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Information Studies Minor

Learn more about our Information Studies minor coordinated by University Libraries' faculty.


If you are interested in more details about the Information Studies minor, please contact one of the Research & Instruction Librarians or the University Libraries Dean's Office at 270-809-2291 or

For Students

Consider a minor in Information Studies. This minor is intended to compliment any major. In this minor, we discuss libraries, the Internet, and how people get information. We cover concepts such as net neutrality, information as a human right, propaganda, and censorship. We talk about people like Gutenberg, Edward Snowden, and Aaron Swartz. We discuss what it means to create information, and the protections the creator has in copyright and other types of licensing. There will be courses to look for specialized types of libraries or information needs, such as medical information, scientific information, or information in archives or for children/young adults. 

Hour Requirements

Information Studies Minor - 21 credit hours Total

To graduate at least six (6) hours must be at the 300 level or above

Required Courses:

  1. INF 101,
  2. INF 250

Take Either:

  1. INF 260 or INF 270

One course (3 hours) of restricted electives from the following:

  1. INF 310, INF 320, INF 330, or INF 340.

Three Courses (9 hours) from the following: 

  • COM 260
  • CSC 125
  • ENG 256
  • ENG 353
  • HIS 493
  • INF 261
  • INF 310
  • INF 320
  • INF 330
  • INF 340
  • INF 350
  • INF 380/HIS 380
  • INF 400
  • JMC 168
  • PHI 103 
  • PHI 215


INF 101 - Research in the Information Age: This course explores the activities and issues surrounding the development, gathering, organization, and use of information and resources in a diverse and global community. Students will learn about developing research questions, searching for reliable information sources, and evaluating information for their own needs. Students will examine best practices in information-seeking behavior for various civic, cultural, scholarly, and situational purposes, with specific attention given to the ethics of creating, sharing, and using information, as well as the dynamics of information privilege, in an effort to form a more responsible citizenry.

INF 250 - Advanced Information Gathering: Resources and Strategies: Advanced information gathering techniques to teach students to report, gather, process and transform information. The course will involve seeking sources in libraries, public records, books, magazines, journals, corporate reports, online databases, personal interviews, and internet resources.  

INF 260 - Propaganda, Censorship, and Privacy: This course is a critical analysis of historical, national, and international instances and accusations of propaganda, censorship, and privacy violations.  The course will examine definitions, motives, and consequences of each in a democratic society.  Attention will be given to current and potential public policy on information technology access, net neutrality, corporate and government privacy concerns, and other topics as relevant.  

INF 261 - Media Manipulation, Disinformation Campaigns, and the Role of Images: This course will cultivate an understanding of what vulnerabilities exist within and across our networked media ecosystem, particularly in regard to visual information. In this course, students will analyze current media manipulation tactics and techniques and examine the detrimental effects disinformation campaigns have on democracy, national security, public health, and our everyday lives.

INF 270 - Intellectual Property in the Information Age: This course will explore the purpose and history of intellectual property protections and their effect on the creation and diffusion of creative and scientific works in the information age. During this course, we will look at public policy implications of patents, trademarks, and copyright, and will explore cases and controversies of interest for continuing the creation of information.

INF 310 - Medical Information for Practitioners and Consumers: A course designed for those with a practitioner or consumer interest in the health sciences to explore methods of information retrieval in online health science databases and grey literature, finding and evaluating consumer health medicine for various literacy levels, and learning the process of Evidence-based medicine (EBM) including question building, searching, and critical appraisal of studies.

INF 320 - Examination of Scholarly Communication: This course is designed to critically examine the current and evolving state, models, and trends in scholarly communication in both the sciences and the humanities. In particular, the course will cover how web technology complicates scholarly communication, the importance of rethinking the interface between the research community and the public, models of publishing, and the role of journalism.

INF 330 - History of Libraries and the Written Word: This course is designed to give students a firm understanding of the evolution of the written word and the role of libraries. This class will explore libraries and the written word throughout different eras in history and then intensely focus on the development of the library institution in the United States through the 20th century.  This will help frame conversations about the future of libraries and the written word facing the advent of the Internet, global technology, and the digital revolution. 

INF 340 - Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Storytelling: A course designed for anyone who embraces children’s and young adult literature and storytelling as an essential part of information delivery in the 21st century.  This course will provide an overview of the main authors, illustrators, theories, and awards of children’s and young adult literature and elements and the role of storytelling in the genre.  Students will gain experience in various techniques and digital tools for story creation.

INF 350 - Topical Seminar in Information Studies: A course designed as an elective for the upper-level undergraduate student pursuing a minor in Information Studies. The course will cover selected topics and problems related to information studies. Specific subject matter may vary from semester to semester, according to student and faculty interest. May be repeated for a maximum of six credit hours provided topics vary.  Courses may include: Organization of Information; Gender and Diversity in Information Seeking; Public History; etc.  

INF 380 - Foundations of Public History, Museums, and Archives: This course will serve as an introduction to the foundations of public history and the role public history plays in museums, archives, and special collection libraries. Students will research, design, and build a public history exhibit at a museum, archive, or special collections library. (Same as HIS 380.)

INF 400 - Directed Study: Independent work in the area of information studies to meet the needs and interests of individual students.  May be repeated for a maximum of six credit hours provided topics vary.