ACRL Distance Learning Section Creative Commons 2006-2008

Chapter 1. Bibliographies, Literature Reviews, and Resource Lists


Swaine, Cynthia Wright. Resources for Distance Learning Library Services. Online. Available:
This website is housed at Old Dominion University (ODU) and is organized into eight categories: guidelines, electronic discussion groups, conferences and workshops, organizations, publications, selected readings, sample library websites for distance learning, and related links. It includes resources from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, which is especially useful in finding comparable conferences and guidelines. Visitors to the site will discover that none of the categories have so many links that they are overwhelming. The selected readings include articles ranging in date from 1996 to 2002 and include articles, an ARL SPEC kit, an ARL SPEC flyer, proceedings, and an online bibliography. Out of the approximately 50 links included, only two were not working on11/16/03. E. Onega.


Ismail-Kaye, Nazira. "International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL) and Services to Distance Learners." Paper presented at the AAOU Pre-Conference Seminar on Outreach Library Services for Distance Learners, February 20, 2002, New Delhi, India.
The International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL) is a centre for research, teaching, consultancy, information and publishing activities. It is based in the UK Open University's Institute of Educational Technology. Three databases provided by ICDL are available to the public via the ICDL website In one database, a list and descriptions of providers/institutions offering distance learning programmes is provided. Another database contains descriptions of various distance leaning courses in the UK. The third database is focused on the literature surrounding distance education. A description of three projects that the ICDL is involved with is provided along with accompanying URLs. Finally, library services for the Open University's Master of Arts (MA) in Open and Distance Education are outlined. The MA is offered online via the conferencing system FirstClass. Reference assistance and document delivery services can be obtained via an "Ask ICDL" icon within the conferencing system. J. Wheeler.

"Lifelong Learning and Libraries: A Bibliography of Recent Publications." New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 3 (2002): 157-184.
This list of recent publications updates the annotated bibliography that appeared in Volume 1 (2000) of New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning (see Craven and Brophy below). The scope of the bibliography is broad and many references relevant to distance learning library services are included. There are no annotations in this update. A. Slade.

Markland, Margaret. "The Integration of Digital Libraries and Online Information Resources into the Online Learning Environment: An Annotated Bibliography and Discussion." New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 3 (2002): 3-15.
This article provides an annotated bibliography of the recent literature on integrating library materials into online instruction. Authors of the articles cited suggest that library materials need to be incorporated into courseware. Librarians should seek opportunities to work closely with faculty on developing course-specific materials. Other articles note that generic library skills modules may not be as useful as subject-specific modules. The author suggests that the concept of integration ought to include the provision of specific materials including journal articles, annotated websites, newspaper articles, etc. Other studies note that students want the fastest and smoothest access to online resources. A tailor-made environment can contribute to students' academic success. Finally, faculty must be informed about and assisted in using the wide range of online resources that libraries can offer. In some cases librarians can introduce resources to the faculty who then make the ultimate selection of material for their students. Librarians can provide the necessary expertise to ensure the integration of library resources into online courses. I. Frank.

Sloan, Bernie and Sharon Stoerger. Library Support for Distance Learning. November 2002. Online. NO LONGER AVAILABLE as of 12/3/08
This website provides access to online information on issues pertaining to distance learning and library services. The resources are divided into eight sections: (1) General Information on Distance Learning, (2) Regional Initiatives and Planning/Policy Documents, (3) Selected Papers on General Issues in Distance Learning, (4) Library-specific Meta-information on Distance Learning, (5) Selected Papers and Reports on Library Support for Distance Learning, (6) State and Regional Web Sites for Library Support for Distance Learning, (7) Selected Resources on Virtual Reference Services, and (8) Evaluating Web Resources. The majority of the online resources listed fall outside the scope of this bibliography and, consequently, the website serves as a useful complement for those seeking broader information on distance learning and related areas of library support. A. Slade.


Slade, Alexander L. "Research on Library Services for Distance Learning: An International Perspective." In Information Services in an Electronic Environment, edited by G. E. Gorman. International Yearbook of Library and Information Management 2001/2002. London: Library Association Publishing, 2001, 187-233. Reprinted in Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning 1, no. 1 (2004): 5-43.
As distance learning programs in higher education greatly expanded in the mid and late 1990's, the literature regarding library support for these programs has also grown phenomenally. Taking an international perspective, the author summarizes selected research studies on library services for distance learning conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other counties. While the most prevalent types of research in this area are library surveys and user studies, several large-scale research projects are also described. In a synthesis of the research findings, common themes on user needs and providing library services to distance students are discussed. A survey of distance learning librarians identified areas for further research, the top priority being collaboration with faculty to integrate library resources into web-based courses. Drawing upon the materials reviewed, the author emphasizes the need for continued research on library services for distance learning. J. Brandt.


Beagle, Donald. "Web-based Learning Environments: Do Libraries Matter?" College & Research Libraries 61, no. 4 (July 2000): 367-379.
This literature review explores the prevalence of articles on web-based learning environments that include a discussion about library access and resources. Only about 10% of the articles examined mentioned libraries more than tangentially. The author outlines two possible reasons for the apparent lack of interest in library issues in the literature. First, it could be that instructors teaching online classes tend to use pre-packaged materials instead of requiring that their students do research; thereby, negating the need for library access. Or, alternatively, it could be that the online library resources are ubiquitous in the campus environment so that faculty members already take library access, services, and access for granted. The author did another literature review on discussions of web-based learning environments in library literature, "the converse of the first literature review," and found a number of articles on the topic. He organizes the articles into seven themes into which the bulk of articles fall. He concludes by stressing the danger of libraries being marginalized just at the time when they should be an integral ingredient in the development of online education. E. Onega.

Craven, Jenny and Peter Brophy. "Lifelong Learning and Libraries: An Annotated Bibliography." New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning 1 (2000): 155-172.
An annotated bibliography is included in the inaugural issue of New Review of Libraries and Lifelong Learning to highlight selected works that contribute to the understanding and study of lifelong learning. While the scope is international, many of the items listed originate in the UK. The bibliography is divided into three sections: (1) Lifelong Learning Policy: International Perspectives, (2) Lifelong Learning Policy: National Perspectives, and (3) Lifelong Learning and Libraries. A. Slade.

Slade, Alexander L. "International Trends and Issues in Library Services for Distance Learning: Present and Future." In Libraries Without Walls 3: The Delivery of Library Services to Distant Users, edited by Peter Brophy, Shelagh Fisher, and Zoƫ Clarke. London: Library Association Publishing, 2000, 6-48. Reprinted in ASHE Reader: Distance Education: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, edited by Lenoar Foster, Beverly L. Bower, and Lemuel W. Watson. Boston: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2002, 122-147.
Outlined in this paper are some current international trends and issues emerging from the literature on the topic of library and information support to distance learners. The authors open with a list of terminology and definitions on distance learning. Broad issues such as budgets, consortia, virtual learning and other issues as they affect distance learning and libraries are discussed. Regarding the role academic libraries, key issues are examined, such as taking a proactive stance, moving toward a user-centered mindset, and strengthening partnerships with teaching faculty, computing personnel and with other types of library institutions. The literature finds that public libraries serve to support lifelong and open learning, particularly in the UK. Other overarching issues discussed are organization and planning issues, electronic resources and services, library instruction, the need for research on library services, and professional issues. Future trends are explored. M. Thomas.


Aitchison, Jenny. "Library Services for Postgraduate Distance Education Students: Some Issues Examined in the Literature." Innovation, no. 18 (June 1999): 20-28.
The international literature on library services to distance education students is examined in the context of a discussion of equitable library services, with particular reference to the University of South Africa. The author reviews selected works pertaining to the forms of distance education delivery, the need for distance learning library services, the role of guidelines and standards, and literature searching by postgraduate distance education students. A. Slade.

Gibson, Andrew, Robert Newton, and David Dixon. "Supporting Open and Distance Learners: Practice and Policy Across Further and Higher Education Libraries." Library Review 48, no. 5 (1999): 219-231.
Library services for open and distance learners at further and higher education libraries in Scotland are reviewed. Key developments in distance library services are outlined by literature review of three areas: access to resources; access to skills and services; and policy development and guidelines. A survey of all Scottish and select English academic libraries included open and closed questions on the provision of services for distance learners. Results from various areas are highlighted, including circulation policies, document delivery and searching services, remote access to electronic resources, user training, and finances. Interviews were also conducted with library personnel from four Scottish universities. The topics of comments summarized include communication with distance education staff, services available for distance students, access to guidance materials, access to support and help, and partnerships with other universities. The authors analyze information from the literature, survey and interviews to highlight key factors in the successful development of library services for distance education. J. Brandt.