Dermody, Melinda. “We Cannot See Them, but They Are There: Marketing Library Services for Distance Learners.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 2, no. 1 (2005): 41-50.
The quality of support services, including access to library services, can be an important factor in the recruitment, success, and retention of distance learning students. Since distance learners may not visit the library building often, it is essential that the library is proactive in marketing services for this unique population. Outreach to the distance learning faculty can be a very effective to reach these students. Collaboration with other organizations, including the campus distance learning office, other departments within the library, and other libraries in the area, can enhance efforts to promote library services. Awareness and use of the library’s technology in general, and the distance library services Web site in particular, are often cornerstones of marketing efforts for distance learners. Outreach efforts should take into account the diversity of the distance learning population, employing a variety of techniques to reach as many learners in as many ways as possible, including high-tech methods and more traditional, “low-tech” options. J. Brandt.

Fisk, James, Terri Pedersen Summey. “Got Distance Services? Marketing Remote Library Services to Distance Learners.” Internet Reference Services Quarterly 9,no. 1/2 (2005): 77-91.
A 2000 survey conducted by University Libraries and Archives, Emporia State University, revealed that distance education students in the School of Library and Information Management program had little awareness of the library services available to them. The findings provided the impetus to actively market those services. Drawing from library and marketing literature, the authors address the questions of why a library should develop a marketing campaign for distance education services and how to conduct one. The authors then describe the beginning marketing efforts at Emporia, such as developing a strategic plan that includes a SWOT analysis, setting marketing goals and objectives, appointing a distance services librarian to serve as a contact person and spearhead marketing efforts, creating a logo and motto, and launching a Web site for distance students. In conclusion, the authors discuss future marketing ideas at Emporia and reiterate the importance marketing library services, especially to those without the “’physically proximate’ reminder of library resources.” J. Markgraf

Nicholas, Martina and Melba Tomeo. “Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating Library Services to Distance Education Students and Faculty.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration 8, no.2 (Summer 2005). Online. Available: http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/summer82/nicholas82.htm
When a LibQual survey indicated that many students were unaware of the library’s remote resources and services, Slippery Rock University’s Bailey Library undertook a project to determine best practices for presenting information for remote users on library websites. They studied the websites of 100 institutions in order to determine library contact information including evidence of a distance learning librarian, information on remote access to databases and other e-resources, interlibrary loan, course-specific pathfinders, and information for “distance education faculty.” They also developed a list of questions that users might ask such as “Who can I contact with a reference question?” Findings are presented looking at factors such as size of the collection. For example, they discovered that libraries with a distance education enrollment of 5,001-10,000+ offered the most database tutorials (29%) and course specific pathfinders (42%). They were also likely to designate a distance learning librarian (14%). The authors conclude by suggesting that libraries should provide a distance education or off-campus gateway readily available from the library homepage. I. Frank.


Adams, Tina M. and R. Sean Evans. “Educating the Educators: Outreach to the College of Education Distance Faculty and Native American 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, 1-12. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 3-18.
The administration at Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library made organizational changes in 2000 to enhance support to off-campus students, especially their large Native American population. The changes integrated services for distance students into existing library departments instead of being handled as a special service. Some of the changes included using web-based document delivery forms, electronic delivery for articles and Ask-A-Librarian rapid response e-mail reference. Although these services helped all off-campus students, the instruction classes have been tailored to suit the learning styles, cultural background, curriculum, and other needs of the Native American students. In addition, the Library has worked actively with the College of Education, a major provider of distance education offered by the University, to increase awareness of the Library’s services to off-campus students by offering joint workshops to all full- and part-time faculty. These successful workshops were funded by a grant which covered all the expenses incurred by attendance. E. Onega.

Riedel, Tom. “Ahead of the Game: Using Communications Software and Push Technology to Raise Student Awareness of Library Resources.” 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, 283-294. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 3/4 (2004): 375-390.
In January 2000, Regis University, along with two other academic institutions and a software company, became involved in a Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnership project to increase usage on online technologies to improve education. Regis University librarians concentrated on a system to automatically reach students as soon as they registered at the university, contacting the students via email with their student ID number, suggestions for library resources based of field of study, and instructions on how to apply for a library card for remote access. Based on the initial trial period and follow up survey, the messages are a success, although the timing for sending out messages may need to be modified. Sample messages and survey questions are included. C. Biles.

Stockham, Marcia and Elizabeth Turtle. “Providing Off-Campus Library Services by “Team”: An Assessment.” 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, 331-343. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 3/4 (2004): 443-457.
Two librarians at Kansas State University designed and implemented a survey to determine students and faculty awareness of services available to remote users, use of those services, and whether additional services ought to be made available. A web based survey was chosen to minimize costs, and survey questions were modeled from previously published sources. The questionnaire was pre tested by selected faculty and students, and then sent out. The results showed that few students were aware of library services and that most relied on the World Wide Web for research materials, and faculty replies indicated that most respondents did little to no promotion of library services. Commentary from both faculty and students indicated a desire for further advertisement of available library services. At the time of publication, K-State had begun publicity efforts targeted at faculty members. C. Biles.

Summey, Terri Pedersen. “If You Build It, Will They Come?: Creating a Marketing Plan for Distance Learning Library Services.” 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, 345-354. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 3/4 (2004): 459-470.
Services left unused by students and faculty are wasted. A marketing plan can help a library publicize its offerings. A marketing plan identifies marketing issues, creates a vision for the future through goals and commitments among key players, and stipulates ways to measure success. The author delineates suggested sections of a marketing plan and discusses why each is important. A marketing plan gives the library an opportunity to look at the “big picture” and to formulate plans to evolve the library’s role at the university. It also provides an opportunity to market the library and library services to other parts of campus for greater campus involvement. Included is a sample library marketing plan outline. C. Biles.


Barsun, Rita. “Library Web Pages and Policies Toward ‘Outsiders’: Is the Information There?” Public Services Quarterly 1, no. 4 (2003): 11-27.
This article presents the findings of a survey of the web sites of 100 ARL libraries in both public and private universities in the US. The purpose was to determine if those web sites contained information on those libraries’ policies regarding unaffiliated patrons’ restriction or access of library resources and services. Looking specifically at admittance to the library, circulation policies, ILL, and the use of proprietary databases, the author also looked for mention of services to unaffiliated patrons in library mission statements and analyzed any charges to unaffiliated patrons for any of these services or resources. Findings indicated a wide ranging array of policies, whether written on web sites or not. No attempt was made to confirm the information by direct correspondence with staff at the libraries, in part because the intent was to determine only what one could learn from a library’s web site. A brief summary of professional literature on the subject of unaffiliated use of university libraries indicated an awareness of this phenomenon, often expressed with considerable concern, and an effort by national organizations (ACRL and ARL) to establish guidelines for setting access policy guidelines. The author concludes with two general areas which warrant further study: how accessible to the average user is information on policies and restrictions in library web sites and how accurately do these web sites reflect actual policies toward unaffiliated users. P. Ortega.


Adams, Kate E. and Mary Cassner. “Content and Design of Academic Library Web Sites for Distance Learners: An Analysis of ARL Libraries.” 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, 1-9. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 1/2 (2002): 3-13.
The content and design of Web pages for distance learners offered by Association of Research Libraries member libraries are evaluated in this study conducted in the fall of 2001. A literature review documents earlier studies that informed the selection of content and design element criteria used in this study. A list of these elements is presented in the Appendix. Based on the described methodology, 48 of the 123 ARL member libraries met the selection criteria, and were studied in detail. Presence or absences of the content and design elements are summarized in the results. The authors point to the need for more accessible and visible access for distance learning students. Many of the sites studied required that users navigate down through several links and levels to reach the distance learning services information. They also caution against the use of library jargon. Another surprising finding was the lack of information presented for distance learning faculty. The conclusion urges librarians to make distance education web pages easily accessible and content rich. A. Prestamo.

Ault, Meredith. “Thinking Outside the Library: How to Develop, Implement and Promote Library Services for Distance Learners.” 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, 27-33. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 1/2 (2002): 39-48.
As libraries face demands to service the needs of an increasing number of distance learners it is important that librarians devise new strategies to meet these needs. This process requires that librarians identify and define a distance learner, determine what their needs are, and only then can they develop resources and services that effectively meet those needs. The author points out the definition, the needs, and services and resources can vary greatly from one institution to another. Commonly provided remote services, including reference, technical support, document delivery, and authentication services, are described. Potential barriers are noted, including geographical, technological, budgetary considerations. Once services are in place, marketing and promotion are critical. To be successful these efforts must reach end users, both students and faculty. Suggestions include presence on the institution’s website, courseware bulletin boards, and course email lists. Reaching students with the message that the library can play an integral role in their academic success is important, but must be accompanied by an equally aggressive marketing effort geared toward faculty. Most critical of all is a commitment from librarians to provide excellent customer service skills to support these efforts. A. Prestamo.

Markgraf, Jill S. “Collaboration Between Distance Education Faculty and the Library: One Size Does Not Fit All.” 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, 351-360. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2002): 451-464.
When universities have a highly distributed model for provision of distance courses, their libraries face additional challenges in identifying and supporting disparate offerings. This paper discusses methods used at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-EC) to increase collaboration between the library and distance education faculty. Operating on the premise that students were most likely to use library services when encouraged or required to do so by their instructors, the UW-EC library decided to focus the promotional efforts on faculty. These efforts included: articles in campus newsletters, campus presentations and workshops, email, collaboration with distance education support staff, and promotional brochures. One-on-one meetings with faculty were also a high priority. These efforts resulted in increased awareness, but did not translate to greatly increased integration of library services. The author identifies a number of barriers to increased integration and collaboration between the library and faculty, and provides examples of how she has tried to overcome each. She concludes that there is no magic bullet and that multiple approaches are required. A. Prestamo.


Dew, Stephen H. “Designed to Serve from a Distance: Developing Library Web Pages to Support Distance Education.” In Library User Education: Powerful Learning, Powerful Partnerships, edited by Barbara I. Dewey. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001, 240-245.
Best practices from the literature and the author’s own experiences in developing library web pages to support distance learning students are interwoven in this article. The look and design of the pages are important and should follow the style and convention of the library’s web site. Pages should also conform to standard web conventions for text and links colors. High contrast is important, preferably black text on a white background. The real value of the pages is in their content. Critical elements include: eligibility for services, links to relevant electronic resources, instructions for remote access to subscription resources, document delivery information, web based request forms, reference services, and tutorials. Also important is a means for students to submit evaluation and feedback. The author concludes that web pages are one of the most important tools for reaching distance education students. A. Prestamo.


Adams, Kate E. and Mary Cassner. “Marketing Library Resources and Services to Distance Faculty.” 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, 1-12. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 31, no. 3/4 (2001): 5-22.
A cautionary observation that academic libraries face new challenges in maintaining their “brand identity” opens this paper. The authors remind readers that libraries no longer enjoy a monopoly on provision of information services, as students, and even faculty, increasingly believe that freely available Web resources can replace the library. Following a description of the institutional distance learning landscape and extant library services at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the authors outline the assessment of distance learning faculty needs conducted in 1999. The survey was distributed to the entire population of UNL distance faculty, with an option to respond via email or surface mail. Questions in the survey addressed the following areas: (1) awareness of, and satisfaction with, current library services; (2) satisfaction with, and utilization of library staff; (3) requirements for usage, and utilization of, library resources in DL courses vs. on campus courses; (4) additional services or resources that should be considered; and (5) impediments to use of current services and resources. The authors reported a 50% response rate, and these respondents expressed a high degree of satisfaction with current services. In conclusion, the authors observe that the survey achieved more than its intended purpose of needs assessment. It also served as a marketing tool by providing an instructional and feedback mechanism for current services. A. Prestamo.

Buckstead, Jonathan R. “Developing an Effective Off-Campus Library Services Web Page: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” 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, 61-71. Reprinted in 31, no. 3/4 (2001): 93-107.
As academic libraries have moved to Web OPACs and a multitude of Web-deliver Journal of Library Administrationed resources, a well-designed library services Website can provide more effective, integrated access to resources than traditional printed information packets that are cost and workload intensive. In setting out to achieve this objective, the author reviewed many models, representing all levels of higher education. He identifies and describes key components, including essential components, recommended components, and prioritization of content. Further, he emphasizes the need for simple and consistent organization and page layout, a commitment to ongoing updates and maintenance, and a means for users to provide feedback. On the technical side, the paper contains a brief description of minimal hardware and software requirements, including a need for maintaining statistics on the use of the Website. While a well-designed Website can be a highly effective marketing tool, the Website itself must be promoted to distance learning faculty, who in turn can promote it to their students. The author concludes that end users will benefit most from those sites that provide the up-front access to the real content in the most direct way possible. A. Prestamo.

Craven, Jenny. “Lifting Barriers to Learning: How Good Web Design Can Make Learning Materials Accessible to Everyone.” In Libraries Without Walls 3: The Delivery of Library Services to Distant Users, edited by Peter Brophy, Shelagh Fisher, and Zoë Clarke. London: Library Association Publishing, 2000, 225-237.
Providing services for ALL constituents raises accessibility issues, specifically for those resources delivered via the Web. The Resources for Visually Impaired Users of the Electronic Library (REVIEL) project is described. REVIEL was a project of the British Library Research and Innovation Centre and the Joint Information Systems Committee, and was completed in March 1999. The project focused on removing barriers to lifelong learning for the visually impaired through exploitation of information technologies. REVIEL defined accessible learning, identified barriers to accessibility, proposed strategies for removing barriers, and identified examples of good practice. The authors conclude that the REVIEL principles of inclusiveness, equity, and independence should be central to Website design. In addition to a reference list, the paper includes a list of useful websites for those interested in more information website accessibility. A. Prestamo.

Fletcher, Janet. “Designing the Library Home Page for Distance Education Learners.” In Libraries Without Walls 3: The Delivery of Library Services to Distant Users, edited by Peter Brophy, Shelagh Fisher, and Zoë Clarke. London: Library Association Publishing, 2000, 60-77.
The quality of access and support offered to students by university libraries is increasingly important as more students learn through distance education. This paper presents findings of a literature survey and a series of focus group interviews of Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia (SCU) distance education students. Following definition of terms, an extensive literature review covers the needs of distance learning students, the role of the library, as well as Web design and content issues. The focus group study at SCU involved 16 randomly selected subjects from respondents to an invitation sent to all identified SCU distance learning students. Participants were questioned about preferred homepage features, difficulties they had encountered, and features they would like to have in the future. Additionally, participants were asked to comment on perceived strengths and weaknesses of seven library homepages from other Australian universities with strong distance learning offerings. Responses from the participants identified six key features that should be present, as well as a number of barriers that should be addressed. The author also concluded that participants still desire a strong degree of support from their library when undertaking online research. A. Prestamo.

Linden, Julie. “The Library’s Web Site is the Library: Designing for Distance Learners.” College & Research Libraries News 61, no. 2 (February 2000): 99, 101.
Even if your library has a terrific website it may not meet the needs of distance learners. For them, the library’s website IS the library. It is essential that library websites clearly identify the services and resources available to distance learners and provide them with the remote access to these. Distance learning students don’t really need to know the location and hours of the Interlibrary Loan office, but they do need to know how to make such requests remotely. Based on this premise, the author describes the unique needs of distance learners in the areas of circulation, interlibrary loan/document delivery, reference services, and access to online resources. The article concludes with advise on how to integrate these access points in the institution’s website. A. Prestamo.


Kunneke, Cathy. “The Library of the University of South Africa’s Marketing Voyage of Discovery Through Conventional Marketing Channels and the Internet.” Paper presented at the IATUL Conference The Future of Libraries in Human Communication, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 17th May – 21st May, 1999. Online. Available: http://www.iatul.org/conferences/pastconferences/1999proceedings.asp
Recognizing the challenge of maintaining the relevancy of library services and resources in 21st century, the University of South Africa (UNISA) library engaged top-flight consultants and started a re-engineering exercise in mid-1998. Key products were identified by means of Strategic Enterprise Modelling, which included conventional library services as well as new products. These products were tested for acceptance, viability and feasibility. Critical success factors for implementation of these products were also identified which included many elements of which marketing was the driving aspect. A survey of pertinent marketing literature sets the stage for the marketing plan that was established for the UNISA library. The plan includes: (1) identification of target markets; (2) marketing of the emerging UNISA hybrid library; (3) communication strategies, including conventional communication channels; and (4) web-marketing strategies and tools. The author concludes that libraries must shift from our traditional stance of custodians of information and embrace elements of commercial marketing to remain viable in the 21st century. A. Prestamo.