Slade, Alexander L. “Research on Library Services for Distance Learning: An International Perspective.” In Information Services in an Electronic Environment, edited by G. E. Gorman. International Yearbook of Library and Information Management 2001/2002. London: Library Association Publishing, 2001, 187-233. Reprinted in Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 1 (2004): 5-43.
This paper examines the research studies from United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada that have been conducted to date on the topic of library support for distance learning programs. Models of services for distance learning are based primarily on existing practice rather than on research. Benchmark studies are rare. Studies tend to fall into the categories of surveys of libraries and user studies. User studies tend to be statistical surveys that look at user satisfaction. Most user studies concentrate on users from one college or university. Only a few studies compare users from two or more institutions. Other types of surveys look at faculty perceptions in regard to student information needs. Faculty use of library services for course support has been studied. The results of a recent survey of librarians indicate that the number one research priority in distance learning library services is collaboration with faculty to integrate library and electronic resources into Web-based distance learning courses. The author finds that there is little incentive for librarians to do research in distance learning library services. Most library schools do not include distance learning library services in their curriculum and this area for research is not emphasized. I. Frank.