Chapter 2: General Works — News Items

This chapter section includes news items that focus on library services for distance learning..

“40 Ways to Maintain Academic Integrity in Online Courses.” Distance Education Report; no. 2 (2009): 4-4.
This article lists ideas for instructors to maintain academic integrity in online courses. The methods are categorized by two main approaches, virtue and policing. The virtue approach encourages developing students who do not want to cheat. Some of the methods in the virtue approach suggest making information about academic integrity readily available to students; including ethics in curriculum and orientation activities; requiring students to read and agree to integrity policy; providing students with a writing hand book which includes plagiarism information; and developing an honor code at the semester start. The policing approach involves catching and punishing students who cheat. This approach suggests methods such as using a plagiarism detection service; checking references; asking students how they accessed a reference; comparing quotations with cited sources; and filing old papers in the department by topic, for reference.  S. Cisse

Alexander, Laurie, Dave Carter, Suzanne Chapman, Susan Hollar and Julie Weatherbee. “MLibrary 2.0: Create, Share, and Network.” C&RL News 69, no. 4 (April 2008): 204-206+.
This article describes a University of Michigan (UM)library task force’s four-part forum series held in summer 2007 that was intended to “generate library-wide enthusiasm for Library 2.0 concepts and technologies and give staff some basic grounding in those concepts and technologies.” The first part of the series involved guest speakers giving presentations on various Web/Library 2.0 topics. The second part called for participants to explore specific technologies (e.g. social tagging, social networking, podcasting, etc.) and to post their thoughts about their experiences to the MLibrary 2.0 blog that had been created for this purpose. The third part included guest speakers who discussed how gaming and social networking were being used at their institutions. In the final part of the forum, participants who’d worked on a MLibrary 2.0 project throughout the series demonstrated their work. The organizers found that the forum was highly evaluated. Several 2.0 initiatives (e.g. a photo essay created using Flickr, use of Facebook’s polling feature, adding LibX and Zotero to public workstations) were undertaken by UM librarians as a result of their involvement in the forum.  C. Thomes

Attwood, Rebecca. “Libraries Dump 2m Volumes.” Times Higher Education, no. 1820 (16 November 2007). Online. Available:
This article raises concerns regarding the increasing number of print resources that are being disposed of each year by academic institutions. The institutions are not replacing the number of disposed print resources with new print, but instead many are replacing them with electronic books and journals. According to the author, a common reason for disposing of print resources is to free up space for “e–learning suites” and study space for students. A demand for off-campus access to resources is another reason for the shift from print resources to electronic access and many items are disposed of due to low use or wear and tear. Many academics are alarmed at this new trend to embrace technology without contemplating the impact of losing access to “real books.”  L. Williams

Bray-Hardesty, Sarah. “E-Learning: Successes and Failures.” Chronicle of Higher Education, 53, no.18 (January 5, 2007): B20
Has e-learning lived up to its potential?  To debate the question, the author interviews Gene Maeroff, author of “Classroom of One: How Online Learning is Changing Our Schools and Colleges,” and Robert Zemsky, chairman of the Learning Alliance for Higher Education. These experts propose that e–learning benefits a limited audience — self-motivated adult learners who are seeking career or professional development. They suggest that there is growth for e–learning among traditional–aged students enrolled at brick-and-mortar universities. The emergence of the hybrid courses at these institutions allows students and instructors to sometimes meet in an online environment and other times at a physical location on the campus. Maeroff and Zemsky argue that the future of e–learning lies in integrating its implementation into academic programs that are predominantly brick–and–mortar, thereby immersing e–learning into all educational content.  D. Long

DeCandido, GraceAnne A. “On My Mind: Online Teaching is Real Teaching.” American Libraries 37, no. 9 (October 2006): 23.
In this article, the author describes her experiences with teaching online in the Professional Development Studies and MLIS programs at the Rutgers School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies. She notes that even though some have implied that “real learning and real teaching could only happen in a real classroom,” it has been her experience that online classrooms are “very real indeed.” She explains that although face–to–face classrooms offer teachers and students certain benefits, the online environment also offers very tangible benefits, such as—among others—the possibility of long, threaded discussions in which many people can interact and which allow the people in the class to “see how ideas and threads grow and develop and change over the course of the semester.”  C. Thomes

Duncan, Jennifer. “Working from Afar: A New Trend for Librarianship.” C&RL News 69, no. 4 (April 2008): 216-218, 236.
This article discusses the positives and the challenges of telecommuting for librarians from the author’s personal experience. Duncan, who is employed by Utah State University, worked from home while living in Washington D.C. for six months. She describes the process of the decision to work from home, getting approval from her library, and setting up a home office. The author also discusses the evaluation process at the end of her temporary telecommute, and gives advice to libraries and librarians who are considering telecommuting.  C. Girton

Duval, Erik, Klamma, Ralf and Wolpers, Martin. “A Digital Library Framework for Reusing e–Learning Video Documents.” European conference on technology enhanced learning: Creating new learning experiences on a global scale (2007) 444-449.
The authors of this article illustrate how MILOS, a Multimedia Content Management System allows for auto–extraction of metadata from digital content. They discuss how the structure of these tools, such as a digital library, allows for the reuse of e–learning documents. MILOS efficiently supports the storage and retrieval of multimedia learning documents. This article also discusses the VICE (Virtual Communities for Education) project which promotes high quality, cost-effective distance learning. It encourages the application of digital library techniques for retrieval and reuse of e-learning objects. As well, the authors discuss metadata management by analyzing the adopted model and the utilized tools. They provide an overview of the search and browsing Web interface provided with reposting of the VICE project and end with a summary of the project’s contribution to the field of E–learning.  S. Cisse

Farkas, Meredith. “The Evolving Library.” American Libraries 38, no. 6 (June 2007): 50.
The author notes the need to assess, assess, and assess again. In response to ever evolving technology, library staff must continually evaluate the services they provide to their populations. In this article the author provides ten “timeless” reminders that every library can immediately put into practice. These include: developing a risk tolerant environment; avoiding technolust; understanding your population; involving all staff in planning; playing with technology; considering sustainability issues; focusing on functionality; offering training; assessing and reassessing; and adapting.  J. Hutson

Farkas, Meredith. “The Evolving Library.” American Libraries no. 6 (2007): 50.
This article discusses libraries and continual re-evaluation of the changing needs of their service population. As far back as 1905, libraries have been challenged with defining themselves as more than just book repositories.  Libraries must always consider certain issues when it comes to employing new technologies.  The author lays out 10 tips for successfully implementing technologies in any period of time. Three staff related tips are, one, encouraging staff to take risks, two, involving staff in planning, and three, offering training for staff and patrons. The next three tips involve the patron, which are, considering their unique needs when deciding what to implement, making sure the technology indeed fills a need, and focusing the marketing on what it can do for the patron, more so than what it is. With regards to the implemented technology, consider playing with it before it goes live, think about maintenance issues, and conduct on-going assessment to determine its impact.  The final tip encourages libraries to be willing to quickly make technology changes according to patron needs, and to adapt to effectively serve patrons.  S. Cisse

Farkas, Meredith. “Going Where the Patrons Are: Outreach in MySpace and Facebook.” American Libraries 38, no. 4 (2007): 27.
Rationale and advantages for libraries to establish a presence on social networking sites are presented in this one-page essay. The author opines that the MySpace and Facebook sites, which are an integral part of daily life for students, offer libraries educational and marketing opportunities. Farkas notes that students frequently socialize while doing homework and that despite libraries’ efforts, students frequently utilize nonacademic search engines when working on course assignments. The Brooklyn (NY) College Library MySpace portal (which provides links to databases, a library catalog, and off-campus access documentation) is described as an example, as well as the personal profile of the director of the Crossett Library at Bennington (VT) College.  C. Kristof

Phillips, Stephen. “Black Sun Rising.” Times Higher Education. June 2007. Online. Available:
The author describes how universities are starting to create virtual campuses on the Web and reach more students. The article discusses several universities and their uses of Second Life for classes, research and simulations. The author suggests that these virtual “islands” and other areas have caused an opening for potential new learning areas and opportunities to enrich distance learning. Also discussed is the use of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).  R. McWilliams

“Team Teaching with an Embedded Librarian.” Distance Education Report 12, no. 17 (September 2008): 6 - 7.
Over a period of four years, embedded librarian Tina Lau has worked closely with English instructor Alisa Klinger to team teach an online first-year composition course at Cuesta College (California). The article reports on the advantages of providing support to students when they need it. A brief overview of the course design is included.  J. Hutson