ERIC Number: ED339383
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Relationships and Responsibilities: Libraries and Distance Educators Working Together.
Burge, Elizabeth J.
Emphasizing the "people" context of the work of librarians in off-campus libraries, this paper argues that intelligent use of technology ought to drive librarians toward a more sophisticated approach to the existing strengths, learning goals, and living and learning style preferences of distance learners as they cope with the stresses of their societal roles. It is further argued that one of the key principles of the relationships and responsibilities which operate to maintain effective graduate level distance learning is that the relationships between the learner and the professor, the learner and the librarians, and the professor and the librarians should reflect a learner-centered view and, therefore, be collaborative in nature. It is noted that, while the experience of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education has been fairly successful on the whole, the smaller scale of the context made it easier to nurture relationships and explain how responsibility in learning and teaching is divided. The results of two recent studies which explored the relationships among libraries, distance educators, and distance learners are cited as examples of how responsibilities and relationships on larger scales may operate with less success. These studies found that librarians were isolated from the distance education environment; interaction among distance learners and their educators was at a minimum level; and distance learners felt that they were not receiving enough feedback or encouragement from their instructors. It is concluded that, in light of today's technologies, which are increasing the amount of distance learning, librarians must re-establish themselves as educators and play a more participatory role in the process of distance and adult education. (19 references) (MAB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Opening Keynote Address for the Off-Campus Library Services Conference (Albuquerque, NM, October 30-November 1, 1991).