Chapter 4: Organizational Issues
Ryckman, Brian. “Establishing a Baseline: History, Evolution and Evaluation of Grand Valley State University's Off-Campus Library Services.” Journal of Library Administration 49, no. 1-2 (January 1, 2009): 75-88.
In 2006, as part of a complete reorganization of the library as a whole, the Off-Campus Library Services unit (OCLS) at Grand Valley State University was disbanded. In its place, library subject liaisons took up the duties of serving both on- and off-campus students and faculty in the liaisons’ respective departments. After a year of the new, distributed service model, the library wanted to gauge the impact of the new model. Toward that end, the library conducted a study to determine faculty awareness of, and attitudes toward, library services. Working in collaboration with departmental administrators, the library surveyed all teaching faculty in four departments that offer distance classes. The survey assessed faculty’s attitudes in categories such as the importance of library instruction, the importance of accessible print and electronic resources, and the importance of library services overall. Survey results included the following: 70% of faculty respondents require students to use library resources; and a majority of faculty were aware of many library resources such as databases and free document delivery. The authors discuss plans for enhancing library services to distance students and faculty. One possible initiative is a marketing campaign in collaboration with the university’s institutional marketing department. Strengthening partnerships with other university entities, such as the continuing education department, is also planned. R. Miller
Shepley, S. “Building a Virtual Campus: Librarians as Collaborators in Online Course Development and Learning.” Journal of Library Administration 49, no. 1/2 (2009): 89-96.
Librarians at Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology built relationships with the Virtual Campus and its designers, subject specialists, graphic designers and faculty, involving the librarians directly in course development, management and instruction. A librarian is assigned to each online course, working directly with the course designer and subject specialist to identify needed resources and services, and develop specialized instruction for students. N. Mactague
Matesic, Gina. “Every Step You Change: A Process of Change and Ongoing Management.” Journal of Library Administration 49, no. 1-2 (January 1, 2009): 35-49.
The Off-Campus and Distance Education Library Service (OCDELS) at the University of Manitoba provides reference and document-delivery services for off-campus students. OCDELS is one department within the larger university library. The author was hired as a full-time librarian in charge of OCDELS, and she describes how she went about learning the systems that were in place when she arrived and the process by which she implemented changes. Her initial activities included meeting with stakeholders in the university’s distance education program and in the larger library of which OCDELS is a part (collaboration with librarians responsible for on-campus services was essential). The author also conducted an environmental scan, examining the Web sites of other distance library programs and conducting a literature search. One major change that the author initiated was to replace OCDELS’ paper-based document-delivery processing system with an online request form and corresponding back-end database. The new online system permitted helpful statistics to be generated more easily and for workflow to be analyzed to identify inefficiencies. The author worked in collaboration with library information-technology staff to create the online system. The new system was introduced gradually and only after close consultation with stakeholders. Also, open communication was encouraged to help library staff deal with the stress that results from change. R. Miller
Blankenship, Emily F. “Aligning the Assessment Process in Academic Library Distance Education Services Using the Nash Model for Improved Demonstration and Reporting of Organizational Performance.” Journal of Library Administration 48, no. 3 (2008): 317-328.
Academic libraries today are faced with having to justify their online distance education service environments since distance education is growing rapidly. In this article, the author uses the Nash Model for Improved Demonstration and Reporting of Organizational Performance to help libraries align themselves with the distance education environment that they support. There are six components that are involved in the Nash Model: library leadership, the stakeholder, the capacity of the library to perform assessment processes, technology, and participation. The author concludes that these tools can be used to assess one's libraries' distance education service and make any improvements in that area. R. McWilliams
Block, Judy. “Distance Education Library Services Assessment.” The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 9, no. 3 (Winter 2008).
This paper reports the process and results of a series of assessment methodologies used by the Distance Learning Librarian at Eastern Michigan University. The author outlines the role of assessment in distance librarianship, explains the application of authentic assessment within a distance education program, and outlines a process of assessing students’ information literacy skills at a selection of regional campuses. The paper outlines the methods by which the author assesses the services and skills of distance students, including a web-based questionnaire, web-based survey, and a survey distributed in person at a selection of regional campuses. The paper also details the results of surveys distributed at regional campuses. B. Fagerheim
Cassner, Mary and Kate E. Adams. “The Subject Specialist Librarian's Role in Providing Distance Learning Services.” Journal of Library Administration 48, no. 3/4 (2008): 391-410.
To identify the current practices of subject librarians in serving distance learners, a survey of academic librarians in either subject specialist or distance librarian roles was conducted in December 2007. The survey questions covered services and activities, research and instructional support methods, use of technologies, course management software use, collaborative activity with distance librarians, course assessment participation, inter-institutional collaboration and the changing role of the subject librarian. A noted unexpected response was that a distinct distance librarian position did not exist in many libraries. The authors conclude that the skill set for subject librarians is evolving and that the job responsibilities of subject and distance librarians increasingly coincide as they meet the needs of a changing student population. J. Hutton
Grays, L. “Building a Better M.I.C.E. Trap: Using Virtual Focus Groups to Assess Subject Guides for Distance Education Students.” Journal of Library Administration 48, no. 3/4 (2008): 431-454.
To obtain feedback about the effectiveness of online subject guides, the authors conducted virtual focus groups with distance students. The authors discuss the importance of subject guides, or pathfinders, in providing information to students. Little has been done to determine if these guides are actually useful, however. A virtual focus group methodology was chosen as a way to gather feedback from distance learners enrolled in online hospitality courses, specifically researching the topic area known as M.I.C.E. (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions), from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Because the data gathered from the virtual focus group sessions is very specific to one library, it is not presented in the article. Instead, the authors provide a brief discussion of the variables that need to be considered when using this research method. N. Marshall
Needham, Gill, and Kay Johnson. “Ethical Issues in Providing Library Services to Distance Learners.” Open Learning 22, no. 2 (2007): 117-128. The authors used library codes of ethics and guidelines for library distance services (established by national library organizations in Canada and the United Kingdom) as a basis for a proposed set of ethical guidelines to govern library support for distance learners. The authors’ guidelines comprise ten “key principles” covering ethical issues, such as an institution’s responsibility to provide library services to distance learners equal to those that on-campus students enjoy, the recognition that distance learners may require different and more personalized service than on-campus users, confidentiality and privacy, intellectual freedom, copyright; professional development for the distance librarian, and so on. The authors examine each key principle from the perspective of their own experience and raise interesting questions unique to distance learning, for example: how to serve students in other countries and when telephone support, book delivery and other services may be compromised by the geographic distance involved. The authors note that such problems must be acknowledged and dealt with, and ethical guidelines for distance services can help librarians frame the discussion and take appropriate action. R. Miller
Adams, Mignon. “Distant Learners and the Library.” Library Issues: Briefings for Faculty and Administrators 2006, no. 2 (2006): 1-3.
The author describes barriers that prevent distance students and faculty from using the library and offers suggestions to overcome those barriers. Distance students may lack the time to visit their school’s physical library, and other factors may prevent the students from using online library resources: the students’ lack of experience with virtual libraries, faculty members’ not promoting library use, and the library itself not making sufficient outreach efforts to distance students. On the school’s part, there may be an “administrative distance” between the library and the university’s distance education program; departmental administrators, faculty, and instructional designers may not be aware of opportunities to collaborate with the library. To remedy such situations, the author suggests several measures, including appointing a librarian as liaison to the distance education department, creating a library Web page specifically for distance services, and establishing a library presence in online classes. The author also advocates improved document delivery to distance students. Additionally, faculty should be aware of copyright issues governing reserved readings and other texts in online classes, an area in which the library can help. R. Miller
Cassner, Mary, and Kate E Adams. “Assessing the Professional Development Needs of Distance Librarians in Academic Libraries.” Journal of Library Administration 45, no. 1 (2006): 81-99.
The authors undertook an empirical study of distance librarians’ professional development needs, seeking anonymous survey responses from the OFFCAMP listserv late in 2005. Respondents stated that listservs, professional journal articles, monographs, and distance learning conferences were most important, and that workshops and classes were least important in meeting professional development needs. To support future development, respondents stated they need increased funding, time, and administrative support, and they predicted that learning more about instructional technology and Web page design will be important in the next five years. N. Mactague
ACRL Distance Learning Section Guidelines Committee. “Standards for Distance Learning Library Services.” College and Research Libraries News 69, no. 9 (2008): 558-569.
A revision of the 2004 Guidelines for Distance Learning Library Services from the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) was formally approved by the ACRL Board of Directors on July 1, 2008. This article is the official print publication of those newly-titled “Standards…” and thus a core document in distance learning library services. A description of the 1963 origin and revision activities for this edition is included in the article. These standards provide guidelines for ensuring that distance students and faculty who teach remotely are not disadvantaged by their off-campus status. The content is particularly appropriate for administrators and librarian-administrators of postsecondary educational institutions. However faculty, distance education program staff, accrediting organizations, and funding sources will also find the document useful in identifying key elements of library support for student learning. Responsibilities of the institution and the librarian-administrator are delineated, from planning to documentation and assessment. The article text, including standards and provenance, is also available on the ACRL website at http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/guidelinesdistancelearning.cfm J. Hutton
Davis, Valrie. “Challenges of Connecting Off-Campus Agricultural Science Users with Library Services.” Journal of Agricultural & Food Information 8, no. 2 (January 1, 2007).
This article summarizes the steps taken to increase awareness of library services for the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences of the University of Florida. The first step in developing a marketing plan was to identify users (research or teaching faculty, extension agents, staff, and undergraduate and graduate distance learning students) and services needed (library use instruction, account activation, remote logon and interlibrary loan). The second step was to determine what methods of communication worked best with each user group and determine marketing goals, objectives and strategies. The third step was to develop an assessment plan. The most valuable statistic for assessing the improvement in communication was the increase in interlibrary loan requests. N. Mactague
Leong, J. “Marketing Electronic Resources to Distance Students: A Multipronged Approach.” Serials Librarian 53, no. 3 (2007): 77-94.
Recognizing students’ priority for electronically available articles, this paper advocates using multiple approaches for alerting students to the library’s electronic resources and advocating their use. The author highlights the benefits of a well-designed website and collaborating with faculty and lecturers through activities such as incorporating electronic resources into information literacy instruction and help guides. Also, standalone strategies are described, such as Project SelfHelp, a time-intensive program of sending links and instructions in response to individual requests, using student-friendly terminology to market resources in the library website, and advertising library resources via e-mail. B. Fagerheim
Edwards, M. “Creating a Logo to Market Distance Learning Services.” Journal of Library Administration 45, no. 3/4 (2006): 557-558.
The authors summarize their poster session at the Twelfth Off-Campus Library Services Conference, noting the need for libraries to create a “brand identity” for distance services with the help of a distinctive logo. The logo developed for distance services at the University of Florida’s Health Science Center Libraries is used for online and print content, enabling users to easily identify those materials as belonging to the library’s distance learning program. The poster session described how one logo was selected from among several possibilities, and how other librarians can navigate the approval process for a distance services logo at their institutions. R. Miller
Hutchinson, Barbara S., Jerry Henzel, and Anne Thwaits. “Using Web Services to Promote Library-extension Collaboration.” Library Hi Tech 24, no. 1 (2006): 126-141.
The authors describe the benefits and use of service oriented architecture (SOA) and web services technologies for a University of Arizona collaborative project with the Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC) to develop a calendar web application for Arizona Cooperative Extension web sites. The paper details the selection and application of XML, WSDL, UDDI, SOAP, and Flash technologies for the project. As a result the county extension webmasters were able to customize the output and control profiles to deliver appropriate calendar items to their clientele. Similar web-based applications could be deployed to deliver information from a central database to sites at a distance while supporting local control of content selection and display. Further readings on SOA and the selected web technologies are referenced. J. Hutton
Lillard, Linda L. “Marketing Research Relationships to Promote Online Student Success.” Journal of Library Administration 45, no. 1/2 (2006): 267-277.
Drawing upon experiences as an embedded librarian in online nursing courses, the author affirms the advantages of such participation in developing personalized research relationships with students and in partnering with faculty to develop effective research assignments. However surveys of the students disclosed a lingering reluctance to request assistance from librarians even when they were readily available. Improved marketing of library services is recommended to remedy these low expectations. Relationship marketing based on repeated contact between customer and provider is proposed as an effective model for academic libraries, particularly in serving the needs of online distance learners. Plentiful citations and references provide valuable guidance to supplemental resources. J. Hutton
Ramsay, Karen M. and Jim Kinnie. “The Embedded Librarian.” Library Journal 131, no. 6 (2006): 34-5.
This short article covers several services offered by the authors' library for distance students and other patrons who do not visit the physical building. In response to the growing number of asynchronous distance education classes at the university, the library advertised an embedded librarian program to faculty, whereby a librarian would be available to interact with students within the course management system. The librarian sends e-mail messages timed to specific assignments and answers individual questions. Also, the library implemented an instant messenger program and created a library blog. The article includes information about how the library reached out to faculty for the embedded librarian program and some ways the library plans to market the blog. B. Fagerheim
Clause, Beth E. “Online Course Content Delivery: Opportunity for Expertise From and Partnership With the Library.” Library Issues: Briefings for Faculty and Administrators 28, no. 6 (July 2008).
The proliferation of online courses in higher education has created a greater potential for copyright infringement of educational materials through scanning and posting of digital articles and book chapters by teaching faculty. Noting that university administrators ignore the problem at their peril, the author proposes that library e-reserves systems offer a readily-available solution for delivery of copyright-compliant digital materials. In addition, librarian and staff expertise in collecting, licensing and delivering materials can maximize the effective use of institution-wide resources. Pointing out that process changes may engender resistance from faculty and library staff, the author provides examples of workflow at Northwestern University Library. A brief list of references to higher education copyright cases and articles on e-reserves is included. J. Hutton
Mann, Bruce L. “Copyright Protection and the New Stakeholders in Online Distance Education: The Play's the Thing.” First Monday 13, no. 7 (July 7, 2008).
The author summarizes the purpose and history of copyright and copyright reform in Canada, the UK and USA, especially where balancing fairness among stakeholders is concerned, and expresses the need for “establishing stable and predictable marketplace rules.” The role of copyright in the creation, adaptation and reuse of digital teaching materials in distance education is discussed, with the author arguing that copyright should cover the process of web course development from the empty course management shell through to the data that fills the shell. Because course design is a process, current copyright law needs strengthening to protect the instructional designers, content developers and end users. N. Mactague
Marsden, Scott. “'How to Copy Right!” Library & Information Update 7, no. 4 (2008): 42-44. Learning Resources staff at the City of Sunderland College’s Copyright Advisory Service identified a need to teach students, faculty, and staff how to comply with copyright legislation, particularly when using the college’s virtual learning environment. The author describes the online, interactive tutorial that Learning Resources staff developed. To create the tutorial, Learning Resources worked in conjunction with other departments, including computing and visual and performing arts faculty. A student focus group was also consulted. The resulting tutorial contains a ready-reference, text-based section aimed primarily at college staff and a second section addressing students’ needs with regard to copyright. The student section is interactive. It uses a cartoon figure and follows a dialogue format, with each screen containing a small, easily digested amount of information. A quiz tests students’ knowledge. Before launching the tutorial, Learning Resources presented test versions to users, and their feedback led to revisions. The final version has been well received by users, who comment that the tutorial teaches a complex subject in an engaging, easily understood way. The tutorial has been integrated into courses and used college-wide. The author notes that such tutorials have to focus on user needs and be designed creatively. R. Miller
Alsaffar, Jackie. “Copyright Concerns in Online Education: What Students Need to Know.” Journal of Library Administration 45, no. 1 (2006): 1-16.
Online students are at greater risk of violating copyright laws than are face-to-face students, because online content can be reviewed more easily than face-to-face content. Therefore, students need to understand what plagiarism and educational fair use are, what is in the public domain, and how to get permission to use what is not public domain. The author offers tips for librarians on understanding and promoting copyright compliance in online education. N. Mactague
Davis, H. “Copyright in the Online Course Environment.” Journal of Library Administration 45, no. 3/4 (2006): 513-515. To help attendees select the workshops they want to attend, this brief, two-page article summarizes the content of a copyright-compliance workshop for distance education faculty and librarians to be offered at the Twelfth Off-Campus Library Services Conference. N. Mactague