2007

Bell, Steven, and John D. Shank, “Conferencing @ Your Computer: The Ins and Outs of Virtual Conferences,” Library Journal, 131, no. 4 (2006): 50-52.
Having attended over 100 teleconferences, the authors offer their practical expertise and effective techniques for participating in and conducting workshops and presentations via teleconference. Well thought-out PowerPoint slides help to keep the presentation structured, while interactive exercises complement the presentation by keeping the participants engaged and stimulated. Conferencing software packages are named and the more desirable tools include VoIP and chat, capabilities, whiteboard, and archived content. Testing the equipment ahead of time, planning and interspersing activities with the traditional PowerPoint material, running chat, and providing live demonstrations help to contribute to the successful online presentation. For participants, it is suggested that they remove themselves from the day’s distractions at their desks. For some learners and participants, certain social components are lacking with virtual conferences; however, virtual conference opportunities are rapidly becoming can be an inexpensive, convenient alternative to making professional connections at a distance. M. Thomas

2006

Maness, Jack M. “An evaluation of library instruction delivered to engineering students using streaming video.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 47, (2006). Available online: http://www.istl.org Date retrieved: March 7, 2007
This article evaluates the effectiveness of streaming video in providing information literacy instruction to engineering students. A review of the library literature is undertaken. The author concludes that while much has been written about streaming video’s feasibility there is a deficit of literature on its viability and efficacy. The author then provides the results of an online survey he conducted in which he asks students to evaluate their satisfaction and learning after taking part in a library instruction session. The author finds no difference in satisfaction or learning outcomes between those students who attended a live session and those students who received their instruction via streaming video. It should be noted this was a preliminary investigation and the sample size (n=27) is relatively small. Nonetheless, the study adds to the body of literature supporting distance learning as a valid educational option, and is particularly useful for its focus on a specific technological application. J. Wheeler.

2004

Behr, Michele D. “On Ramp to Research: Creation of a Multimedia Library Instruction Presentation for Off-Campus Students.” 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, 13-20. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 19-30.
Librarians at Western Michigan University sought a way to augment their library instruction program. Although they preferred the face-to-face method, it had five major limitations that they hoped to address. The limitations included the necessity of faculty to request a library presentation and only 1.5 FTE available to teach library presentations to of 3,000 students, among others. The Off-Campus Services Librarian and one of the adjunct instructors served as co-principal investigators in a university grant to support the development of an online solution. They defined goals for the project, examined current practices, and then selected appropriate software. They wanted to include sound files, animation, and text and to also provide flexible, nonlinear navigation to information students needed immediately. They selected Macromedia Flash MX, a high-end product, and offered users a CD if they couldn’t use the online version. They agreed upon six content modules and began work. Currently, the work has not been completed because the project required substantially more time than initially expected and changes in the Library’s website and the databases themselves. E. Onega.

Clayton, Susan. “Your Class Meets Where? Library Instruction for Business and Education Graduate Students at Off-Campus Centers,” Reference Services Review, Vol. 32, no. 4. (2004): 388-393.
In this case study, the off-campus librarian at the Armacost Library at University of the Redlands (California) describes her library and university’s efforts at serving graduate business and education students enrolled at several affiliated off-campus centers. The university serves about 4000 adult, returning students, 1200 of whom are enrolled in the School of Business and 800 in the School of Education. Within the context of the “ACRL Guidelines for Distance Learning Library Services,” a comprehensive description of services is given. The librarian focuses on collaborating with the faculty, preparing course-specific instruction sessions, and coordinating schedules, equipment, and local arrangements at several California centers approximately 90 minutes away from the main campus. Plans and recommendations for enhanced services are considered, including expanded use of Blackboard course management, the possible use of additional methods of instruction delivery, the creation of online tutorials and ways to assess the effectiveness of library instruction sessions. M. Thomas

Guillot, Ladonna and Beth Stahr. “A Tale of Two Campuses: Providing Virtual Reference to Distance Nursing Students.” 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, 105-114. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 139-152.
Student enrollment at Southeastern Louisiana University (Southeastern) doubled during the twenty years between 1975 and 1995, which prompted the University to include distance learning opportunities for its non-traditional and part-time students. The Library has supported Southeastern’s educational mission by offering bibliographic instruction as a one credit class and course-specific instruction at the request of instructors. To make bibliographic instruction available to distance learners, the distance education librarian, housed at the main library, developed a pilot project with the Health Sciences Librarian, located at one of the remote campuses, to offer instruction to nursing students using the LSSI software, now Tutor.com. The Library had been using LSSI software for online reference up until this pilot project was implemented. The two librarians wanted to enhance the online reference service by making it discipline specific; instructional; by appointment; collaborative among faculty, students, and librarians; and a value-added service for distance learners. The article discusses specific challenges that the librarians and students faced in the first semester of implementation. The service was well-received, but expensive in terms of time, money and personnel. E. Onega.

Hufford, Jon R. “User Instruction for Distance Students: Texas Tech University System’s Main Campus Library Reaches Out to Students at Satellite Campuses.” 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, 115-123. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 153-165.
Texas Tech University (TTU) used the SACS accreditation process as a time to examine library services for distance learning students at its newly created off-campus sites. The Director of TTU – Hill Country oversees the operations of the three new education centers. She turned to the Library Director for help in assessing library services for distance students and the Library Director, in turn, asked two librarians to visit all three Hill Country sites and evaluate library services and resources. The recommendations that came out of the report were to hire a full-time librarian to provide instruction, reference and collection development for Hill Country students; create a small print reference and reserve collection at each site; and encourage all students to take an introduction to library research class. The recommendation that was immediately acted on was offering a modified version of the existing library research course to distance students. The course was originally taught face-to-face in three sections per semester. The librarians thought that transforming it to be an online class using WebCT would make it more amenable to the Hill Country students. Students at the main campus could also take the class and did in much larger numbers than the distance students. This is attributed to a successful marketing campaign at the main campus and that the Hill Country sites are still new and have low student enrollment. E. Onega.

MacMillian, Don. “Web-Based Worksheets in the Classroom.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 2 (2004): 43-51.
Web-based worksheets are brief learning guides developed for library instruction delivered in lecture classrooms, interactive computer labs, and online tutorials. The advantages of web-based presentations versus PowerPoint slides are discussed. General pedagogical benefits are described, and specific advantages for students, instructors and libraries are highlighted. The ease of updating content, flexibility of design, possibility of reuse by other library staff, and bandwidth savings are listed as significant benefits. Exposure to the same content and layout in an online demonstration, print handout, and hands-on exercise increases the likelihood students will return to the material at their point of need. Effective design principles are discussed, and a list of specific design tips is provided. J Brandt.

Moore, Kay. “Embedding Information Skills in the Subject-Based Curriculum.” In Libraries Without Walls 5: The Distributed Delivery of Library and Information Services, edited by Peter Brophy, Shelagh Fisher, and Jenny Craven. London: Facet Publishing, 2004, 79-86.
Sheffield Hallam University developed an information skills tutorial called InfoQuest, consisting of five modules. InfoQuest has a basic generic framework which can be customized easily at specified points so that subject specific concepts, resources, and activities can be introduced. Although it took two years and much staff time and effort to create the tutorial, the goal to offer a skills program that was timely, relevant, and engaging to the students was met. Since its generic base remains the same, new subject specific customizations can be made whenever needed. A. Lawrence.

Xiao, Daniel Yi, Pietraszewski, Barbara A., and Goodwin, Susan P. “Full stream ahead: Database instruction through online videos.” Library Hi Tech 22, no. 4 (2004): 366-374.
This is a detailed case study of the Let-It-V (Learning E-Resources Through Instructional Technology Videos) project at the Texas A&M University Libraries. The authors used streaming videos to provide online instruction to the University’s students. The article looks at the background and rationale for the project, software and hardware requirements, content preparation, video recording basics, interface design, format and settings, and provides evaluation. Anyone wishing to implement streaming video for library instruction, will find this article extremely useful. The authors’ decision to use streaming video is based on a review of the literature and has a theoretical underpinning. However, the article also includes many specific technical requirements and is primarily of practical use. J. Wheeler

2003

Ardis, Susan B. “A Tale of Two Classes: Teaching Science and Technology Reference Sources Both Traditionally and through Distance Education.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, no. 37 (2003). Online. Available: http://www.istl.org/03-spring/article7.html
After substantial experience in teaching courses with the traditional face-to-face lecture method, the author had the opportunity to teach simultaneous introductory classes of science and technology reference sources online through distance education (DE) as well as the traditional method. The classes were identical in terms of prerequisites, class content, assignments and tests. The online course needed much more lecture preparation and copyediting time and time needed to create the web site. There were also three times as many students in the distance education course as in the traditional class. There were striking similarities in terms of performance on assignments and tests and in the conspicuous lack of any students taking advantage of the instructor’s office hours. Both classes had difficulty “weaning” themselves from web search engines in favor of library databases. Significant differences became apparent, however, with 20% of DE students consistently turning in assignments late and half of those never turning in assignments. The traditional class turned in assignments on time. Likewise, all the traditional students completed the course satisfactorily, whereas two of the online students failed to turn in the final exam and thus failed the class. The author nevertheless noted several advantages to online instruction and decided that she actually favored that method. P. Ortega.

2002

Beile, Penny. “The Effect of Library Instruction Learning Environments on Self-Efficacy Levels and Learning Outcomes of Graduate Students in Education.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Assocation, New Orleans, LA, April 1-5, 2002. ERIC ED 465 331.
The author reports on a study she conduced comparing the learning outcomes and library skills self-efficacy levels of bibliographic instruction presented through three methods: campus students attending a classroom BI session; campus students who completed a Web-based library tutorial; and distance students who completed a Web-based tutorial. The author, associate librarian at the University of Central Florida, included 49 graduate students in education enrolled in three sections of research methods in education course in the study. The study included a pretest and posttest of library skills which also measured the subjects’ library skills self-efficacy levels. Findings indicated that all groups showed significant improvement in learning outcomes and levels of self-efficacy, with exposure to prior library instruction impacting favorably in pretest and posttest self-efficacy levels and posttest library skills. Further, students who felt more efficacious scored higher on the library skills test. While there was no significant difference between the groups’ average scores in library skills gained as a result of BI, on-campus students who took the online tutorial had the lowest self-efficacy gains. The author concluded that online tutorials provide significant support for teaching library skills to distance education students; that online tutorials are viable replacements for in-person BI sessions; and that BI through all three learning environments improves learning outcomes and raises self-efficacy levels. P. Ortega.

Germain, Carol Anne and Gregory Bobish. “Virtual Teaching: Library Instruction Via the Web.” Co-published simultaneously in The Reference Librarian, no. 77 (2002): 71-88, and Distance Learning: Information Access and Services for Virtual Users, edited by Hemalata Iyer. New York: Haworth Press, 2002, 71-88.
Web-based bibliographic instruction can reach more students, both on-campus and off-campus, than traditional classroom-based instruction. A literature review indicates that online instruction can explore complicated concepts, provide interactive learning opportunities, and offer students the flexibility of learning at their own pace. Web pages should be designed with careful planning and should involve consultation with colleagues, students, and Web design specialists. The goals and objectives of the online instruction program should be provided to the users. The content of instructional Web pages should be presented in a clear and concise manner and the physical arrangement of the instructional Web pages should be visually appealing, ordered, straightforward, and consistent. Technological issues, copyright, and maintenance should be considered when designing the pages. The Web pages can be reviewed for usability by having colleagues and students test them. The online instructional Web pages should be evaluated by using students’ responses to online questions and soliciting comments and feedback from students. The Texas Information Literacy Tutorial (TILT) is discussed as an example of a successful online tutorial. S. Heidenreich.

Kearley, Jamie P. and Lori Phillips. “Distilling the Information Literacy Standards: Less is More.” 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, 321-330. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2002): 411-424.
The University of Wyoming developed Tutorial for Information Power (TIP). This interactive multimedia Web tutorial made information literacy training available to students both on and off campus a part of a required freshman class by means of point-of-use access via the library’s menu. The authors describe the planning and design process for the tutorial and their efforts to adapt information literacy standards into the content of the tutorial. The entire project involved 8 months of intense work with a graphic designer and programmer. Seven student employees were then involved in testing the prototype. The rollout of the required tutorial in 2001 proved successful. However, the authors note that they experienced resistance from both faculty and staff. They attribute this resistance to the fact that they involved the stakeholders in the actual day-to-day details during the development phase. As a result, their conclusion is that it would have been politically wiser to have simply unveiled the finished project when it was fully functional rather than try to involve stakeholders in the decision-making process each step of the way. J. Tuñón.

Koenig, Melissa H. and Martin J. Brennan. “All Aboard the eTrain: Developing and Designing Online Library Instruction Modules.” 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, 331-339. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2003): 425-435.
The University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) library developed an online library tutorial to serve its urban, working adult students. The authors found through the use of pre-test/post-tests that online students learned more, but they also noted that students in face-to-face classes were more confident of their skills. Because the developers concluded that improved confidence was due to students receiving more human feedback, they wanted to develop an online tutorial that would address this issue. A courseware developer was selected to customize the online class delivery system to meet the library’s needs. Then the librarians had content developers construct the class modules. The content was then developed. Implementation hit a roadblock, however, when the company that was developing the software was purchased by a larger company and was no longer interested in doing course development. As a result, at the time of the writing of the article, the librarians were in the process of working with a new vendor and had hopes to getting the project implemented in 2002. The librarians conclude the article with the observation that libraries should give a great deal of thought before making any decisions to develop custom products that entail long-term development. J. Tuñón.

Place, Emma and Heather Dawson. “Building the RDN Virtual Training Suite to Teach Internet Information Skills Via the Web.” 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, 161-172.
The Resource Discovery Network (RDT) in the United Kingdom developed a set of 40 Web-based tutorials on Internet information literacy skills that was made available to the academic community of higher education as a whole. The Virtual Training Suite’s tutorials utilized a subject-based approach for self-directed learning. They also were integrated into university curriculums in order to make the training more relevant to students. The authors describe the design, development, and assessment process in detail. Because of the success of the initial efforts, plans were underway at the time of the writing to expand the coverage of free tutorials to fill in gaps, address the needs of what was termed “further education,” update tutorials already created, and serve users in other countries. J. Tuñón.

Read, Brock. “An Online Course Teaches Students to Use Libraries and the Internet — and Avoid Plagiarism.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 17, 2002. Online. Available: http://chronicle.com/free/2002/05/2002051701u.htm
This article describes Information Literacy and Research Methods, a required undergraduate online course at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Kimberley Kelly, the Associate Provost of Information and Library Services, developed it. The course was offered five times a year and had a cap of one hundred students enrolled per section of the library class. The students would complete weekly activities and discussions, a research log, and a final exam. During the course, students would learn about thesis statements, electronic resources including Internet sites, journal articles, and e-books, and libraries in their area. One of the major focuses of the course was to help students avoid plagiarizing. The course was awarded the state’s best distance education offering by the Maryland Distance Learning Association. J. Tuñón.

2001

Ardis, Susan and Jennifer Haas. “Specialized Remote User Education: Web-Based Tutorials for Engineering Graduate Students.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, no. 32 (Fall 2001). Online. Available: http://www.istl.org/istl/01-fall/article3.html
The McKinney Engineering Library at the University of Texas (UT) faced the challenge of how to provide effective bibliographic instruction to engineering students who thought they “knew it all” about how to find information online. The librarians opted to develop a Web-based tutorial using FrontPage software. To go with the engineering theme, the site was called Information Excavation, and the students were provided with basic research skills plus modules on how to locate patents, industry standards, product information, etc. The library promoted the tutorial with both students and faculty and lured them into participating by offering the premium of an insulated cup with the library logo on it. The librarians conclude that their tutorial was successful and would be just the first of many specialized tutorials that the McKinney Engineering Library would be utilizing to provide online help 24 hours a day to UT students. J. Tuñón.

Drew, Heather, Wendy Abbott, and Debbie Orr. “What a Web We Weave: Evaluating the Flexible Delivery of Information Literacy Education.” In Information Online 2001: Digital Dancing: New Steps, New Partners: Proceedings of the 10th Australasian Information Online Conference & Exhibition, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, 16-18 January 2001. Sydney: Information Specialists Division, Australian Library & Information Association, 2001, 395-417. Also online.
The web-based instruction programs used at three Australian universities were examined and evaluated to determine their effectiveness in meeting the information literacy needs of students. These programs were evaluated using standard two of the Association of College and Research Libraries information literacy standards that deals with students’ ability to access information in an effective and efficient manner. A number of qualities of good web-based instruction programs were identified and were also used to evaluate the programs. A survey instrument was developed and used to evaluate one of the three Australian university web-based literacy programs. Two versions of the survey were administered, one for students and one for library staff. From the survey results several issues related to web-based information literacy programs were identified including the usefulness and relevance of the program to specific courses, the customization of a program to institution specific resources, and the staff time needed to develop and maintain a program. Four appendices provide information about the three information literacy programs and the methods used to evaluate them. S. Heidenreich.

Hansen, Carol. “The Internet Navigator: An Online Internet Course for Distance Learners.” Library Trends 50, no. 1 (Summer 2001): 58-72.
The Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC), which cooperatively purchased and provided a variety of resources and services to institutions in Utah, also cooperatively developed an online information literacy course entitled Internet Navigator. The course started originally in 1995 and was revamped in 2000 to better address changes occurring at that time in the Web and to improve the delivery of content online. The challenges of administering and funding a multi-institutional online course were described in the article. A project director, content development team, maintenance team, graphic artist, and programmer all participated in the development of the revised course. These diverse groups used an Intranet to improve communications between all these players via the Web. The authors conclude that it is critical to the success of any such instructional endeavor to plan strategically for the on-going process of updating and revising the course. J. Tuñón.

Lingham, Bernadette, Janet Fletcher, and Glenda Henderson. “Online Tutorials: New Horizons in the Delivery of Flexible Online Training.” Paper presented at Revelling in Reference: 2001 RAISS, Reference and Information Services Section Symposium, 12-14 October 2001, Kingston, ACT. Available online (in pdf format)
The application and effectiveness of an online library skills tutorial at two Australian universities are discussed. Deakin University Library’s experience using a Web-ezy tutorial as a supplement to traditional on-campus library instruction, and Southern Cross University Library’s experience using the tutorial with distance education students are described and evaluated. The student response in both situations was positive, though not all feedback from academic staff was favorable. Among concerns raised were the generic nature of the tutorial and the ability of students to transfer and apply tutorial content to their specific assignments and areas of study. The authors cite research questioning whether learning outcomes associated with online tutorials match those of face-to-face instruction, but contend that their experience indicates that online tutorials are a viable alternative. J. Markgraf.

Manuel, Kate. “Teaching an Online Information Literacy Course.” Reference Services Review 29, no. 3 (2001): 219-228.
While academic librarians have been creating Web-based tutorials in support of their institutions’ distance education programs for some time, there are relatively few for-credit, distance education, information literacy courses for undergraduate students. The author describes her experience in developing such a course (LIBY 3200) for distance education students at California State University, Hayward. Findings from her experience teaching LIBY 3200 suggest that many students are less prepared to function &endash; technologically and cognitively &endash; in a Web-based distance education environment than might be predicted. Design and delivery of course content proved time-consuming and teaching methods had to be adapted to help the students become autonomous learners, capable of self-directed learning. F. Devlin.

2000

Kelley, Kimberly B., Gloria J. Orr, Janice Houck, and Claudine SchWeber. “Library Instruction for the Next Millennium: Two Web-Based Courses to Teach Distant Students Information Literacy.” 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, 191-197. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 281-294.
The University of Maryland University College collaborated with academic programs to develop (1) a graduate online course that was self-paced, unmediated, and required and (2) an online undergraduate course that was offered as a for-credit, elective course. The graduate course, UCSP 610, eventually was delivered via UMUC’s proprietary course management software, WebTycho. The course was designed to handle more than 1,000 students per year. A librarian was contracted to monitor the course and update the content. The developers also learned that having a significant technology component to the course presented special challenges. Converting the face-to-face course to be delivered via WebTycho was more complicated than the librarians anticipated because the Java script created problems for students using AOL or older Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers. The librarians also had to revamp the graduate online class in order to be able to have a series of smaller quizzes for each module. In contrast, designing the undergraduate, for-credit class proved easier because the librarians had the help of an instructional designer. The authors conclude that their experiences gained from developing UCSP 610 and the additional technical support made it possible to produce a more polished final product with the undergraduate class, LIBS 150. J. Tuñón.

Macklin, Alexius Smith, Leslie J. Reynolds, Sheila R. Curl, and Brent Alan Mai. “Distance Education in Virtual Classrooms: The Model and the Assessment.” In National Online Meeting Proceedings – 2000: Proceedings of the 21st National Online Meeting, New York, May 16-18, 2000, edited by Martha E. Williams. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2000, 407-412.
In order to teach students how to access online information effectively, the library faculty at Purdue University developed a required, one-credit distance education course for undergraduate students in the School of Technology. Two versions of the course were developed. The section taught face-to-face was developed in 1994 while the other online section was added in 1998 using WebCT. The librarians incorporated problem-based learning into the design of both versions of the course. Students used case students that they worked on collaboratively in class or online. The librarians conclude that when students were more motivated to learn about information literacy when they had an information need. Also, based on an assessment of the two methods of delivery, students in synchronous and asynchronous classes learned the skills equally well. The authors note, however, that the techniques for engaging students proved easier in the traditional, synchronous classrooms than online. J. Tuñón.

Pival, Paul R. and Johanna Tuñón. “Innovative Methods for Providing Instruction to Distance Students Using Technology.” 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, 231-238. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 347-360.
The authors discuss various technologies that librarians can use to deliver bibliographic instruction to distance students. Technologies examined included videoconferencing, streaming media, NetMeeting (a collaborative group software), and WebCT (a course-management software used for Web-based courses). Of the two synchronous technologies discussed, the authors conclude that compressed video worked well in “talking head” situations but that it was not as successful when used when demonstrating how to use online databases. NetMeeting provided usable images at distance sites, but it provided students with few opportunities to interact with librarians doing the training. Similarly, not all asynchronous technologies were ideal for library instruction. Streaming media provided students with a multimedia medium asynchronously, but students had problems with the lack of interactivity. The authors found WebCT to be the technology easiest to work with and the most versatile for library instructional purposes. J. Tuñón.

Smyth, Joanne B. “Using a Web-Based MOO for Library Instruction in Distance Education.” 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, 253-259. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 383-392.
The University of New Brunswick (UNB) Libraries investigated the potentials of using a Web-based MOO (a Multi-User Dungeon, Object-Oriented) as a graphical interface both for synchronous library instruction and for providing an online meeting space of distance students. The author was interested in the Web-based Moo offered the potential for having an interactive forum for librarians and students that could be used to build a learning community. The UNB librarian was able to build a “room” and arrange relevant resources there through space provided by Diversity University. Unfortunately, students proved resistant to learning how to use this new tool. Student resistance to this tool was compounded because they could not access the MOO site without a librarian’s intervention. In spite of these problems, the librarian was interested in exploring the establishing a MOO site at UNB. She concludes that student utilization would improve when UNB could tailor its own site to meet students’ needs and make the resource more accessible. J. Tuñón.