ERIC Number: ED565490
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Characteristics and Challenges of Distance Learning Librarians: Report to the Distance Learning Section
Brandt, John M.; Macaluso, Stephan J.
Purpose: This study examined the professional and research needs of distance learning librarians in higher education in order to inform program development by the Association of College Libraries Distance Learning Section. Methodology: 270 members of the section completed a 23 item online questionnaire on distance learning librarians' work environment and structure, interaction with the professional organization, attendance at professional conferences, and professional needs and interests. Results: Respondents reported that learning new technologies, instruction, program implementation and assessment, collaboration, outreach, and administration are the most pressing issues facing distance learning librarians. A majority of respondents reported their position focused on other professional responsibilities and spent less than a quarter of their time supporting distance learning services. Just under half (49%) of respondents had not attended a professional conference or program focused on distance learning, and a sizable number (28%) had attended no professional conferences or programs in the preceding two years. Conclusions: The responses indicate most distance learning librarians are focused on other job duties and have limited professional education opportunities related to distance learning even as they report a need for continued professional support and development. Recommendations: Professional organizations dedicated to library services for distance learners, especially the ACRL's Distance Library Section, should enhance efforts to support librarians outside of traditional distance learning conferences and broaden the use of new technology and virtual communication to support librarian's professional development needs. Tables are appended.
Descriptors: Distance Education, College Libraries, Librarians, Higher Education, Research Libraries, Questionnaires, Work Environment, Attendance, Professional Development, Needs, Library Services, Professional Associations, Professional Continuing Education, Best Practices, Online Courses, Social Networks, Advocacy
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A