2006

Ramsay, Karen M. and Kinne, Jim.”The Embedded Librarian.” Library Journal 131, no. 6 (2006): 34-45.
Libraries have tried to integrate new technologies to encourage students to come to the library. They have incorporated various enticements such as computer labs, laptop areas, and coffee shops to pull people in. The University of Rhode Island (URI) library is attempting different approaches to reach out, and to serve students remotely. Some librarians, including those at the URI, ask permission from course instructors to join their WebCT courses as a teaching assistants (called embedding in a course), to assist students with course research. URI librarians are also using an outward approach. They have experimented with virtual reference, and are looking into blogs and instant messaging to encourage students who do not come in, to contact the library from wherever they may be. J. Dye.

2005

Cassner, M., & Adams, K. E. “Academic library web sites for distance learners in greater western library alliance member institutions.” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 9, no. 3/4 (2005): 33-42.
In their introduction, the authors methodically define the various electronic communications platforms being used at the time of writing from chat to course management software links. The article works through an inventory of website characteristics created within a regional distance learning consortium. The pages illustrate a wide range of responses to the needs of their learners. Citing Stephen Dew’s recommendations for distance education websites, the authors indirectly imply that many fall short and they seem to recommend an increase in collaboration within the consortium would serve the consortium students better. The method of evaluation could be applied when comparing similar schools as well. M. Horan

2004

Black, Nancy E. “Distance Library Services in Canada: Observations and Overview of Some of the Issues.” New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 4 (2003): 45-62.
Geographically, Canada is the second largest country in the world with a relatively small but richly diverse population that is widely distributed over its five time zones. Since the 1970s, the country has been moving toward a knowledge-based economy which expects that its citizens will be educated and prepared for employment in such a society. Distance librarians play a critical role in the interactive and dynamic distance education learning culture that technology has created. Telelearning tools such as WebCT and Blackboard provide an avenue for collaborative learning for distance learners even if they are separated by large distances. Institutional responsibilities, management issues, and future trends are discussed. A. Lawrence.

Burich, Nancy J. “Providing Leadership for Change in Distance Learning .” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 2 (2004): 31-41.
Because of its reliance on quickly evolving technology, distance learning has accommodated change at a much more rapid pace than is typical in the academy. Required to respond to swift changes in their environment, distance learning librarians are in a position to help lead their libraries and institutions adapt to fundamental changes in higher education. After discussing general definitions and qualities of leaders, the author describes how developing library services for distance learners led to leadership roles at the University of Kansas. Recognizing problems that need to be addressed, taking time to research potential solutions, and devoting energy to implement strategies were highlighted as significant activities for a potential leader. Leadership strategies are highlighted in descriptions of several projects undertaken by the author, including acquiring collections for distance learners, developing electronic reserves, and expanding electronic reference services. In order to help others develop a process and strategy to implement new ideas, the author provides an annotated checklist for initiating and leading change. J Brandt.

Burich, Nancy J. “The Changing Face of Distance Learning: Implications for Distance Learning Librarians.” Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 1 (2004): 99-104.
Changes in technology and in universities are leading to changes in distance learners. As technologies are being adapted to the classroom in new ways, the definition of distance learning is changing. The demographics of the distance learning population are changing. More and more on-campus students are taking courses with online components. It is growing more difficult to discern which students are distance learners and which are not. Librarians should be aware of this, and should realize that services to distance learners are increasingly being integrated into libraries’ mainstream service offerings. In the past, distance learners have been seen as a special group needing separate services. Increasingly, the need to use library resources efficiently and the demographic changes are leading to a rethinking of services to all students. The author believes that distance learning librarians, with their experience with and knowledge of providing services to these special students, are positioned to lead their libraries in creating innovative services incorporating technological changes. J. Marshall.

Frederiksen, Linda. “Beyond the Extended Campus Library: A Brief History of the Distance Learning Section, ACRL.” Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 1 (2004): 45-54.
The Association of College and Research Libraries organized a discussion group in 1981 to bring together librarians working on branch campuses or with extension programs. This group eventually developed into the current Distance Learning Section of ACRL. The author traces this metamorphosis, step by step, as the discussion group became the Extended Campus Library Services Section of ACRL. The renaming and broadening of the focus of the group in 1998 have led to the Distance Learning Section’s current identity as a leader in “promoting the development and delivery of library services for distance learning programs.” Appendixes at the end of the article list all of the chairs of the discussion group and the section, as well as the names of each section program through 2003, and the number of section members each year from 1991 until 2003. J. Marshall.

Kearley, Jamie P., Phillips, Lori. “Embedding Library Reference Services in Online Courses.” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 9, 1/2 (2004): 65-76.
The geographic and demographic features of Wyoming have long ensured that the University of Wyoming (UW) wholeheartedly supports distance education. As a result the university has a robust and effective structure that facilitates embedding library services into distance education courses. This case study describes how UW librarians and discipline faculty collaborate to integrate library services and information literacy instruction into online courses. The authors highlight the School of Nursing to demonstrate how the librarians and the nursing faculty have developed an incremental approach to information literacy instruction. The partnership is successful, but at the same time emphasizes the need for subject-specific online information literacy instruction for the nursing students. As a result the librarians are developing an online tutorial that specifically focuses on nursing resources. Ideas regarding how to adapt library services to the continually changing face of online courses are provided. P. Bealle

Markgraf, Jill S. “Library participation in the online classroom.” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 9, no. 1/2 (2004): 5-19. Published simultaneously in Improving Internet Reference Service to Distance Learners, ed. by William Miller and Rita M. Pellen. New York: Haworth Press, 2004, 5-19.
The author participated in online courses in nursing and business by “lurking” in Blackboard and Desire2Learn classrooms, at first on a par with the students and later with the full access afforded instructors. The advantages of this approach are many. By setting up a library research discussion thread, the librarian can: introduce herself; broadcast messages to all the students at once; permit students to benefit from their peers’ questions; provide point-of-need instruction; follow up with additional information; be aware of the assignments that prompt student questions; observe the faculty member in action and demonstrate what the librarian can contribute; be included in the course evaluation; gather statistical data (e.g. how often students access library postings); and assess learning outcomes by reviewing student work. Although the sample was small, a review of final projects in an MBA course suggested a positive correlation between contact with the librarian and a high grade. There are also disadvantages to the “lurking” approach: violations of student privacy; the need to master different software packages used by different departments; the burden of monitoring another communication tool; increased student demands on the librarian’s time; the potential for miscommunication among professors, instructional technologists, librarians, and others; the large volume of textual information in online courses, which overwhelms students; and unrealistic expectations about the librarian’s availability, speed of response, and degree of assistance. The librarian and faculty member should jointly establish guidelines and limits for the librarian’s participation in the online class. S. Searing

Reiten, Beth A. and Jack Fritts. “The Impact of Distance Learning Library Services Experience on Practitioners’ Career Paths.” In The Eleventh Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Scottsdale, Arizona, May 5 -7, 2004, edited by Patrick B. Mahoney. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2004, 273-281. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 3/4 (2004): 365-374.
Central Michigan University has sponsored the Off-Campus Library Services Conferences every other year for twenty years, and the list of attendees provided the authors with a pool of librarians to survey about careers in distance education. Results indicate that most of the respondees either work in distance education instruction or reference, or library administration, and that many of the respondees in administration were previously involved in distance education. Results seem to support the hypothesis that experiences in distance education have helped librarians move into administrative roles later in their careers. The survey and personal interview questions are included. C. Biles.

2003

Gandhi, Smithi. “Academic Librarians and Distance Education: Challenges and Opportunities.” Reference and User Services Quarterly 43, no. 2 (Winter 2003): 138-154.
The rapid growth in distance education is changing the role of the academic librarian, and this article delineates those changes through a review of the literature. Even as distance education programs proliferate, the author contends, library school curricula pay scant attention to providing library services to distance learners. The author details how the librarian’s role is shifting in areas of reference, access to library collections, e-reserve, copyright, resource-sharing, document delivery, library instruction, faculty awareness, course support, marketing and public relations. Librarians are advised to take on more active roles in working with faculty, students and administrators, and to adapt services to the needs of distance learners. J. Markgraf.

Lorenzo, George. “Distance Education Librarianship Benefits All Students.” Educational Pathways 2, no. 2 (February 15, 2003): 3.
Librarians recognize their responsibilities to deliver services and resources to remote users. Looking at organizational structures, some libraries have designated positions devoted to distance learning library services. However, since both face-to-face and remote users benefit from access to electronic resources, other libraries have integrated new tasks into current job positions. For example library representatives who already have ties with faculty in departments can communicate information about services and resources for distance learners. As institutions develop alternative delivery methods, the library and other units such as financial aid and student advising are changing delivery methods as well. Virtual reference is a good example of the kind of service that libraries need to offer in this new environment. I. Frank.

Watson, Elizabeth F. Developing Library and Information Services for Distance Education. Knowledge Series. Vancouver, BC: Commonwealth of Learning, 2003. Online. Available: http://www.col.org/colweb/site/pid/3131
This guide is part of the Commonwealth of Learning’s Knowledge Series, which publishes discreet guides in various areas of distance education practice and delivery. The author explains that distance education students need libraries and librarians as much as traditional on-campus students do. She then proceeds to outline, in a bulleted format, the numerous factors that make a successful service, starting with establishing guidelines that meet the institution’s mission and programs and also adhere to professional requirements and standards. There is an excellent section on planning distance library services that discusses cost considerations and effective public relations to educate students, administrators, and faculty about the benefits the library offers to distance education students. The author then rounds out the topic by considering the importance of timeliness, quality, and use of a personal touch in document delivery, reference, database searches, and bibliographic and literacy instruction. She also discusses technology, especially in developing countries, and ways to overcome challenges a librarian may face in providing library services to distance students. E. Onega.

2002

Baird, Constance M. and Pat Wilson. “Distance Learning Librarian: Essential Team Member in Distance Learning Design.” In The Tenth Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Cincinnati, Ohio, April 17-19, 2002, edited by Patrick B. Mahoney. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2002, 35-40.
Distance learning librarians are increasingly challenged to participate in the learning process through collaboration with faculty on course development, information literacy, and the migration from the traditional classroom to an electronic environment. The focus of this article is the response to these critical changes at the William T. Young Library of the University of Kentucky. The authors describe the responsibilities and functions of the Distance Learning Technology Center, created in 1998. It is comprised of four separate modules: Distance Learning Programs; Distance Learning Library Services; Distance Learning Networks; and Media Design and Production. Some of the projects and services are detailed, specifically those efforts aimed at information literacy/bibliographic instruction and library resources via various forms of information technology. The key to the success of the University of Kentucky program is the collaborative relationships among distance learning library faculty, the teaching faculty and other information professionals in higher education. M. Thomas.

Burge, Elizabeth J. “Behind-the-Screen Thinking: Key Factors for Librarianship in Distance Education.” In Libraries Without Walls 4: The Delivery of Library Services to Distant Users, edited by Peter Brophy, Shelagh Fisher, and Zoë Clarke. London: Facet Publishing, 2002, 7-15.
The authors outline significant issues and trends in librarianship for distance learning. Libraries are increasing use of the World Wide Web for library instruction, training, services, research and curriculum support to remote learners. Web-based instruction requires a different set of competencies and skills for librarians; therefore, librarians must continue to develop skills formally through library school or professional development via self-directed study or through collaboration with instructional course designers. Highlighted are a number of international research contributions on library services for distance learning. Future trends for distance librarianship emphasize a focus on organization and structure, changing user needs, electronic services, increased collaboration among faculty, librarians, and computing services personnel collaboration, and development and expansion of library cooperation. Professional development, continuing education and training is vital for the provision of quality service to distance learners. Included is an extensive list of references. M. Thomas.

Haynes, Anne. “Distance Learning Library Services: Challenges and Opportunities for an Academic Library System.” Indiana Libraries 21, no. 1 (2002): 6-10.
Standards and models of service for distance education students are set by a number of accrediting and professional organizations. Indiana University – Bloomington (IUB) uses an integrated approach for providing library services to its distance education students where these services are an extension of the services available to students and faculty on campus. There are a number of challenges, and opportunities, associated with providing library services to IUB distance education students. The first challenge is to identify the distance education student and faculty population and this provides the distance education librarian the opportunity to interact with faculty teaching distance education courses. Distance education students often do not use the library services provided for them and this presents an opportunity to publicize and customize library services. Another challenge for IUB is to address the lack of uniform access to electronic resources. In order to keep from being isolated in her position as distance education librarian, the author works to inform her colleagues in the library about distance education library issues and serves on campus committees concerned with distance education. S. Heidenreich.

Jegede, Olugbemiro. “Management, Processing and Distribution of Knowledge in the Emerging Open and Distance Learning Environment.” Keynote paper presented at the AAOU Pre-Conference Seminar on Outreach Library Services for Distance Learners, February 20, 2002, New Delhi, India.
An examination of the changing role of librarians in the open and distance learning (ODL) environment is presented. Factors driving change such as technology, globalisation, financial pressures on educational institutions, and the demand for mass education are discussed. A theoretical overview of knowledge management and its relevance in the ODL environment is given and applied to libraries. How virtual libraries can meet the demands of the new online environment is outlined. The challenges facing new librarians are listed including: proficiency in various technologies, meeting the needs of users who do not have access to the Internet, and enabling students to be information literate. Finally, questions arising from these challenges are posed. J. Wheeler.

Jones, Marie F. “Help! I’m the New Distance Librarian – Where Do I Begin?” In The Tenth Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Cincinnati, Ohio, April 17-19, 2002, edited by Patrick B. Mahoney. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2002, 309-319. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2002): 397-410.
Summarized here are the results of a survey that queried experienced distance education librarians for their advice to librarians new to the field. Twenty-seven respondents, primarily from the U.S. and Canada, offered practical advice for building professional relationships through networking and communicating with faculty, administrators, staff, and other librarians. Proactive efforts such as marketing and publicizing the distance education program are essential, as well as the need for gathering information on the clientele, funding sources and documenting the program’s value and viability on campus. The author emphasizes the importance of establishing boundaries, building relationships, and being prepared and flexible in the face of change. An appendix summarizing the respondents’ comments is included. M. Thomas.

Oladokun, Olugbade S. “The Practice of Distance Librarianship in Africa.” Library Review 51, no. 6 (2002): 293-300.
The paper describes the inadequacy of education inherited in the continent of Africa at independence, and the desire of various governments to improve educationally the lot of people living there. This gave birth to the obvious option of distance learning. Unfortunately, the economic downturn affected appropriate funding of education and the provision of resources, including library resources. The result is that, except for a handful of university libraries, library support service is almost non-existent. The author talks about some of the universities in Africa where a distance learning mode has been adopted and concludes with some suggestions on what could be done to alleviate the problems of distance learners in the continent. F. Devlin.

Stover, Mark. “Marginally Good: Online Distance Education and Library Service in an Unaccredited Religious College.” Journal of Religious and Theological Information 5, no. 2 (2002): 51-64.
The author presents his personal experience as an online librarian at an essentially unaccredited theological college. He was hired at Eastern Bible College (EBC), a pseudonym, for ten hours per week in 1995. The College did not fund a physical library or collection so the author worked out of his house, using online resources and his personal library. He supplemented his resources by visiting nearby liberal arts and theological seminary college libraries. He believes that many of the activities he performed as an online librarian such as preparing online guides, chat room assistance, and answering e-mail and phone reference questions still play a substantial role in working with distance students. The College was not pursuing regional accreditation or, even, accreditation from a body oriented to religious studies. This administrative decision hampered his efforts to enlarge his collection of resources and to pursue agreements for library use at college libraries near the home of the distance students. The author learned from his experience that a librarian and substantive information resources are an absolutely vital link in the educational process. E. Onega.

2001

Coffman, Steve. “Distance Education and Virtual Reference: Where Are We Headed?” Computers in Libraries 21, no. 4 (April 2001): 20-25.
The author recalls the traditional university classroom of the “old days,” introduces the radical changes that have taken place in distance education over recent years, then offers some solutions and technological advances in enhanced virtual reference service and distance librarianship. Courseware, e-mail reference, and live chat have certain limitations when used to provide satisfactory remote reference services. Solutions suggested are web-based contact centers software, Voip (Voice over Internet Protocol), and knowledgebases. Each virtual reference model holds promise, yet needs further development for maximum efficiency. Coffman speculates that expanded virtual collections and enhanced virtual reference in the future will eventually affect the role of the physical library, diminishing the need for librarians to staff the reference desk within the confines library building. M. Thomas.

Onega, Esther and Dave Beagle. “Distance Education Librarians: The View From Charlottesville and Blacksburg.” Virginia Libraries 47, no. 1 (January/February/March 2001): 24-25.
Two brief commentaries describe the perceptions of the work of two distance education professionals at Virginia university libraries. The coordinator of distance education at the University of Virginia emphasizes her valuable services through personal, establishing direct relationships with the students and faculty at any one of eight regional graduate centers located around the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, the coordinator works closely with colleagues at the regional centers to help maintain contact with students and adjunct faculty and to advocate for their needs. The distance education librarian at Virginia Tech also describes his role as “person of first and last resort”, providing one-on-one assistance to remote students at the university’s four graduate centers, primarily through e-mail, long distance phone calls and contact via the web site. M. Thomas.

Pace, Andrew K. “Distance Learning Service: It’s Closer Than You Think.” Computers in Libraries 21, no. 4 (April 2001): 49-51.
The author suggests that the new label, “distance learning services,” illustrates an instance in which the library has “come full circle,” as it offers essential and convenient services that benefit the on-campus user, as well. Enrollment numbers in distance education programs steadily rise, but it appears that fewer users on-campus are actually entering the academic library building, which may ironically be due to the effects of the demand for enhanced services brought about by the development of programs intended for the remote user’s benefit. Described in this article are technological developments in distance learning services, with emphasis on the initiatives at North Carolina State University Library. M. Thomas.

Watson, Elizabeth F. “Distance Librarianship in Small States: What are the Challenges?” In Distance Education in Small States, July 27-28, 2000, Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Conference Proceedings. Distance Education Centre, University of the West Indies, 2001, 172-183.
Similarities between challenges faced by small states (countries) and distance education are presented. Small states are those with a “composite and appropriately weighted index of population, national output and geographic area.” A search of the literature reveals no citations examining the impact of smallness on either librarianship or distance librarianship. Because most small countries lack a comprehensive university, distance education is an attractive opportunity. “Remoteness, isolation, learning at one’s pace and in one’s domicile are factors peculiar to distance education and smallness.” Librarianship in small states is adversely impacted by economic, demographic, spatial, socio-cultural, and technological factors. The impact of smallness on distance librarianship in particular is examined with an eye towards demographic challenges. Distance students in small countries are likely to be enrolled at several different non-national institutions, making for class sizes of one, but many “classes”. Distance students in small countries are isolated, reducing their opportunity for networking. They are often economically challenged, and usually lack access to even remotely current technology. Only through further analysis of the challenges of distance librarianship in small states can guidelines for librarianship and distance librarianship in small states be developed. These guidelines will be helpful in benchmarking activities. P. Pival.

2000

Burge, Elizabeth J. and Judith E. Snow. “Candles, Corks and Contracts: Essential Relationships Between Learners and Librarians.” New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 1 (2000): 19-34.
The relationships or contracts between the traditional librarian and the adult learner are outlined in terms of four key factors: technology adoption, learner demographics, constructive learning and institutional pressures. Recent developments in information technology appeal to the “contemporary” adult learner, who has come to expect convenience, self-service, and quick access to information via search engines and Internet resources. The librarian should serve as a learner-centered facilitator in the integration of information literacy skills in the learning process. The authors argue that librarians should take a proactive stance in the promotion of relevant, competitive services, and valuable services, despite institutional pressures and administrators’ perceptions that the traditional librarian has become passé. Listing a number of practical strategies, the authors challenge librarians to be visible, integrated, and essential leaders within the academic community. M. Thomas.

Ellison, John W. “Distance Learning for Today’s Librarian.” Library Review 49, no. 5 (2000): 240-242.
Depending on the instructor and learner needs, the delivery of distance education may take place through a variety of formats or combinations of formats, synchronous or asynchronous. The author cites some examples of the methods, including live television, ISDN broadcast to several locations, WebBulletin Board, CD-Rom, and more. Libraries of the institutions responsible providing the courses must ensure support through provision of resources to distance learners. The ways in which libraries do things have changed and the author indicates that it is essential that librarians be adequately prepared in all aspects in meeting the needs of the distance learner. This may be done through library school coursework, taking advantage of staff development and continuing education opportunities, and even realizing the needs of the distance learner first-hand by enrolling in a course as distance learner. M. Thomas.

Gupta, Dinesh K. “Librarians’ Changing Role in Distance Education: Need for Training.” In The Ninth Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Portland, Oregon, April 26 -28, 2000, compiled by P. Steven Thomas. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2000, 151-155. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 225-231.
Recent advances in technology have influenced the trend in higher education to shift from an instruction-centered to a learner-centered model. The new trends and opportunities in distance and open learning reaffirm this shift. Library and information professionals are therefore compelled to examine their role as facilitators in the effective support, motivation, and assistance to the new clientele in the new environment. The author asserts that there is a need for training at library schools, electronic resources, and other technology in order to be prepared to provide timely and appropriate services to the library user. Such training may take the form of formal training at LIS schools and continuing education, both at the university level and at the national level. M. Thomas.

Hoerman, Heidi Lee and Kevin A. Furniss. “Education for Provision of Library Services to Distance Learners: The Role of the LIS Schools.” In The Ninth Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Portland, Oregon, April 26 -28, 2000, compiled by P. Steven Thomas. Mount Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2000, 167-173. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 247-257.
A 1995 National Center for Educational Statistics survey reveals a steady increase in the numbers of distance education programs, which means an increased demand for provision of services to the distance learner. Not until recently have LIS programs included distance education courses as part of the curriculum. It is ironic that only a few years ago, a library science student could earn a masters degree remotely through distance education program without having taken any courses in providing distance education services. Several reasons for the lag in distance education training in the area of distance education are considered. LIS faculty and library practitioners must accumulate greater expertise in this area and eventually disseminate the knowledge in research, continuing education and throughout the LIS curriculum. M. Thomas.

Jayne, Elaine Anderson. “The Librarian as Bricoleur: Meeting the Needs of Distance Learners.” Co-published simultaneously in The Reference Librarian, no. 69/70 (2000): 161-170, and Reference Services for the Adult Learner: Challenging Issues for the Traditional and Technological Era, edited by Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah. New York: Haworth Press, 2000, 161-170.
Not unlike a bricoleur or handyman, the resourceful distance education librarian must be equipped with a collection of tools, low-tech and high-tech, available for the delivery of library resources to the distance education student and appropriate to the circumstances. Elaine Jayne, Instructional & Continuing Education Librarian at Western Michigan University, describes the special needs and characteristics of the 3,200 students served by the University’s off-campus program. She reaches her students through bricolage that consists of the provision of reference search assistance, class-related instruction, brief library skills classes, open lab sessions, the distribution of the print Library Guide, and ensuring access to electronic resources. M. Thomas.

Watson, Elizabeth F. “Taking Indifference Out of Distance Librarianship.” Paper presented at the LIANZA 2000 Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, October 15-18, 2000.
Students enrolled in distance education programs require access to quality library resources, equivalent to their on-campus counterparts. The author discusses the features and characteristics unique to the distance situation, with emphasis on the reasons for the tremendous growth in distance education programs and the role the library plays in the provision of support services and lifelong learning opportunities. The author lists a number of ways, subsumed under two categories: administrative and technological, in which library and information service providers can unintentionally show indifference toward student needs. The key to eliminating some of that indifference is for librarians to become proactive, involved and integrated into the all aspects of the planning to ensure that distance students are guaranteed access to quality library and information services and are well prepared for lifelong learning. M. Thomas.

1999

Dawson, Alma and Dana Watson. “A Marriage Made in Heaven or a Blind Date: Successful Library-Faculty Partnering in Distance Education.” Catholic Library World 70, no. 1 (September 1999): 14-22.
Systems theory model is used to illustrate the complex interrelationships within the academic library and between other agencies and systems in higher education. Teaching faculty, administrators, librarians, and the student are interrelated within the framework of the distance education system. Librarians collaborate with faculty with the common goal of effective teaching and learning through their knowledge of the collection and expertise in the technology. Further, by becoming involved with collection development, providing research assistance, and recommending key resources to incorporate into class assignments librarians may provide faculty effective support for the distance education. Students need the expertise and instruction provided from the faculty and librarian. All participants have the responsibility to communicate openly and involve the other in the planning process to insure an effective experience. Included is an extended list of distance education resources. M. Thomas.

Johnson, William T. “Library Support for Distance Learning.” Community & Junior College Libraries 8, no. 2 (1999): 51-57.
Distance learners and local students share similar library and information service needs, yet certain circumstances relating to the distance learner’s situation can pose certain challenges when accessing and evaluating the vast amounts available information to them. The author offers ways in which libraries can support the information needs of the distance learner via the Internet, web-based resources and other technological developments in the electronic transmission of documents, facilitation of interactive discussion, online tutorials, and the increased digitization of documents. Listed are a number of practical actions in which flexible and adaptable librarians should stay in touch with student needs, develop and provide services, and keep up the with emerging technologies. M. Thomas.

Ramadevi, V. “Distance Librarianship: Emerging Role and Responsibilities.” In Libraries and Information Services in the Electronic Information Era: Seminar Papers: 44th All India Library Conference, 25-28 February, 1999, Hyderabad, edited by J. L. Sardana and M. L. Saini. Delhi: Indian Library Association, 1999, 527-533.
The author raises a number of issues regarding the distance librarian’s role and the responsibilities in serving the distance learner. The role distance librarian must not be diminished as distance education programs continue to grow. Librarians must remain an integral and proactive member of the team, alongside teachers and administrators. The unique characteristics of distance learners and the technological challenges facing them are outlined. Often, the distance learners are adult learners with certain social, economic and cultural limitations, physically separate from peer groups and the institution’s resources. Distance education librarians have the responsibilities of promoting information literacy, marketing their services, and utilizing the most efficient technology to transmit materials and communicate with the students. For instance, the over-reliance upon course packages prescribed by professors and administrators may be enhanced by the information services provided by librarians. The author points out that technology-driven services must be based upon existing services, particularly in Third World countries. Networking among professionals across all aspects of distance education is essential to insure greater understanding and improved service to distant learners. An increased quantity of published research is indicated, as is increased coverage of distance education training in library schools. M. Thomas.

Watson, Elizabeth F. “Distance Librarianship in the Third World: What Are the Challenges for the New Millennium?” FID Review 1, no. 2/3 (1999): 19-24.
Distance education has expanded throughout the globe and Third World countries are not immune to the effects. This expansion can only mean additional strain on already fragile resources and services. The author states that library and information services offered to Third World countries lag behind other countries for a number of reasons: economic, cultural, and infrastructural. A review of the literature emphasizes that long-established methods of education, inadequate technology and insufficient library resources, economic problems, political strife and cultural barriers are factors that contribute to its deficiencies. The major challenges can be listed under two categories: capacity building and changing roles of libraries and librarians. The author concludes with seven specific responses for moving forward Third World libraries. M. Thomas.