
Framed by a question about what books are, what books have been, and what books might be: past, present, and future. It assumes that “book” is a placeholder term for an object that becomes the site of questions and debates about a variety of media, expressions, and recording practices. A goal of the class is to understand the book as an active technology that shapes peoples, perceptions, and cultures rather than serving as a passive receptacle of them. This course will approach the book from a number of perspectives including book history, digital humanities, media studies, and human computer interaction, as well as examining industry-oriented interests such as e-reader manufacturing, book retail, and publishing.

LIS 351: Introduction to Digital Information (online LEC/campus LAB)
Prepares students to use information technologies to solve problems and help people through implementing information infrastructures such as websites, databases and metadata. Students will explore information access, information representation, usability and information policy issues, and increase their understanding of the social impacts and social shaping of information infrastructures.

LIS 407: Data Storytelling with Visualization (campus)
Introduction to data visualization including how and why visualization can be an effective tool for summarizing, analyzing and communicating about data, the limitations and challenges in using data visualizations, including misrepresentation and bias and planning appropriate types of visualization(s) based on source data, audience, and goals. Instruction will include hands-on experience with popular visualization software platforms to develop visualizations and presentations.

LIS 440: Navigating the Data Revolution: Concepts of Data & Information Science (campus)
Provides an introduction into the world of Data Science. Includes hands-on projects using scenarios involving analysis of real-world data and development of graphical visualizations. Introduces statistical tests, data management, data programming, data ethics and visualization of data.

LIS 461: Data and Algorithms: Ethics and Policy (campus)
An introduction to ethical, legal and policy issues related to analytics, “big data” and algorithms to support decision making. Gain familiarity with major debates and controversies in a variety of contexts. Critically analyze course materials and apply moral reasoning and legal concepts to assess case studies and critique arguments made by others.

LIS 464: Applied Database Design (campus)
Introduces the applications of databases to real-world data and information problems. Overview of the principles and practices of user-oriented database design, management, and application. Discussion and practice cover database application lifecycle, data modeling, relational database design, SQL queries, reports and other interfaces to database data, and database documentation.

LIS 470: Interaction Design Studio (campus)
Introduces interaction design, an approach to designing digital information systems that places humans and their needs at the center of the design process. Explores how core principles of design, design processes, cognition, information science and human values inform the design of interactive information systems. Discussion and practice apply the data-driven process of human-centered interaction design to develop new digital products and services.


LIS 500: Code and Power (campus)
Does the Internet flatten the world? How do race, class, gender and other forms of intersectional oppression show up in code? What are the social relationships that structure our Digital Society? Overcoming gaps in information access and participation starts with you. This course combines an introduction to computer scripting with a critical examination of inequality in the contemporary computing industries. Students will increase their computing confidence through interactive hands-on exercises to gain mastery of core scripting concepts applicable to a variety of coding tools (e.g., HTML, PHP, SQL).  At the same time, students will learn to design and assess inclusive computing activities and events through hands-on projects.

LIS 501: Introduction to Text Mining (campus)
This course teaches computational methods and skills to understand text data. We cover popular Natural Language Processing (NLP) concepts & techniques, their text mining applications, and related Python programming examples.

The covered topics include:

  • Working with text data: preprocessing (e.g., tokenization, cleaning, normalization), text parsing and tagging (e.g., part-of-speech tagging, dependency parsing), information extraction (e.g., noun phrases and named entities)
  • Modeling text content: n-grams, language models, distributed representations of texts (such as word embeddings), thesaurus and knowledge bases, text similarity
  • Processing and mining text data: text clustering, topic modeling, text classification, sentiment analysis, sequential tagging, text retrieval, text visualization
  • Applications and societal issues, e.g., social media text analysis, bibliometrics analysis, biases of NLP models

LIS 510: Human Factors in Information Security (online)
Introduction to personal, social, and organizational concepts, skills, and processes related to the information security of individuals and organizations. Preparation to help individuals and organizations enhance their own security and privacy, especially but not exclusively online. Companion course to CS 642 “Introduction to Information Security.” No prior technology or computer-science experience is assumed.

LIS 517: Digital Health (online)
This course is appropriate for current or future information professionals and information providers in diverse settings: medical libraries, public libraries, healthcare organizations, community agencies, middle and high school library media centers, and academic libraries serving students intending careers in the health or allied health professions. It is also for undergraduate or graduate students considering careers in the health or allied health professions, service professions, and the social services, particularly those concerned with information services for the medically underserved and members of racial/ethnic/socioeconomic minority groups. It’s a course for people who want to build more informed websites, search engines, or information systems for health information. Finally, it is for all people who need to navigate the maze of health information as consumers, patients, and caregivers to patients.

COMP SCI/LIS 570: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction (campus)
User-centered software design; (1) principles of and methods for understanding user needs, designing, and prototyping interface solutions, and evaluating their usability, (2) their applications in designing web-based, mobile, and embodied interfaces through month long group projects.

LIS 601: Information: Perspectives and Contexts (online)
Provides an introduction to major themes and topics in information studies as well as the language and literature of the field and related disciplines. This course is about information, information agencies, and being an information professional. We look at social, historical, ethical, legal, and political issues surrounding information dissemination, use, control, and management.

LIS 603: Research and Assessment for Information Professionals (campus or online)
Introduces students to research, evaluation, and assessment practices. Prepares students to design and implement a research or assessment project. Provides an overview of commonly employed data collection methodologies and introduces students to both qualitative and quantitative analysis approaches that may be employed in evaluation, assessment, and research.

LIS 612: User Experience Design 2 (campus or online)
Advanced study of UX design. Introduces processes of ideation, key concepts of visual design, conceptual and interaction design, low and high-resolution prototyping of design techniques. Applications include drafting designs based on user models and initial testing of prototypes.

LIS 620:  Field Project in Library and Information Agencies (online)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to gain professional experience in an information agency. The course consists of a minimum of 120 hours in the agency and participation in an online class, in which students discuss the placements and the application of professional theory to the workplace. Students work with the supervising professional at their hosting site to determine work responsibilities and schedule; student schedules must be flexible enough to accommodate possible weekday, weeknight, and weekend hours. Read more about the Field Practicum.

LIS 629: Multicultural Literature and Resource for Children and Youth (online)
This course focuses on issues of diversity as represented in literature and other media for children and young adults both in US-based and global-based literature. In this class, we will employ a sociocultural approach to consider representation of ethnicities, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation and (dis)ability. A range of critical issues is addressed including authenticity, representation, cultural correctness, reader response and intellectual freedom. Goals are for students to be able to advocate for, promote, and assess multicultural resources; develop a collection; and understand issues related to cultural competence and reader response.

LIS 631: Literature and Resources for Youth (campus)
This course provides a survey of media interests and needs of young adults (media include books, film, television, audio, and various production technologies). The course involves a critical examination of media trends, materials, selection criteria, guidance for individual users, and censorship problems (as they relate to young adults). We cover evaluation, selection, and use of print, digital, and other multimodal resources for youth (ages 13-18). Students will develop an ability to advocate for and promote materials according to various needs of young adults (intellectual, emotional, social, and physical).

LIS 635: Reference and Information Service (campus)
This course introduces the theory and practice of reference and information service. Themes include the history and ethics of information service in libraries, theories of information behavior, the reference interview, and reference and information service design and management. Students will gain familiarity with a wide range of reference resources and strategies.

LIS 640 Topics in Library and Information Studies
Current issues in library and information studies that are not addressed in sufficient depth in existing courses or that combine facets of several existing courses.

LIS 640/001-002 Topic: Tribal Libraries, Archives & Museums (3 credits, campus)
This course provides an overview of, and practical experience with, the history, development, and current issues facing tribal libraries, archives, and museums, with an emphasis on Wisconsin tribal cultural institutions. The course is structured around a combination of classroom discussions and lectures, as well as onsite visits to tribal cultural institutions, and attendance of local events relevant to this course.

LIS 640/004-005 Topic: PLO Assessment and Job Search (session CEE February 5 – March 10, 1 credit, online synchronous)
This course provides an opportunity for structured support to help you complete your e-portfolio, prepare for your job search, and think about both in terms of lifelong learning and career development. We will workshop how to construct a good justification statement for the Program Level Learning Outcomes in class. Topics for career planning/job search include: developing a job search strategy, how to write effective cover letters and resumes, interview prep, and next career stage planning.  Career resources that are available to you now and after you graduate will be referenced. You need to have completed 27 credits to enroll.

LIS 640/006-009 Topic: Power Searching (CEE February 5 – March 10, 1 credit, campus)
This course centers on the search skills and competencies necessary for in-depth literature searching in specialized databases. It is intended for people in any field of study, from the humanities through the sciences, who need to do a “deep dive” into large bodies of scholarly publications. Possible reasons for doing this include (but are not limited to) literature reviews; systematic reviews; dissertations; and books. Students can customize their learning to focus on particular outputs in particular domains.

LIS 640/010-011 Topic: Services to Diverse Populations (3 credits, online)
This class will focus on working with diverse communities in a library setting, exploring such topics as equity of access, cultural competence, and community engagement.  Over the course of the class, students will develop a toolkit on working with a specific community of their choosing, featuring advice, best practices, policies, and resource lists.

LIS 640/012 Description and Arrangement  (3 credits, campus)
Current issues in technologies for information processing and retrieval in libraries and information agencies. This topic covers archival arrangement and description, including Encoded Archival Description.

LIS 640/013-015: Information Economics and Cybersecurity (3 credits, campus)
Modern technology created the Internet, but it also made the Internet a dangerous place full of hackers, viruses, fraud, and disinformation. This course takes a look at some of the major issues around cybersecurity, and looks at them from a holistic, societal perspective.  Bringing in ideas from information economics, computer science, psychology, and criminal justice, we will try to understand who is conducting these attacks, why these attacks keep happening, and how we can try to come up with new policy that will hopefully help reduce their impact in the future.

LIS 640/016-020 Topic: Web Development (3 credits, online)
This course provides a hands-on user experience design (UX) approach to installing, configuring, and adapting open-source content management and web-publishing systems. Students will learn web development best practices and explore some of the open-source tools for creating digital experiences including WordPress, Drupal, and Omeka.

LIS 640/021-024 Stakeholder Management and Communication Strategies (CEE February 5 – March 10, 1 credit, online)
In today’s workplace, perhaps no soft skill is more valuable than effective stakeholder management. This course dives into the critical role stakeholders play in any organization, providing participants with the tools and insights to identify, build and maintain constructive relationships with their key stakeholders. A key part of stakeholder management is communication. Students will learn to engage with stakeholders by becoming proficient in proven communication strategies. These strategies will help foster trust and collaboration while mitigating potential conflicts.

LIS 644:  Digital Tools, Trends, and Debates (online)
This course provides an overview of information and communication technologies and digital media that are currently widely used in society at large, in relationship to cultural heritage organizations, research and education, and information agencies within the context of current controversies surrounding technology use.

The course goals include providing students with:

  • Ability to evaluate, plan and hire for, select, and safely and securely use digital technologies
  • Awareness of the social and legal forces that create digital technologies and technology standards, controversies surrounding their development, use and modification, and the complex relationship between digital technologies and the future of information agencies
  • An understanding that acquiring technical knowledge takes a commitment to life-long learning
  • Development of ethical and principled approaches to technology adoption and education

LIS 646: Introduction to Info Architecture and Interaction Design for the Web (online)
This course provides an overview of the fundamentals of Information Architecture (IA) and User Experience Design (UX), as well as opportunities to use these concepts in practice. The course looks at the ways in which traditional library science skills and knowledge, such as the organizing and classifying of information, and knowledge of the behavior of information seekers, apply to web design. The course also introduces the concepts of web standards, usability and accessibility, project planning, project management, web evaluation, interaction design, and website design as an ongoing, iterative process.

LIS 651: Cataloging and Classification (online)
This course introduces different approaches and systems currently used for organizing library materials. Through lectures, discussions and exercises, students will acquire practical knowledge of rules, standards, and tools used for bibliographic description and control, classification, and subject/content access. Standards/systems that are covered include: RDA, MARC, DDC, LCC, LCSH.

LIS 654: Information Services Management (online)
Survey of concepts and skills necessary to manage in an information services organization. Assignments will both focus on developing practical skills and take a critical look at different philosophies of management and leadership. Areas of coverage include topics such as strategic planning, personnel, collaboration, advocacy, budgeting.

LIS 655: Collection Management (campus)

This course introduces students to the principles and issues involved in developing and managing collections in all types of libraries and information centers. Each student works with a real collection of their choice that fits their career development goals. We explore collection development’s underlying systems, processes, and workflows, all essential to the functioning of the library.

This knowledge will give students the mental models needed to understand the relationships of other library and information concepts to the overall library system.

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the information life cycle, and specifically the role libraries play in that cycle
  • Identify how print and electronic documents are created, published, and acquired by the library. This will include reviewing
    o   The publishing industry
    o   Collection development policies
    o   Challenges to materials, censorship, and filtering
  • Identify core user groups and key characteristics of the information types and genres they require through analysis of user needs, the user base, and the collection
  • Understand, acquire, and critique critical opinions from professional and lay sources useful in the information professions

LIS 661: Information Ethics and Policy (campus)
Overview of modern ethical theories and how they inform information agency policies and practices; examines selected policy issues relating to information and communications; includes topics such as intellectual property, privacy, censorship, equity of access.

LIS 663: Introduction  to Cyberlaw (campus)
This is an introductory course in the law of cyberspace. The emphasis is on critical thinking about a broad variety of legal and policy problems that arise because of ever-changing information and communication technologies.

LIS 668: Digital Curation and Collections (online)
The course introduces core concepts and new developments in digital curation, preservation, and digital libraries. Topics include: digitization; digital collections planning and evaluation; intellectual-property issues; metadata as applied in digital collections; digital collection technologies and workflows; basics of research data management; trusted digital repositories; digital preservation; media archeology.

LIS 705: Introduction to Analytics for Decision Making (campus)
Introduces key stages in the processes of gathering and analyzing data for decision making, including tasks, methods, and tools used at each stage. Topics include developing the research question from organizational goals, choosing appropriate data collection methods, sampling, basics of measurement and question design, managing and visualizing data, descriptive statistics and basic inferential statistics such as correlations, regressions, and ANOVA.

LIS 706: Data Mining Planning and Management (campus)
Prepares students to plan, manage and assess a data mining project in light of organizational strategic goals. Introduces stages of a data mining project, data mining project evaluation frameworks, and principles of data ethics related to data mining. Learn and apply introductory data mining tools and techniques for data clustering, dividing data into classes, making predictions and identifying networks.

LIS 711: Data Management for Information Professionals (campus)
Preparation to effectively and ethically manage, organize and protect the data in organizational settings. Covers major topics of data management addressed by the Certified Data Management Professional certification. Assess, construct and implement workflows, organizational policies and data architecture to improve data quality and security. Learn to clean and organize data for effective retrieval and use. Learn tools and techniques to support data interoperability, and gain understanding of contemporary data management ethical and policy issues.

LIS 722: College and University Libraries (campus)

An overview of contemporary issues impacting libraries located at institutions of higher education spanning community colleges to large research universities.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in the higher education environment in the US:  state funding, for profits, MOOCs, new campus populations and their needs, safety issues, etc.
  • Pressures to provide evidence for student learning or retention and more broadly conveying the mission and value of the library to decision makers on campus
  • The role of libraries in helping researchers manage research data including an overview of federal rules, funder regulations, data management consulting and professional associations that support librarians in this work
  • Library roles in promoting copyright education, open access, institutional repository use, open textbooks, etc.
  • Involving libraries in campus diversity initiatives/efforts and more broadly involving the campus library in the social life of the campus
  • Trends in campus library space use: material storage v. user space; partnering with other campus service groups

LIS 751:  Database Design for Information Professionals (campus)
Principles and practices of database management and database design. Discussion and practice cover database application lifecycle, data modeling, relational database design, SQL queries, reports and other interfaces to database data, and documentation. Big data and No-SQL movement.

LIS 768: Digital Humanities Analytics (campus)
In this course students learn and apply introductory technology skills to analyze and plan data-driven projects in the humanities, social sciences, and other fields. Topics include identifying relevant existing digitized materials, web scraping, text encoding, topic modeling, mapping, social network analysis, and other approaches for collecting, analyzing, and visualizing data. An introduction to Python is a key part of this course, which employs hands-on activities and collaboration with campus researchers to give students the tools they need to explore exciting new approaches to research and outreach using primary sources.

LIS 772:  Library Services to Children and Young Adults (online)
The theory and structure of public library service to children and young people, its function in the community, and techniques of administration. Seminar and field work.

LIS 855 Topics in Information Agency Management
Critical examination of selected management techniques in the areas of materials control, physical plant operations, personnel programs, budget preparation and statistical reporting. May also focus on a particular type of information agency; e.g., data analysis centers, research libraries, or public libraries.

  • LIS 855/001-002 Topic: Genealogy (3 credit, online)
  • LIS 855/003-004 Topic: Budgeting (session AEE January 23 – February 25, 1 credit, online)

LIS 875 Topics in Information Processing and Retrieval

Current issues in technologies for information processing and retrieval in libraries and information agencies.

  • LIS 875/001-003 Topic Trustworthy Machine Learning and Foundation Models (3 credit, campus)
  • LIS 875/006-007 Topic Technical Foundation of Information Science (3 credit, online)

LIS 925: Professional Writing and Reading (PWR) Seminar (campus)
Provides professional development for doctoral-level researchers. Includes presentations by guest speakers and/or faculty members, writing workshops, reflection assignments and student presentations.