Brown-Seyd, Christopher, Denice Adkins, and Hui-Hsien Tsai. “LIS Student Learning Styles and Web-Based Instruction Methods.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 2, no. 1 (2005): 5-26.
The results of a study of the learning styles of LIS (library and information science) students are compared to previous research on this topic. After reviewing the literature on the learning styles of Web-based students, LIS students, and librarians, recommendations are summarized. Using Felder and Solomon’s Index of Learning Style (ILS), 108 LIS students were measured on four learning-style scales, Sensory-Intuitive, Visual-Verbal, Active-Reflective and Sequential-Global. At least some LIS students were found at the extreme end of every scale, but students reporting mixed-learning styles were the most common. No significant differences were found between students who chose face-to-face versus Web-based courses. The authors report that their data confirms previous studies indicating LIS students tend towards visual learning, prefer active learning situations, and lean towards sequential learning styles. Implications of these styles for Web-based pedagogy are described. Suggestions for addressing these learning styles include supplementing online instruction with out-of-class experiences, including visual materials, monitoring learning with quizzes, and balancing step-by-step instruction with global concepts. J. Brandt.

Casey, Anne Marie. Central Michigan University. “A Historical Overview of Internet Reference Services for Distance Learners”. Internet Reference Services Quarterly 9, no. 3/4 (2005): 5-17.
This article presents an overview of the techniques and technologies used to deliver reference assistance to distance learners over roughly the last 35 years. The author traces the evolution of services from early use of e-mail and phone to the implementation of virtual libraries, video conferencing, co-browsing, and chat reference. In the early years of electronic reference assistance, pioneering libraries such as Central Michigan University created separate library units to serve the needs of its distance learners. As technology has evolved, online reference services have become more commonly available to all library users so that the line between the student across the country and the student next door has become blurred. The author speculates that as technologies become more readily available to libraries that the information and service gaps inherent in serving distance learners will continue to close. This article would be most useful to librarians who are interested in learning about the evolution of library services to distance learners over time rather than those looking for models to use in establishing new services. J. Crane

Kupferberg, Natalie and Barabara Skunza. “The First Non-Traditional Doctor of Pharmacy Graduates: Their Perceptions of Library Services.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 2, no. 1 (2005): 27-39.
This study examines the usefulness and usage of library services for the Ohio State University’s first online degree program, a “non-traditional” Doctorate of Pharmacy. In 2001, the Biological Sciences/Pharmacy Library developed new services for students enrolled in this program, including document delivery, a dedicated Web page, and online access to databases, reserve readings, and full-text publications. In 2004, six of the first 14 graduates of the program were interviewed, and their responses are discussed. The library services most used by the students were online databases and full-text electronic collections. The students found little need to use other libraries. A first-year course in literature evaluation enhanced student searching and evaluation skills. All students found the dedicated library Web site, the library orientation, and the email reference service to be helpful. Every respondent indicated it would have been nearly impossible to complete the program without online access to library services. The most common suggestion for enhancing service involved improving the usability of the proxy server. J. Brandt.


Collins, Kathleen M. T. and Robin E. Veal. “Off-Campus Adult Learners’ Levels of Library Anxiety as a Predictor of Attitudes Toward the Internet.” Library and Information Science Research 26, no. 1 (2004): 5-14.
Questionnaires were administered to K-12 educators returning to school for postsecondary education and living more than 50 miles from campus. The results indicate that components of library anxiety such as a student’s self-perception of inadequate library skills correlate with the least positive attitudes toward educational use of the Internet. Other studies have also found a relationship between high levels of library anxiety and computer anxiety. This suggests that library instruction should include both knowledge-based and hand-on computer instruction to reduce library anxiety and overall attitudes toward the library. I. Frank.

Du, Yunfei. “Exploring the Difference Between ‘Concrete’ and ‘Abstract’: Learning Styles in LIS Distance Education.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 3 (2004): 51-64.
The effects of learning style and computer competency on student satisfaction with online courses were studied at a library and information science graduate program. One of four learning styles (accommodating, assimilating, converging, and diverging) was assigned to each student based on Kolb’s Learning Style Inventor (LSI). Analysis of the data indicated statistically significant relationships between the level of computer competency, type of learning style, and satisfaction with the courses. For students with accommodating and diverging learning styles, those with higher-level computer competency reported higher satisfaction than those with lower-level computer competency. Students with converging and assimilating learning styles demonstrated the reverse (students with higher level computer competency reported lower satisfaction). The author discusses the importance of addressing the needs of “concrete” and “abstract” learners in course design. Course modules should include a variety of typologies, such as concrete examples, demonstrations, theoretical elaborations, and activities. A student satisfaction survey instrument is included in the appendix. J Brandt.

Hufford, Jon R. “Library Support for Distance Learners: What Faculty Think.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 3 (2004): 3-28.
In 2001, the Texas Tech University Library surveyed distance learning instructors regarding the last televised or off-campus course they taught. Faculty perceptions of off-campus library services were analyzed by examining twenty-two responses from instructors of graduate and upper-division courses in seven disciplines. Issues discussed include the presence and type of assignments requiring library sources, the role of instructors in informing students about lib-rary sources, and librarian-faculty interaction in course development. Faculty expectations were measured for library services, online access to resources, and student skills. A majority of faculty expected students to use “outside” information sources such as the Internet, periodical articles, books, and electronic journals for their classes. A small but significant number of faculty reported forgoing class assignments (23%) or modifying course content (18%) due to the lack of easily accessible library resources. The survey instrument, consisting of multiple-choice questions and a Likert-scale measure of expectations, is included. J Brandt.

Lee, Marta. “Red, White, and Blues: Library Services to a Satelite Campus.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 3 (2004): 65-78.
In response to the creation of a new satellite campus, Regent University developed new library services for students in the Washington, DC, area. Initially, the library served these students using programs originally developed for online students, including document delivery, a toll-free reference phone number, and purchasing borrowing cards for local libraries. The author discusses the establishment of a permanent Library Resources Room on the satellite campus, addressing staffing, security, and collection development issues. Procedures for creating a reserve collection, developed in response to an accreditation report, are also described. To evaluate the program, a survey was distributed to students and faculty in 2003. The results describe the level of usage of library services and also identify areas needing improvement, including user training, more assistance from librarians, and advertising. The survey questions and results are included in an appendix. J Brandt.

Liu, Zao and Zheng Ye (Lan) Yang,. “Factors Influencing Distance-Education Graduate Students’ Use of Information Sources: A User Study.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 30, no. 1 (January 2004): 24-35.
This study, conducted at Texas A&M University (TAMU), found, not surprisingly, that graduate distance education students preferred information sources that are fast and easy to use. Internet and electronic library resources were preferred to traditional library resources by most respondents. The study went on to look at specific factors influencing use preferences. Among the findings was a strong correlation between a student’s field of study, self-reported level of motivation and information source preference. Humanities and social sciences majors at TAMU were more likely than science and engineering and business and economics majors to choose the library as their primary information source. Similarly, humanities and social sciences majors rated themselves as more intrinsically motivated than did students in the other majors. The authors point to the importance of improving timeliness and ease of access in providing services to distance education students. Detailed statistics and a copy of the questionnaire are included. J. Markgraf.

McCarthy, Cheryl A. “Interactive Video Technology for Distance Learning: An Assessment of Interactive Video Technology as a Tool.” Journal of Library and Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 4 (2004): 5-31.
The effect of synchronous interactive video on teaching and learning was studied by comparing library and information science students from an “on-campus” classroom with those taking the same course in a remote, video classroom. Using a questionnaire and a focus group, the study attempted to measure participants’ perceptions of and comfort with interactive video, its effect on learning and teaching strategies, and the perceived benefits, barriers and implications of using this technology. Students were divided on whether the technology enhanced (58%) or hindered learning (42%). Few differences were found between the two locations when comparing student ratings of teaching strategies, technical factors, course design, or course environment. The responses indicate the top positive contribution of the technology was to increase diversity in class discussions, while negative impacts included technical glitches and inhibiting class participation. Benefits of and barriers to using interactive video in the classroom are discussed. The text of the questionnaire is included in the appendix. J. Brandt.

McLean, Evadne and Stephen H. Dew. “Assessing the Library Needs and Preferences of Off-Campus Students: Surveying Distance Education Students, from the Midwest to the West Indies.” 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, 197-226. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 265-302.
The authors of this paper begin with a review of the literature of assessing library needs of distance students, and then compare the experiences of creating user surveys for students at each of their institutions – U of Iowa (UI) and U of the West Indies (UWI). The U of Iowa conducted surveys in 1998-99 and again in 2003. The latter survey receives much greater coverage here. UI plans to conduct another survey in 2004 to remedy some of the shortcomings of the first two surveys. The UWI survey was conducted in late 2000 as an attempt to learn more about the student population served by the Distance Librarian. Several changes and new services were implemented at UWI as a result of responses to the survey. The paper closes with a comparison of the findings from each of the institution’s surveys. The surveys questions and results for each institution are included as appendices. P. Pival.

Morrison, Rob and Allyson Washburn. “Taking Assessment on the Road: Utah Academic Librarians Focus on Distance Learners.” 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, 243-255. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 1/2 (2004): 327-344.
The authors examine the results of focus groups at several off-campus sites designed to learn if and how students were using distance library services. Focus groups were chosen instead of surveys to enrich the annual visits of the librarians to these remote sites, and because it was felt they would garner better information than a formal survey might. The authors detail the methodology, summary and analysis of responses of two separate focus groups conducted approximately one year apart. Participants did complete a brief survey prior to the second focus group, and the survey is reproduced here. A summary of the findings is also included, and the authors conclude with lessons learned and plans for future focus groups. P. Pival.

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.

Shaffer, Janette, Kate Finkelstein, Nancy Woelfl, and Elizabeth Lyden. “A Systematic Approach to Assessing the Needs of Distance Faculty.” 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, 309-319. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 3/4 (2004): 413-428.
Distance education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has grown continuously since the 1960s, but support for remote users at the library has only grown in spots in response to specific demands. In 2001 the library hired a distance services librarian and undertook self-study using focus groups and a survey of faculty course needs in order to create a written remote services plan. Three problems emerged from the results of the self-study. First, the library needed to educate faculty members about student information literacy and to provide library instruction to entire classes improve information literacy, and, second, to publicize distance education services to all users. The third problem was the lack of available electronic resources in health disciplines, which will be remediated as more sources become available. The survey and cover letter is 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.

Thomsett-Scott, Beth. “Yeah, I Found It!: Performing Web Site Usability Testing to Ensure that Students Get the Most Out of the Distance Learning Experience.” 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, 355-364. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 41, no. 3/4 (2004): 471-483.
The University of North Texas (UNT) libraries conducted a series of usability testing studies on a pool of undergraduate and graduate students to improve the usefulness of the library website. The author illustrates three techniques for usability testing with her experiences during those studies. Librarians at UNT used a combination of formal usability studies followed by an informal questionnaire, and focus groups. In all cases, the usability studies were designed to promote positive feelings in the participants, including creating a comfortable environment to promote communication and providing chocolate to cheer up participants frustrated in the formal study. The author suggests that cognitive walk-throughs, although not utilized by UNT, are another valuable tool for usability testing. C. Biles.


Jurkowski, Odin Lech. An Analysis of Library Web Sites at Colleges and Universities Serving Distance Education Students. EdD diss., Northern Illinois University, 2003. 144 pp.
The author researched library services offered to distance learners at 17 institutions with various degrees of distance learning, from a few online courses to entire degree programs. Jurkowski provides a constructivist framework for his study. He suggests that library instruction and other services should provide opportunities for individual learning experiences and personal guidance in the use of library resources. Jurkowski analyzed library websites, conducted personal interviews with librarians, and surveyed distance education students. He notes that some institutions with well-developed distance learning programs provide fewer library services than some institutions smaller distance learning programs. While all librarians felt they were doing a good job, there were disparities in library services and resources. Among other things, students noted the need for more online full text resources, faster document delivery, and personal support in the use of library resources. As librarians struggle to offer services with limited resources, The author suggests that librarians need to undertake more formal needs assessments to determine what their users really want. I. Frank.

Kelley, Kimberly B. and Gloria J. Orr. “Trends in Distant Student Use of Electronic Resources: A Survey.” College & Research Libraries 64, no. 3 (May 2003): 176-191.
The results of a University of Maryland University College (UMUC) survey of student library use and satisfactions are presented. Because UMUC’s students take the majority of their classes online as opposed to in a traditional face-to-face classroom, the survey results elucidate library use by distance learners. The findings confirm other studies and observations suggesting that students prefer using online resources to physical library buildings and collections. In exploring eight research questions about library and web usage, the authors found that students ranked full-text library databases and off-campus access to the library catalog as the most useful library services provided. Respondents also indicated a preference for web-based delivery of library instruction over other methods of instruction, and found web-based information about library services more useful than other formats. Other questions revealed that access to more full-text information would compel students to use library services more often and that the students in this study reflect national trends in exhibiting an increased reliance on the free Web resources. The results of this survey are compared to results of a similar survey conducted five years earlier. J. Markgraf.

Ladner, Pamela Ann Kindja. Mississippi Public Community and Junior College Distance Education Students’ Perceptions of Library Support Services. PhD diss., University of Southern Mississippi, 2003. 97 pp.
This study looked at the quality of library support services offered to distance education students. The students were enrolled in online courses in the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MVCC), a consortium of public community and junior colleges. Administered in fall 2001, a 58 question survey was returned by 2,309 students. Students were asked whether their courses required the use of library resources. Questions also covered student satisfaction with library instruction and document delivery of offline resources. The study provided statistics that determined that there was room for improvement in library services for remote users. Recommendations included development of an online publication to information users about resources, create an online area for students to submit ideas about library services for distance learners, and improved funding and continued expansion of online resources through MELOS (Mississippi Electronic Libraries Online). I. Frank.

Moyo, Lesley Mutinta and Ellysa Stern Cahoy. “Meeting the Needs of Remote Library Users.” Library Management 24, no. 6/7 (2003): 281-290.
Penn State World Campus students were surveyed to discover their attitudes on the quality and use of available library resources and services. Services include one-to-one reference service that includes the capability of co-browsing. The library has provided research tutorials. While students were generally pleased, they did not always utilize the libraries resources as fully as possible. For example, interlibrary loan use was used by only 16% of those surveyed. Survey results indicate that students are interested in access to more full-text resources along with speedy document delivery for materials not online full-text. Students appreciated point-of-need assistance, including telephone and virtual reference and instructional materials. Students also noted their use of local libraries for both resources and services, and also as a source of quiet study space. I. Frank.

Rodman, Ruey L. “Cost Analysis and Student Survey Results of Library Support for Distance Education.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 91, no. 1 (January 2003): 72-78.
In 2001, the Prior Health Sciences Library at the Ohio State University (OSU) provided support for a pilot program of distance-education courses, including the development of a library WebCT presence. Costs to the library to support this program are calculated by analyzing staff time devoted to general librarian activities (such as orientation, training, and web development), e-mail reference service, document delivery, and electronic reserves. Total costs for three courses with twenty students were $1,876.24, yielding an average of $625.41 per course and $93.81 per student. The results of a six-question student evaluation are described, covering reported problems, the library’s WebCT presence, orientation sessions, and specific library services. J. Brandt.

Sellers, Rebecca G., Kenneth E. Wright, and Vivian H. Wright. Attitudes and Perceptions of On- and Off-Campus Students of an Internet-Based Graduate Allied Health Program. 2003. 24 pp. ERIC ED 478 777.
Students enrolled in a graduate, allied health Internet-based program at a major southeastern university were surveyed to determine their attitudes toward distance education, program effectiveness, academic achievement, and the effects of on-campus or off-campus residency. The program was managed by WebCT via Internet, yet some of the students had the opportunity to attend class in person, while others taking the same course did not. All of the students had the opportunity to use electronic library resources, maintain contact with the instructor, and to communicate with the instructor during class sessions. Demographic data was collected on 34 potential participants who responded to the e-mail survey. Results of the survey are revealed, for example, findings suggest that off-campus, older students who waited over four years to pursue graduate studies were the less satisfied with the resources needed for the program via Internet. Younger students, those under 25, tended to disagree that the Internet environment gave less ability to take an active role in their learning. Students off-campus and with a GPA of over 3.5 were less satisfied with library instructions on how to access library resources that the other participants. Further, working students, regardless of residency, tended to have a higher GPA for example. Appendices included. M. Thomas.


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.

Dinwiddie, Mollie and Linda L. Lillard. “At the Crossroads: Library and Classroom.” 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, 199-211. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 1/2 (2002): 251-267.
Librarians at Central Missouri State University actively participated in nursing and criminal justice courses delivered using Blackboard’s course management system. They had roles as co-instructors and provided web pages of useful information. Librarians posted announcements on the student discussion board throughout the semester and contacted each student individually by email to offer direct assistance with research projects. The librarians used several methods of data collection including anonymous survey of 15 questions administered through Blackboard. Overall, students responded positively to the assistance provided by librarians. They found information about accessing library resources from off-campus helpful. More than half found the library’s distance education web page useful. Less than 30% of the students were aware of reciprocal borrowing privileges. Students felt comfortable asking for help and overwhelmingly would like the same kind of assistance for other courses. However, 42% of the students had “no opinion” when asked about whether their emailed questions were answered in a timely manner. Students were interested in the idea of “real time” instructional sessions in the future. Half of the students needed to come to the physical library in order to complete their research. Student visits to the library might explain the low number of questions asked by email. Overall the student response to a librarian’s intervention in their online courses was positive. I. Frank.

Fraser, Mary G., Shari Buxbaum, and Amy Blair. “The Library and the Development of Online Courses.” Co-published simultaneously in Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship 7, no. 2/3 (2002): 47-59, and Library Services for Business Students in Distance Education: Issues and Trends, edited by Shari Buxbaum. New York: Haworth Press, 2002, 47-59.
As Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business undertook development of an online program in International Management Studies, the libraries surveyed the eight faculty initially involved in the program to determine their expectations for library services. The Library Distance Learning Services unit currently assists faculty locating material for courses, provided online reference and research assistance, and acts as copyright liaisons with technical course developers. Faculty members were queried about these services. The faculty interviewed did not expect that students would need reference service since few research assignments are given. Faculty planned to offer self-contained courses with little outside research involved though they did agree that some training in the use of databases and electronic journals would be helpful for their students. They were interested in learning more about copyright and appreciate librarians’ help in obtaining copyright clearance for course materials. Faculty noted that “what is available electronically… builds the course content…” Only one faculty member was interested in librarians’ providing a course-related collection of Internet links. One faculty member reported that sometimes .pdf files were a problem. Based on their interviews, librarians plan instruction online and face-to-face, workshops on copyright, and other services to support the faculty. I. Frank.

Green, Rosemary and Mary Bowser. “Managing Thesis Anxiety: A Faculty-Librarian Partnership to Guide Off-Campus Graduate Education Students Through the Thesis Process.” 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, 265-275. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2002): 341-354.
In fall 2001, librarians at Shenandoah University developed a pilot study to look at the effect of faculty-librarian collaboration on the anxiety levels of graduate students writing their thesis for the Master of Science in Education Program. A faculty-librarian team collaborates in teaching four courses in thesis research/composition. The program includes on-campus and off-campus students. Researchers were also interested in the effect of faculty-librarian collaboration on the quality of thesis literature reviews. The study used an 18-question survey to look at the anxiety levels of the 13 students who responded. Ten thesis literature reviews – five from pre-collaboration participants and five from post-collaboration participants – were scored by faculty member pairs who were given an assessment rubric. Results obtained from both parts of the study were inconclusive given the small numbers in the study. However, there is a trend toward reduced anxiety among students involved in the faculty-librarian team approach. Students commented that they were grateful for on-going librarian support for their thesis projects. I. Frank.

Heller-Ross, Holly. “Assessing Outcomes with Nursing Research Assignments and Citation Analysis of Student Bibliographies.” Co-published simultaneously in The Reference Librarian, no. 77 (2002): 121-140, and Distance Learning: Information Access and Services for Virtual Users, edited by Hemalata Iyer. New York: Haworth Press, 2002, 121-140.
Plattsburgh State University of New York offers an RN-BSN degree for nurses through a distance education program called the Telenursing Program. Citation analysis was chosen as the method to determine the use of library resources by the students enrolled in that program. A review of the literature about citation analysis was conducted and the requirements for library services for distance education students set by various accrediting bodies were examined. Students enrolled in the Telenursing Program voluntarily participated in the citation analysis study by allowing the bibliographies and works cited sections of their research assignments to be analyzed. The information from these documents was entered into a database and statistics were tabulated for the number of different resources used, the currency of the resources used, and the type of resources (books, journals, media, Web resources) chosen by the students. Nursing course assignments were examined to determine the research requirements and expectations of the faculty assigning the research projects. The statistics compiled on the use of published literature by the nursing students indicated only a slight difference in use for on-campus and off-campus students. The study also showed that the type of assignment and the assignment research requirements influenced the students’ use of resources more than differences in on-campus or off-campus access to resources. Tables and charts with statistical data are included with the article. S. Heidenreich.

Kazmer, Michelle M. “Distance Education Students Speak to the Library: Here’s How You Can Help Even More.” The Electronic Library 20, no. 5 (2002): 395-400.
As part of a research project, students enrolled in the distance education program of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provided their opinions about the library services available to them. The students were interviewed four different times during the school year. Although a number of electronic document and database resources were available to the students, they favored expedited document delivery. They indicated the need for an asynchronous service that would answer not only library questions but also administrative and procedural questions in a timely manner. The students showed a preference for having a single contact person within the library. They also expressed their opinions on training and technology support. The experience of these students shows that as the library learns to respond to the needs of its distance learners it can also help make other areas within the university aware of these students’ needs. S. Heidenreich.

Ruttenberg, Judy and Elizabeth Housewright. “Assessing Library Instruction for Distance Learners: A Case Study of Nursing Students.” In Managing Library Instruction Programs in Academic Libraries: Selected Papers Presented at the 29th National LOEX Library Instruction Conference, edited by Julia K. Nims and Eric Owen. Library Orientation Series, No. 33. Ann Arbor, MI: Pierian Press, 2002, 137-148.
A California State University, Fullerton, pilot study measured the effectiveness of bibliographic instruction program offered to nursing students residing off-campus and to those studying on-campus. 45 of 57 nursing students responded to a pre/post -test and user satisfaction survey was given at then end of a month-long library instruction module. The same bibliographic instruction session was simultaneously given to on-campus students and was delivered via NetMeeting to the distance students. Results revealed that the control group, the on-campus and off-campus all showed improvement in their post-test scores, as all participants benefited from the bibliographic instruction sessions; however, the satisfaction portion of the survey revealed a slight difference in satisfaction levels among distance versus on-campus students. The authors will use the results and evaluation of this study to further improve real-time instruction and to implement improved technology for electronic delivery. Included in the appendices are the Library skills test and the Satisfaction Survey. M. Thomas.

Summey, Terri Pedersen and James Fisk. “Who’s Out There in Cyberspace: Profiling the Remote Learner for Service 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, 389-395. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2003): 503-513.
Emporia State University’s School of Library and Information Management (SLIM) serves students across six states using formats such as weekend intensive courses, interactive video, and web-based courses. In spring of 2000, surveys were completed by 170 of 437 students enrolled in the SLIM program. Students were queried about their ability to access library services, their knowledge of current services, and their opinions about proposed services. 69% of the students work outside the home and 32% are parents of at least one child under age 12. 94% had Internet access. A majority of students were unaware that email reference was offered. Some students were not aware of the remote services available to them. Not all students were confident of their own research skills even though 64% currently work in libraries. Students were interested in “proposed new services” such as extended weekend hours for the Library to accommodate students taking weekend classes, a toll-free number for the Library reference desk; topical pathfinders, online instructional modules, virtual office hours with reference librarians, a distance education web page, and electronic document delivery, and remote access to more full-text databases. The Library implemented many of the changes suggested by the survey. I. Frank.

Tipton, Carol Johnson. Academic Libraries and Distance Learners: A Study of Graduate Student Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Library Support for Distance Learning. PhD diss., Texas A&M University, 2002. 134 pp.
The author studied distance learners library policies and services at three institutions in the Texas A&M University System. The librarians most directly responsible for distance learning library services were interviewed. In addition, surveys were administered to graduate students enrolled in courses at remote sites available through the Trans Texas Videoconferencing Network (TTVN). At the time this study was conducted (1999), Tipton discovered that there were no formal policies for distance learning library services though librarians offered access to electronic resources, provided reference services, and were able to arrange for interlibrary loans for users at remote sites. Librarians did not have formal training in distance learning library services and no additional funds were available to provide services for remote users. Students did not feel that their home institution’s library met their information needs. Libraries need to improve their policies and strategies to provide services to distance learners. I. Frank.

Veal, Robin. “The Relationship Between Library Anxiety and Off-Campus Adult 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, 407-411. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 37, no. 3/4 (2002): 529-536.
Using the LAS (Library Anxiety Scale, Bostick, 1992), this study looked the library anxiety level of off-campus adult learners in a Master of Arts in Education program. These 143 students were K-12 educators taking courses off-campus at cohort locations around the state. The LAS looks at barriers with staff, affective barriers, comfort with the library, knowledge of the library, and mechanical barriers. (Mechanical barriers include lack of comfort with library equipment such as copy machines and printers.) The study looked at such variables as gender, age, previous library instruction, their distance from the physical library, and the amount of time given to complete research projects. Among the findings, males had slightly higher levels of anxiety than females. The 20-29 year olds reported the highest levels of anxiety. In general the researchers report an inverse relationship between age and library anxiety. The results replicate those of earlier studies. Further research should be undertaken to look at the causes of library anxiety related to these variables. I. Frank.


Dinwiddie, Mollie M. and Linda L. Lillard. “Distance Education Library Services: An Opportunity for Personalized Customer Service.” In Distance Learning 2001: Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, August 8-10, 2001, Madison Wisconsin. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001, 127-131.
Librarians at Central Missouri State University took on the role of co-instructors in online courses to provide personalized research assistance. This service was initially provided to one graduate and one undergraduate nursing class. In 2001, librarians participated as co-instructors in nine online courses in Criminal Justice and Nursing. Librarians sent each student email offering research assistance. They sent announcements to the class as a whole throughout the semester. When surveyed, the students were positive about the support that the librarians offered. Most students agreed that the librarian responded in a timely manner to their queries though 8% either Disagreed Somewhat or Strongly Disagreed. Presumably these students expected a turn-around response time of less than 48 hours. This kind of standard could become difficult to maintain if librarians were involved in many courses. More than half the students Strongly Agreed or Agreed that they were willing to ask the librarian for help. Students indicated that their expectations regarding assistance were met. Many students suggested that they would ask librarians for assistance in the future. The librarians will pursue this active model of providing research assistance to students taking online courses. I. Frank.

MacFarland, Thomas W. “Fall Term 1999 Nova Southeastern University Students Respond to a Broad-Based Satisfaction Survey: A Comparison of Campus-Based Students and Distance Education Students.” Fort Lauderdale, FL: Nova Southeastern University, 2001. 69 pp. ERIC ED 453 732.
In 1997 as part of an Institutional Effectiveness study for the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Nova Southeastern University undertook a survey to gauge student satisfaction with the university as a whole. 2,300 students responded. Campus-based students were compared to distance education students. Library resources, services, and access to information technology emerged as some areas where levels of satisfaction were different. Campus-based students were more satisfied with their training, access to information through technology than distance education students. Campus-based students were less satisfied with the adequacy of library and learning resource materials. There were some differences in other areas as well. For example, on-campus students used more technology such as email and the World Wide Web in their courses than distance students who used audio-bridge for their courses. Also, distance education students were more satisfied with the over-all quality of their education than on-campus students. The survey and detailed results and analysis are included in this report. I. Frank.


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.
Since teaching faculty influence student library use, faculty are an “essential customer group.” Librarians at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln administered a brief survey to teaching faculty to assess faculty needs. The survey also acted as a marketing tool since it increased awareness among faculty of library services and resources. In fall 1999 surveys were sent to 80 faculty who had taught one or more graduate distance course at some point over a two-year period. Faculty could respond via e-mail or surface mail. Two follow-up contacts were made resulting in a 50% return rate. Most faculty utilized email to return their surveys. The survey instrument and results are included. Results indicated faculty members were highly satisfied with the librarians assigned to help with their distance learning needs. However, only a few faculty members had invited librarians to provide bibliographic instruction. In other findings, half of the faculty indicated their use of library resources for distance classes were at the same level as traditional classes. Faculty reported dissatisfaction with the limited offerings of full-text databases. Faculty also noted some dissatisfaction with authentication procedures and systems that are often managed by departments outside the library. Overall, faculty members were satisfied with library services and resources. I. Frank.

Dew, Stephen H. “Knowing Your Users and What They Want: Surveying Off-Campus Students About Library Services.” 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, 119-132. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 31, no. 3/4 (2001): 177-193.
Based on the earlier survey instrument developed by University of Northern Iowa, the University of Iowa (UI) conducted a survey of its distance learners. The earlier survey was revised and the revisions pre-tested with a group of graduate students. Permission was obtained to conduct the survey through the university’s Human Subjects Office. The researchers worked with other agencies on campus to obtain their random sample of 10% of the distance learners. The first of 706 surveys were mailed out in November 1998 with the last survey returned in June 1999. The response rate was 38.5% considered useful even though short of the 40% minimum suggested by most statisticians as providing legitimate results. UI used SPSS to analyze the data. Written comments were compiled separately. Data collected included characteristics of the user population, their level of connectivity, and the type of course work undertaken related to library use. Students ranked the importance of services such as web and/or email reference services, remote access to full-text databases, home delivery of books and articles, etc. The survey instrument and results are included. With the supporting data, new services were developed including a toll-free number, a special document delivery service for distance learners, and purchase of additional full-text databases. I. Frank.

Frisby, Anthony J. and Susan S. Jones. “The Initiation of Distance Learning at Thomas Jefferson University: The Library as Integral Partner.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 19, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 19-37.
In 1997, Thomas Jefferson University’s Academic Information Services and Research (AISR) and the College of Health Professions Nursing Departments developed a web-based online graduate course in epidemiology. In a non-traditional role, a librarian managed the team. Other members included a faculty member, instructional designer, an educational psychologist, a programmer, a computer graphics artist, and a database administrator. The team spent a total of nearly 1600 hours over a period of nine months developing the course which included graphics, animation, more than 1200 information pages, quizzes, discussion boards, etc. Fifteen students were recruited for the first course. Students were given an on-campus three-hour orientation. Students were also able to contact reference librarians for technical support. To assess the course, students were given a Pre-Course survey. Students rated themselves more comfortable with computers than students in face-to-face classes, but some students were less knowledgeable than hoped. The Mid-Course survey indicated that 92% of the students were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the course. In the Post-Course Survey only two students expressed dissatisfaction. In the future the education services librarian will monitor a series of exercises offered at the start of the term to ensure that technical problems are resolved. Librarians will continue to provide technical support throughout the semester. I. Frank.

Sheu, Feng Ru and Paul Alford. “Making Them Work for the IST Online Program: A Case Study.” In Annual Proceedings of Selected Research and Development Papers Presented at the 23rd National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Denver, CO, October 25-28, 2000. ERIC ED 455 793.
Twelve people including faculty, librarians, administrators, and students from Indiana University’s Instructions Systems Technology program were both surveyed and interviewed about the importance of library services to distance learning programs. Participants identified database access and especially the availability of full-text databases as very important. Students and faculty alike considered electronic reserves important. Document delivery was mentioned with participants preferring a two to five day timeframe for receipt of materials. Participants wanted a quick turn-around time to queries. Librarians noted the need to be the “friendly voice” providing students with assistance. All participants mentioned the importance of providing equitable access to library resources and services. The study provided guidance concerning policies for areas such as document delivery, staffing for Distributed Education Library Services, and assistance to distance learning faculty. I. Frank.

Sutherland, Jennifer. “Distance Education: Library Use Among Adult Distance Learners: Its Implications for Local Public and Academic Libraries.” M.L.I.S. project, University of Denver, 2000. 51 pp. Online. Available: http://www.du.edu/lisa/capstone/Capstone_Projects/j_sutherland.pdf (in pdf format)
Where do adult distance learners go for their library resources? What library services do they use the most? In 2000, a survey was distributed and returned by 71 distance learners in more than one discipline at more than one institution. Students had taken off-campus and web-based courses as well as courses delivered via compressed video, etc. Students were encouraged to use their main campus library, but many of the students borrowed materials from local public and academic libraries. The main reason for use of local libraries was location. This bears out the findings of other studies. Local public libraries have taken on new roles supporting adult learners. Among other comments, students expressed frustration with interlibrary loan and accessing materials from off-campus. Sutherland draws the following conclusions: Students need to be informed early in their studies about available library services and resources; students need training in use of both online and physical materials; students need access to as much online full-text material as possible; students need email, web-based and toll-free numbers for reference and technical help; students need access to local libraries. Cooperative agreements are important when students come from identifiable geographic regions. I. Frank.

Tipton, Carol J. “Graduate Students’ Perceptions of Library Support Services for Distance Learners: A University System-Wide Study.” 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, 261-271. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 393-408.
In spring 1999, Texas A&M University System conducted a survey of graduate students involved in courses offered over the Trans-Texas Video Conference Network. After pre-testing, proctors at the remote sites administered the surveys. One faculty member asked for a web-based survey and one class of students were mailed the surveys. 102 questionnaires were returned. SPSS was used for analysis. The survey looked at students’ use of libraries, students’ perception of library support offered by each institution, students’ computer skills, students’ need for additional training, and demographic information. The questionnaire and results are included. Among the findings, one third of the students did not use printed materials. One fourth of the students reported using electronic databases for journals very often. More than three-fourths did not use their TexShare card to access consortial libraries. Some students were not aware which libraries participated in the TexShare program. 25% used their local libraries very often. The general findings indicate that students are not using library services to their full potential. The survey results suggest a need for orientation to services, preparation of tutorials on searching methods and a review for procedures of accessing the online catalog and databases. I. Frank.

Wittkopf, Barbara, Elizabeth Orgeron, and Trish Del Nero. “Louisiana Academic Libraries: Partnering to Enhance Distance Education Services.” 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, 293-299. Reprinted in Journal of Library Administration 32, no. 1/2 (2001): 439-447.
The state of Louisiana leveraged its long-standing library consortial arrangements to support the needs of distance learners. Louisiana had developed a union catalog, consortial purchasing of databases, and an Ariel-based interlibrary loan system. A Resource Sharing Committee (RSC) was formed and led to reciprocal borrowing among the consortial libraries. In addition, each library designated a Distance Education librarian to serve on the RSC. In one example of partnership, Distance Education Librarians developed a standard level of bibliographic instruction and services for four nursing programs. The RSC is actively supporting statewide authentication system to ease access to electronic resources. Looking at criteria for the ACRL Distance Learning Section Guidelines and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the group developed some surveys. One survey that found that distance learners rely more on academic rather than public libraries – and that public libraries were eager to help. Another survey was undertaken to analyze distance education students’ knowledge of services offered and the extent of use. The survey model is discussed with results to be reported at a later date. I. Frank.


Barnard, John. “Distance Learners Use of the Internet and Academic Libraries: Supplement or Replacement?” In ED-MEDIA 1999: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications: Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 99, World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Seattle, Washington, USA, June 19-24, 1999, Volume 2, edited by Betty Collis and Ron Oliver. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 1999, 1396-1397.
Results of an Arizona State University survey to gather data on distant learners’ library and Internet use are presented. Results indicate that distance learners rank the Internet as their first information source of choice, followed by academic libraries, personal contacts, public libraries, and personal book collections. Although they didn’t rank libraries as their first choice, a majority of respondents agreed that libraries were necessary. Based on the findings, the author advocates the library’s role in providing value-added service to assist students in using the overwhelming amount of information to which they have access and to meet increasing expectations brought about by the Internet. J. Markgraf.

Tuñón, Johanna. “Integrating Bibliographic Instruction for Distance Education Doctoral Students into the Child and Youth Studies Program at Nova Southeastern University.” Ed.D. practicum report, Nova Southeastern University, 1999. ERIC ED 440 639.
The author began this project with an identified need to improve library instruction for distance learners at Nova Southeastern University and particularly for the doctoral education students in the Child and Youth Studies (CYS) program. Some students lacked basic library research skills as well as basic computer competencies. A practicum was designed to provide CYS students with training so that they confidently access online resources and utilize those resources in their research. A method was developed for integrating bibliographic instruction (BI) into the CYS curriculum. A variety of instructional strategies were used including the use of sequential face-to-face site visits, self-paced web-based tutorials, email, and the Library’s toll free telephone line. Specific assignments were introduced to allow students to demonstrate their skills. These strategies proved successful and the study’s outcomes were met. Students demonstrated the ability to search databases and perform other library research skills. Use of the Library’s web-based resources increased. Satisfaction surveys were administered with results indicating that students felt more confident about their abilities to search electronic resources. Students recommended that subsequent groups of students receive similar training. If anything, students wanted more training. I. Frank.