You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Chapter 3: Role of Libraries in Distance Learning’ category.


2009

Blake, Lindsay. “On Campus or Out of Town: How Publishing Online Tutorials Can Help Your Patrons.” Computers in Libraries 29, no. 4 (April 2009): 11-13, 31.
This short article provides a high-level overview and useful tips for creating screencasts, or screen-capture tutorials, for demonstrating database search techniques from a distance or providing supplemental help for face-to-face classes. The author outlines a process for creating an online tutorial, providing useful step-by-step tips and suggestions. The article concludes with an overview of student reactions to tutorials created by the author.  B. Fagerheim

Chen, Hsin-Liang and James Patrick Williams. “Use of Multi-Modal Media and Tools in an Online Information Literacy Course: College Students´ Attitudes and Perceptions.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 35, no. 1 (January 2009): 14-24.
This study explores the relationship between student characteristics, successful use of multi-modal media and tools, and student satisfaction with a course.  Subjects were 150 students in an online information literacy and technology course taught at the University of Texas.  The course utilized a variety of synchronous and asynchronous materials and tools, including a course website, five scheduled live webcasts, chat in text based chatrooms, group chat using voice over IP (Skype), and outside readings.  Students were surveyed online at seven points in the course: at the beginning, after each of the webcast sessions, and at the end.  The investigators used multiple regression to identify related predictive and dependent variables.  Among the results:  Self rating at the beginning of the course as having better computer skills and as being a more frequent user of instant messaging was associated with being more likely to rate the course as likely to be better than a regular classroom course.  A higher quality experience with the technical components of each module and the ability to follow each webcast, were both associated with higher satisfaction.  Perceived convenience of the online format and amount of instant messaging were both positively related to the likelihood students would recommend the course and to the likelihood they would take additional web-based courses.  H. Chambers

Demczuk, Lisa, Tania Gottschalk, and Judith Littleford. “Introducing Information Literacy into Anesthesia Curricula.” Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia = Journal canadien d’anesthésie 56, no. 4 (April 2009): 327-35.
The partnership between the Department of Anesthesia at the University of Manitoba and their Health Sciences Libraries to develop information literacy learning sessions for integration into the curriculum for the Manitoba Anesthesia Clinical Assistant Program is discussed. ACRL information literacy competency standards are considered in addition to PubMed searching competencies.  N. Sypniewski

Figa, Elizabeth and Tonda Bone. “Librarian on Board!” Texas Library Journal 85, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 14, 16, 18-19.
The University of North Texas Libraries´ ´Librarian in the Classroom´ (LITC) is presented. The program, started in 2005, provides a subject specialist librarian for each online course. Students get personalized service from a specific person who is well-versed in the course content. Overall, students have reacted favorably to LITC. Both faculty and librarians like the program as well because the collaborative effort has made it easy to maintain.  N. Sypniewski

Gopakumar, V. and A. Baradol. “Assuring Quality in Distance Education for Library and Information Science: The Role of the Library.” Library Philosophy and Practice 11, no. 1 (2009): 1-6.
Many libraries in India have implemented correspondence courses where course materials are mailed to students. Library and information services supporting these courses are almost non-existent except for materials available within regional study centers. In this paper, the authors make a claim for equal services to off campus students based upon World Wide Web platform applications. Within Indian libraries, the library website is viewed as an initial service point and the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) is viewed as the electronic version of the library card catalog. Many articles are now available in electronic format within article databases available on the library website, and those articles not available electronically may be requested via document delivery services and emailed to the students. Printed books may be requested online and are available for pickup and return at the regional study centers. The authors allow that basic reference services are available via email, although the traditional reference interview is not possible via email. Overall, the authors note the provision of library and information services to students via the World Wide Web may increase the quality of correspondence courses for students in India.  E. Blankenship

Patkar, Vivek. “E-Learning: Liberation of Education and Training with Evolving Library and Technology Support.” DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology 29, no. 1 (January 2009): 14-22.
Bringing modern education to remote parts of India is the author’s framework for considering the evolution of the modern library in response to e-learning. The impacts of e-learning on all parties — learner, teacher, and library — are discussed and compared to the needs of individuals in today’s self-service oriented society.  N. Sypniewski

Schutt, Michelle A. and Barbara Hightower. “Enhancing RN-to-BSN Students´ Information Literacy Skills Through the Use of Instructional Technology.” Journal of Nursing Education 48, no. 2 (February 2009): 101-105.  
Collaborative efforts between course faculty and the library instruction coordinator at Auburn University Montgomery led to the design of a Horizon Wimba Live Classroom library database instructional module for the development of basic searching techniques for 30 nontraditional students in the Computers in Nursing course in their RN-to-BSN Educational Advancement for Registered Nurses (EARN) program. Students entered the program with an average of five years of nursing experience and most commuted from outside a 60 mile radius, necessitating courses heavily augmented with WebCT and Blackboard online course management systems and computer-based assignments. In addition to learning CINAHL Plus, students were introduced to Academic Search Premier, accessible through Alabama Virtual Library at their public libraries, as they would lose access to CINAHL upon graduation. Alabama Virtual Library offers Alabama residents free access to a selection of health sciences and multidisciplinary databases at no charge. Horizon Wimba Live Classroom enabled the librarian to go beyond the single traditional library instruction session. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive in response to a follow-up teaching assessment survey. The librarian recognized that the learning process had been mutual and gained insight into students’ thought processes as they approached database searches.  H. Gover

Smith, Marshall S. “Opening Education.” Science 323 (5910): (January 2, 2009): 89-93.
In the last several years, open educational resources (OER) have transformed ways of teaching and learning around the world. The OpenCourseWare project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University stand as models of such efforts. Although technical, legal, and political challenges remain, growing networks of educators and government officials grasp the value of such materials to the enhancement of education in both developed and developing countries. Easily adapted to local situations and learning environments, OER, if they can remain effective and sustainable, will reach their potential to bring knowledge to millions. Further research on OER is needed.  M. Schumacher

Tao, Donghua, Patrick G. McCarthy, Mary M. Krieger, and Annie B. Webb. “The Mobile Reference Service: A Case Study of an Onsite Reference Service Program at the School of Public Health.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 97, no. 1 (January 2009): 34-40.
The Medical Center Library at Saint Louis University implemented the Mobile Reference Service to deliver reference services at the university’s School of Public Health, which is located further from the library than any other program on the main campus. The service involved staffing an area in the student organization’s office for two hours per week. Librarians took several steps to notify students and faculty about the service, and public health users were allowed to sign up in advance for appointments.  The Mobile Reference Service recorded 57 reference transactions over a 25 week period. The authors emphasize that the program increased reference interactions with faculty and students in the School of Public Health and resulted in a stronger relationship between the school and the library. The authors list technical support at a distance, service promotion, and maintaining relationships with users as challenges to developing and maintaining a successful program.  M. Sylvain

Tripathi, Manorama and V.K.J. Jeevan. “Quality Assurance in Distance Learning Libraries.” Quality Assurance in Education: An International Perspective 17, no. 1 (2009): 45-60.
The authors contend that the Open Distance Learning (ODL) System must provide access to library services and resources for student success. After discussing the definition and meaning of “quality assurance,” the authors examine the necessity for quality assurance when it comes to ODL. The paper includes a review of the literature on the topic and suggestions for library services based on recommendations of library and educational organizations.  A comparison of ODL library services at 3 institutions: Hong Kong Open University, UK Open University, and Canada’s Athabasca University, are given.  M. Powers


2008

Anderson, R.P., S.P. Wilson, F. Yeh, B. Phillips, and M.B. Livingston. “Topics and Features of Academic Medical Library Tutorials.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 27, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 406-18.
In February and March of 2008, a team of librarians at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Library surveyed 126 academic medical library web sites to determine the status of available online tutorials compared to the year before.  Variations and developments in tutorial design and subject matter were measured.  The team’s findings indicate that medical libraries are providing more tutorials on database searching, catalog usage, and accessing e-journals.  These tutorials are created both internally (most commonly via HTML editors) and externally by vendors.  The tutorials that were most commonly linked to from library web pages were the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed tutorial and Thomson Scientific’s Web of Science tutorial.  K. Pickett

Block, Judy. “Distance Education Library Services Assessment.” E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 9, no. 3 (Winter 2008).
This paper reports the process and results of a series of assessment methodologies used by the Distance Learning Librarian at Eastern Michigan University. The author outlines the role of assessment in distance librarianship, explains the application of authentic assessment within a distance education program, and outlines a process of assessing students’ information literacy skills at a selection of regional campuses. The paper outlines the methods by which the author assesses the services and skills of distance students, including a web-based questionnaire, web-based survey, and a survey distributed in person at a selection of regional campuses. The paper also details the results of surveys distributed at regional campuses.  B. Fagerheim

Braceros, Charity S. and Tina S. Ching. “Hiring (or Not) the Distance Grad.” AALL Spectrum 12, no. 5 (March 2008): 24-5, 33.
In order to determine if obtaining an MLS/MLIS through a distance education program has a significant impact on a law librarian´s career, the authors sent a SurveyMonkey link to several online law discussion lists. Only four percent of those surveyed said they would not hire/interview a distance education graduate. Important qualities that respondents highlighted include practical library experience and knowledge and comfort with technology.  N. Sypniewski

Coleman, Brenda Weeks. Keeping the Faith: The Public Library’s Commitment to Adult Education, 1950-2006. Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations and Theses, 2008. (AAT 3326698)
The author conducted an historical literature review to examine the extent to which the conception and implementation of the public library’s educational commitment to adults changed between 1950 and 2006. The author also examined the influences exerted upon this educational commitment by internal and external forces such as philanthropic organizations, the federal government, the American Library Association, non-traditional education movements, and variations in public library ideology. Citing several hundred sources including books, monographs, journal articles, research reports, government documents, conference proceedings, and other resources from the literature of librarianship and adult education, this historical investigation shows how the public library continues its commitment to formally adopted literacy and lifelong learning programs as key components of its functionality, despite changes in institutional emphases, opportunities and challenges offered by the Internet, the movement to merge librarianship and information science into one field, and new public awareness of economic impact upon society.  E. Blankenship

Dempsey, J. V., S. F. Fisher, D.E. Wright, and E. K. Anderton. “Training and Support, Obstacles, and Library Impacts on eLearning Activities.” College Student Journal 42, no. 2 (June 2008 pt B): 630-636.
This empirical study examined the training and support needs and the learning and teaching obstacles of students and faculty at a Southern public university as they related to e-learning. It also examined the role of libraries in the e-learning experience. A survey of 140 faculty and 707 students found that technical training for faculty was important, and that time constraints limited their ability to develop courses.  Students felt they needed more instruction in research skills. Most interestingly, students taking traditional classroom courses used online library resources considerably more than those taking totally online classes.  M. Schumacher

Kontos, Fotini and Harold Henkel. “Live Instruction for Distance Students: Development of Synchronous Online Workshops.” Public Services Quarterly 4, no.1, (2008): 1-14.
The authors examine the Regent University Library’s effort to teach its Information Research and Resources classes to both local and distance students via the Blackboard course management software platform. Along with Blackboard, the University and the University library use Horizon’s Wimba Live Classroom to make the classes interactive through features such as polls, questionnaires, supporting chat, and desktop sharing. The library believes the success of Wimba is based on the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning instruction sessions for faculty on use of the technology. The library has also provided numerous successful workshops on the use of Live Classroom. Most importantly, the library views the “guest librarian” program in Blackboard to be an especially engaging feature as library liaisons spend 30-60 minutes (per class) demonstrating library research techniques to students in their online classes before writing projects are due.  E. Blankenship

Lee, Lisa Sandra. “Reference Services for Students Studying by Distance: A Comparative Study of the Attitudes Distance Students Have toward Phone, Email and Chat Reference Services.” New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal 51, no. 1 (October 2008): 6-21.
In order to better understand distance students’ use of, and attitudes toward, various forms of reference services, the library of the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) conducted an e-mail survey of 1500 students. Although only 46 responses were received, the information gathered revealed a lack of knowledge about the chat reference service and some concern about the time that e-mail reference responses can take. The results showed that reference services, particularly chat, need to be marketed more actively, and that although students were generally satisfied with the services, improvements would enhance the library’s interaction with distance students.  M. Schumacher

Morrison, Ruby S. and Mangala Krishnamurthy. “Customized Library Tutorial for Online BSN Students; Library and Nursing Partnership.” Nurse Educator 33, no. 1 (2008): 18-21.
The authors describe collaboration between the University of Alabama Rodgers Library liaison to nursing and their Capstone College of Nursing RN-BSN faculty, to design and introduce library instruction modules into their online RN to BSN program. Many of the students have typically been away from the educational environment for some time and are totally unfamiliar with identification, retrieval, and evaluation of current nursing information sources. Learning to locate, retrieve, and evaluate the quality of information has never been more critical for nurses in practice, as well as those in education and research, especially with the growing emphasis on evidence-based, evidence-informed nursing practice. The resultant nursing tutorial, adapted from one used for their engineering students, has five modules: Web searching, refining searches, Rodgers Library resources, databases, and practicing nurses. Each module is a self-contained instructional unit with user-friendly links that allow the student to move from one segment to another. Initial follow-up surveys indicate positive student experiences with the modules. Additional faculty and librarian interactions with online students resulted from the first year’s use.  H. Gover

Reynolds, Kathryn H. and M. Suzanne Franco. “Education Tutorials: Online Research Tutorial Meets Students´ Needs.” Ohio Media Spectrum 60, no. 1 (Fall 2008): 28-33.
Wright State University Libraries´ (WSUL) web-based tutorial for students in the College of Education and Human Services is discussed as an effective tool for the technologically-unfamiliar distance education student. Tutorials from other schools, including Purdue, Penn State, and the University of Texas, are mentioned. WSUL’s dynamic and regularly-updated resources are also briefly discussed.  N. Sypniewski

Simons, Mary. “Partnerships in Medical Education: An Exploration of Library Service Models for Postgraduate Medicine at Macquarie University.” Australian Academic & Research Libraries 39, no. 3 (September 2008): 171-180.
The article highlights a new type of collaboration between an educational institution and its library. The creation of Australia’s first postgraduate subspecialty medical school at the Macquarie campus, the Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM), was prompted by a reevaluation of this country’s medical sub specialization programs.  A need for clinicians skilled in “competency-based assessment, lifelong learning and teamwork” requires a new approach to education and research, and that is where academic librarians step in. Macquarie University Library works closely with ASAM faculty and students to determine their information needs, and offers a wide range of instruction and services to both on- and off-campus student populations via advanced technology and face-to-face assistance. The new concept of an academic library adopted on Macquarie campus implies an online service space instead of a more traditional physical space. Library liaisons, who are an essential part of the institution-wide education team, work in sync with the interactive wireless educational environment providing necessary support to students at the point of need.  A. Powers

Tella, Adeyinka. “Library Services in an E-Learning Environment.” PNLA Quarterly 72, no 3,  (Spring 2008): 7-9.
Tella begins with a discussion of e-learning as encompassing a variety of possible tools from television to video conferencing. E-learning can be either synchronous or asynchronous or a blend of the two. Learners are often more self-directed and are apt to depend on online resources. Librarians can contribute by integrating their resources and services into this environment.  Services can include virtual reference services, including email or chat, alert services, and even mentoring services for instructors. Librarians should be proactive and involve themselves in the blending of library systems with learning management systems and institutional repositories. If necessary, librarians should be prepared to take on additional training in order to contribute to the e-learning environment.  I. Frank


2007

Ansari, Munira Nasreen. “Librarian as Cybrarian.” Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal 38, no. 2 (June 2007): 24-31.
The article reflects on the changing roles of librarians in the ever-evolving world of technology. As more information is becoming available in digital formats, new challenges and duties for librarians emerge. The major activities of libraries – storing, managing, organizing, and retrieving information – remain the same, but a new concept of a library as an online entity, expanding outside of its physical walls, demands new approaches and skills for librarians. The new digital reality brings about new names for librarians: information professionals, cybrarians, knowledge navigators, etc. Librarians are in charge of a wealth of online information and are responsible for connecting their patrons to it. Reference librarians in particular should adapt to change and acquire the necessary skills to become better searchers in the digital world. The author outlines the personal competencies and traits necessary for information specialists to cope with constant technological change. Library professionals are in need of refresher courses and continuous professional development.  A. Powers

Block, Judy. “Library Anxiety and the Distance Learning Graduate Student: A Case Study of Eastern Michigan University.” MLA Forum 5, no. 3 (June 2007): 6.
The current trend toward adult distance education and continuing education in libraries has shown that students and professionals who return to school after a period of absence are unfamiliar with, have difficulty using, and may be intimidated by new information technologies.  Therefore, these students have unique needs for technology training and must learn new skills if they are to be successful.  Students who once relied on paper indexes and card catalogs must adapt to using electronic catalogs and databases.  Librarians at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) found success with succinct, step-by-step instructions designed specifically for this student population in collaboration with appropriate faculty.  K. Pickett

Cahoy, Ellysa Stern and Leslie Mutinta Moyo. “Faculty Perspectives on E-Learners´ Library Research Needs.” Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning 2, no. 4 (2007): 1-17. doi:10.1300/J192v02no04_01
E-learning is becoming increasingly widespread and sophisticated, enhancing learners’ educational experience with interactive activities, around-the-clock access to electronic resources, collections, and services, including those provided by academic libraries. However, instructors’ opinions and attitudes towards inclusion of libraries in the educational process varies, and there is a legitimate concern that libraries’ role in distance education is overlooked. Libraries can provide successful support to distance students only if their activities are recognized by instructors.  Students will turn to a library’s home page very often only because they are encouraged to do so by their instructors, the main authority in their learning process. To get an insight into the faculty’s perception of usefulness of libraries’ resources and services to distance education students, the authors distributed a survey to faculty involved with the World Campus online distance education program at Penn State University. Respondents were asked about their awareness of library resources, their students’ use of the library, and their experiences and expectations of the library’s resources and services for the e-learning community.  Overall findings show a low level of faculty awareness and support of their library’s resources and services for distance students.  One of the main reasons is instructors’ misconception that the students already possess all the necessary library skills. Another popular response is that instructors provide all the research information needed by their students. Active collaboration with faculty is needed to successfully promote libraries’ role in distance education and to integrate libraries’ resources into the curriculum. To demonstrate their usefulness, libraries can also present statistics of academic success of those students who have attended library instruction and taken advantage of library resources.  A. Powers

Irwin, Kate. “Copyright Law – Librarians Who Teach: Expanding the Distance Education Rights of Libraries by Applying the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002.” Western New England Law Review 29, no. 3 (2007): 875-914.
The Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (TEACH) updated copyright law to ensure that distance educators would be permitted to take advantage of Internet technology in developing online curricula, while protecting the interests of copyright owners. However, TEACH did not specifically include libraries in its provisions, so the degree to which libraries may take advantage of this new act remains unclear. The author explores the possible advantages libraries may have under TEACH, based on a review of the classroom exemption built into the 1976 Copyright Revision Act, the ways in which prior copyright laws were inadequate to deal with recent developments in distance education technology and practices, the legislative remedy, the fair use doctrine and its role in permitting uses by non-owners. A fair use determination may buttress a library’s conclusion that a particular activity would be copyright-permissible under an expanded reading of TEACH. Libraries may place greater confidence in a decision to act, if it is arguably supported both by an expanded TEACH analysis and their fair use analysis. Describes the Classroom Guidelines and other non-legislative guidelines developed cooperatively to guide educators in their use of copyright laws. Argues for the inclusion of mediated library instructional activities in coverage by TEACH, based on public policy, fair use, and consistency in copyright law. The primary issue is whether copyrighted material is provided within a mediated instructional activity.  H. Gover

Johnson, Megan, Louise Ochoa, and Geraldine Purpur. “Virtually Usable: A Test of the Information Gardens.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 33, no. 5 (September 2007): 593-601.
The authors discuss the results of design stage usability testing of an AET Zone three-dimensional desktop virtual reality library, dubbed the Information Gardens and designed by the Distance Learning Library Services team, to provide library use instruction to three graduate programs in the Reich College of Education Leadership and Educational Studies Program at Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. The target audience for the AET Zone was distance education students in the Instructional Technology, Higher Education and Library Science graduate school programs in the Reich College, who typically vary in age from their twenties to their fifties. Because of difficulties in testing distance students, on-campus test subjects who closely matched the demographics of the target audience were chosen. A unique feature of desktop virtual reality is its extensive use of metaphors to represent real world objects and functions. User efficiency is therefore directly dependent on the effectiveness of the metaphorical symbols. Testing revealed varying degrees of user efficiency based upon age and the effectiveness of the design and the metaphors used. A tool that was intended to provide orientation to real world library resources was itself found to benefit from orientation tours to help users and cut down on their frustration. Revisions were made at each stage of initial design testing and further testing and design revisions have since been ongoing.  H. Gover

Needham, Gill and Kay Johnson. “Ethical Issues in Providing Library Services to Distance Learners.” Open Learning 22, no. 2 (June 2007): 117-128.
The authors used library codes of ethics and guidelines for library distance services (established by national library organizations in Canada and the United Kingdom) as a basis for a proposed set of ethical guidelines to govern library support for distance learners. The authors’ guidelines comprise ten “key principles” covering ethical issues, such as an institution’s responsibility to provide library services to distance learners equal to those that on-campus students enjoy, the recognition that distance learners may require different and more personalized service than on-campus users, confidentiality and privacy, intellectual freedom, copyright, professional development for the distance librarian, and so on. The authors examine each key principle from the perspective of their own experience and raise interesting questions unique to distance learning, for example: how to serve students in other countries, when telephone support, book delivery and other services may be compromised by the geographic distance involved. The authors note that such problems must be acknowledged and dealt with, and ethical guidelines for distance services can help librarians frame the discussion and take appropriate action.  R. Miller

Pandya, Niyati P. “Reaching Out to Off-Campus Students via Blackboard: A Consortial Library’s Experience.” E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 8, no.2 (Summer 2007).  http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v08n02/pandya_n01.html 
In a difficult setting for face-to-face library instruction, the librarians at the Universities at Shady Grove (MD) found that using class portals through Blackboard allowed them to reach online students more efficiently and productively. Working with students from several Maryland institutions of  higher education meant that access to online resources became complex and frustrating for students. By embedding links to both resources and guides to doing library research within a framework the students already knew, the author and her colleagues could improve their contact with this population while building collaboration between the library and the teaching faculty.  M. Schumacher

Ralph, Jaya and Sonja Olsen. “Podcasting as an Educational Building Block in Academic Libraries.” Australian Academic & Research Libraries 38, no. 4 (December 2007): 270-279.
In recent years, podcasting has become increasingly important in higher education, to deliver course content to a variety of students with diverse learning styles. Libraries have begun to discover the power of podcasting to disseminate information, whether updates about their services or discussions of research skills. At Curtin University (Perth, Australia), the library has developed podcasts that enhance distance education while reaching the Millennial generation in a mode to which it is accustomed.  The first year’s program, aimed at first-year students, was highly successful and will lead to further development of podcasting programs addressing more advanced topics.  M. Schumacher

Rohland-Heinrich, Nancy and Brian Jensen. “Library Resources: A Critical Component to Online Learning.”  MultiMedia & Internet@Schools 14, no. 2 (2007): 8-12.
Online education, or virtual learning, is becoming increasingly important at the secondary school level. Such education, such as that provided by the National University’s Virtual High School, provides a more intimate setting that enhances student responsibility, while eliminating the distractions of “brick-and-mortar” schools. Library media specialists and librarians can productively collaborate with instructors and administrators to provide access to the rich variety of resources available online, while creating guides to research and other personalized access tools for the variety of students taking advantage of the virtual learning experience.  M. Schumacher

Secker, Jane and Gwyneth Price. “Libraries, Social Software and Distance Learners: Blog It, Tag It, Share It!” New Review of Information Networking 13, no.1 (May 2007): 39-52.
A bit dated now, this paper describes how LASSIE (Libraries and Social Software in Education), launched as a small scale project in March 2007, explores how “social software might enhance the use of library services by distance learners.”  An extensive literature review was done, which highlighted the fact that many libraries grapple with social software and how to explore Web 2.0 technologies in their libraries.  The article gives several examples of how social software is being used in libraries, but certainly developments in 2010 have gone far beyond the basics explored in this article.  The article does include interesting information on how to better support distance learners in the library and information about the library as a “social space.”  R. Newhouse

Wyss, Paul Alan. “Solving the Problem of Promoting Distance Library Services.”  College Student Journal 41, no. 4 (December 2007): 747-754.
Approaching the issue of promoting library services to distance education faculty, a new distance education librarian employed techniques from a variety of business methodologies, including systems thinking, process mapping, team learning, and diffusion of information practices. The author describes how systems thinking guided changes to his promotion efforts and prompted the addition of more personalized methods of promoting library services. The author explains how Process Mapping helped to outline ways that library services could be diffused among many players, and Team Learning Initiatives were used to bring in other librarians to assist in the promotion of distance library services.  B. Fagerheim

Yoshimoto, Keiichi, Yuki Inenaga, and Hiroshi Yamada. “Pedagogy and Andragogy in Higher Education – A Comparison between Germany, the UK and Japan.” European Journal of Education 42, no. 1 (March 2007): 75-98.
Universities are facing strong and frequent demands for accountability from society in Germany, the United Kingdom (UK), and Japan. This article examines the pedagogical approaches that universities in Germany, the UK, and Japan are offering young students vs. mature students (25 and over), and examines how the universities are producing relevant outcomes for both age groups. Reforms of higher education systems have been required of almost all European countries since the Bologna Declaration was signed by the Ministers of Education of 29 European countries in 1999. New pedagogical approaches to education are required as the traditional educational and work organizations are changing from static and bureaucratic to flexible and autonomous. The concept of “andragogy” is introduced where education is learner focused, as compared to pedagogy which is teacher focused. Learner support is now emphasized. Key conclusions drawn from the authors’ research questions include noting mature students appreciate practical, free and independent learning with well developed learning materials. Young students appreciate human contact and frequent communication with teachers, friends, and fellow students. Both groups prefer a disciplinary class setting and out-of-class activities. Last, UK and Japan universities prepare their students for entry into the labor market by developing their generic skills and competencies. In contrast, German universities focus on subject specific skills and proficiencies that are closely aligned to professional job requirements.  E. Blankenship


2006

Doherty, John J. “Reference Interview or Reference Dialogue?” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 11, no. 3 (2006): 97-109.
Draws upon the Northern Arizona University (NAU) asynchronous online reference “Ask A Librarian” service to advocate replacing the traditional reference interview with a user-librarian dialogue. Instead of concentrating on the need to make use of the reference interview, the NAU Ask A Librarian team focused more on issues such as the users and their technology infrastructure and technological skill set. Keeping equality of service from the library to all users no matter their location, resources, or skills was the guiding principle. Instead of assuming that a user does not know what information is needed, the interaction is a dialogue of equals wherein the librarian assumes the more empowering role of partner as opposed to information guru. Instead of asking users to prove the worth of their research or research question, librarians value both the perspectives and experiences of the users, as well as their own, and work from both as a starting point in a reference dialogue. Any new research agenda applied to online reference services should focus less on the process of the reference interview and more on what happens in the development, implementation, and delivery of online reference services.  H. Gover

Fang, Xiaoli S. “Collaborative Role of the Academic Librarian in Distance Learning – Analysis on an Information Literacy Tutorial in WebCT.” E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 7, no. 2 (2006): np.
Reports on a project to expand information literacy instruction through placing their Information Literacy Tutorial into WebCT for students taking online courses at New Jersey City University. The project confirmed the importance of academic librarians’ collaborative role in the distance learning environment. Just making the Tutorial available was not adequate assurance of its use. Maintaining a strong liaison between the library and the distance learning and teaching community is the foundation for collaboration with faculty. Academic librarians should be persistent and assume a more active role to reach online teaching through various channels, such as advanced Webpages, email listservs, WebCT designer meetings, and surveys to promote library resources.  H. Gover

Profeta, Patricia C. Effectiveness of Asynchronous Reference Services for Distance Learning Students within Florida’s Community College System. Proquest Dissertations and Theses 2006. Section 1191, Part 0399 337 pages. PhD dissertation. United States — Florida: Nova Southeastern University, 2006. publication number: AAT 3212018.
Online courses provide a number of benefits to distance students, but questions about the adequacy of distance learning (DL) services remain. Of the services offered by academic libraries, the author examines asynchronous digital reference service (e-mail), and points out existing inadequacies in the assessment of this service and the lack of any guidelines/standards to base it on. To that end, regional accrediting associations provide DL programs with guidelines that call for maintaining equal quality of on- and off-campus courses, accompanied by systematic assessment of these courses. Asynchronous digital reference has a number of advantages for both DL students and librarians. At the same time, this mode of reference lacks visual and audio cues and thus makes communication challenging. Operating in a digital environment requires new sets of skills from librarians and their patrons. The author examined e-mail reference services to DL students at 28 Florida community college libraries, using the following evaluation criteria: accuracy, comprehensiveness, communication technique, timeliness, user satisfaction, and qualitative comments. Among recommendations for improving digital reference are development of a basic training manual for DL librarians and student orientation. Promotion of the service is also named as the next important step.  A. Powers

Ramsay, Karen M. and Jim Kinnie. “The Embedded Librarian.” Library Journal 131, no. 6 (2006): 34-35.
This short article covers several services offered by the authors´ library for distance students and other patrons who do not visit the physical building. In response to the growing number of asynchronous distance education classes at the university, the library advertised an embedded librarian program to faculty, whereby a librarian would be available to interact with students within the course management system. The librarian sends e-mail messages timed to specific assignments and answers individual questions. Also, the library implemented an instant messenger program and created a library blog. The article includes information about how the library reached out to faculty for the embedded librarian program and some ways the library plans to market the blog.  B. Fagerheim

Sheffield, Cindy, Margaret E. Moore, and Julia Shaw-Kokot. “e-Learning Object Portals: A New Resource That Offers New Opportunities for Librarians.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 25, no. 4 (Winter 2006): 65-74.
An emerging type of electronic resource which provides instruction on a wide range of topics in various formats, including images and video, is introduced. E-learning Object Portals, as they are known, can be found in all subject areas, but four specific health care information portals (CORE, HEAL, Merlot, and MedEdPortal) are highlighted here. Brief sketches of each, including mission, access, coverage, size, and attributes, are presented, and the new active role of librarians in technology-based tasks is discussed.  N. Sypniewski

Weaver, Margaret. “Exploring Conceptions of Learning and Teaching Through the Creation of Flexible Learning Spaces: The Learning Gateway – A Case Study.” New Review of Academic Librarianship 12, no. 2 (November 2006): 109-125.
Weaver explores the relationship between physical space of the library building at St Martins College, University of Cumbria and the Learning Gateway – a building designed to exploit the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in support of blended learning and e-learning. The Learning Gateway opened in 2006 and accommodates 500 learners. The physical space along with the included technologies encourages learners to create their own content. The technologies included transcend physical space – mobile devices, wireless networks, etc. The space was set up to encourage collaborative learning and peer support. Architects were asked to consider “interactivity, flexibility, innovation, and institutional pride.” Flexibility was particularly important since it was noted that building would last a lot longer than current technologies. Teams of tutors and other support staff have been set up to facilitate student learning in this technology-intensive environment. Weaver suggests that this has implications for library and information professionals working with students also.  Librarians are well-placed to bridge any gaps between students, tutors, and other support staff.  I. Frank