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.
As distance learning programs in higher education greatly expanded in the mid and late 1990’s, the literature regarding library support for these programs has also grown phenomenally. Taking an international perspective, the author summarizes selected research studies on library services for distance learning conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other counties. While the most prevalent types of research in this area are library surveys and user studies, several large-scale research projects are also described. In a synthesis of the research findings, common themes on user needs and providing library services to distance students are discussed. A survey of distance learning librarians identified areas for further research, the top priority being collaboration with faculty to integrate library resources into web-based courses. Drawing upon the materials reviewed, the author emphasizes the need for continued research on library services for distance learning. J. Brandt.