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ERIC Number: EJ892253
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1932-2909
Promoting the Development of Online Learning Communities for Library Professional Organizations
Blummer, Barbara
Journal of Web Librarianship, v1 n4 p29-50 2007
This paper discusses the use of online learning communities for library professional organizations to promote collaboration and learning. The addition of an online learning community component to a library organization expands collaborative and educational opportunities for members through a virtual environment. Although technologies used to support learning communities vary, standard features include a discussion forum, file-sharing capability, and chat functionality. More sophisticated sites provide Webcasts, podcasts, online courses, and databases. Moreover, the availability of file sharing and chat supports virtual meetings. Studies of library-oriented learning communities illustrate their effectiveness in using discussion forums and resources to foster collaboration and learning opportunities among members. This research also notes the role of discussion forums in decreasing feelings of isolation among users. Moreover, these articles highlight the member's participation in library learning communities through postings to discussion forums, selecting learning events, and contributing materials. The first step in creating a learning community centers on the administration of a needs assessment to the members. These evaluations identify the goals of the learning community and aid in the selection of appropriate technologies. In addition, learning community organizers need to develop an action plan that outlines a timeline for the project's implementation. Moreover, organizers should consider providing incentives and training to members to enhance their participation in the project. Finally, promotional and evaluation efforts are needed to sustain the growth of a learning community. (Contains 2 figures and 121 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A