Embedded Librarian in Distance Learning

Report
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Embedded
Librarians in
Distance Learning
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Institutions Offering Distance
Education Courses
65% of all 2 and 4 year institutions
offered college level, credit-bearing
distance education courses in 20062007
(US Dept. of Ed., 2008)
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Format of DE Courses Offered
26%
Other DE
35%
Hybrid/Blended
61%
Online
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
US Dept. of Ed, 2008
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Distance Education Enrollments
 12.2
million post secondary students total
(US Dept. of Ed., 2008)
 4.6+
million students took at least 1 online
course fall 2008; up 17% from prior year;
greater than the 1.2% overall higher ed
growth (Allen & Seaman, 2010)
 Over
25% of higher ed. students take at
least 1 course online (Allen & Seaman, 2010)
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Enrollment by Course Format
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
77%
30%
20%
10%
12%
10%
0%
Online Courses
Hybrid/Blended
Courses
Other Formats
US Dept. of Ed, 2008
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ACRL Standards for Distance
Learning Library Services
Every student, faculty member, administrator, staff
member, or any other member of an institution of
higher education, is entitled to the library services
and resources of that institution, including direct
communication with the appropriate library
personnel, regardless of where enrolled or where
located in affiliation with the institution.
Academic libraries must, therefore, meet the
information and research needs of all these
constituents, wherever they may be.
ALA, 2008
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Libraries & DE Quality
 “If
distance-learning programs are to be
credible and successful, the distance-learning
student must have the same access to library
support services as the on-campus student”
(Tipton, 2001, p. 394).
 Parnell
(2002) viewed access to library
support so significant that he questioned the
“appropriateness of offering the same
academic award to those students without
equivalent access to learning resources” (The
Value of Library Services section, para. 4).
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Defining the Embedded Librarian
‘Embedded
journalism’ in Iraq war
… ‘embedded librarian’ (Dewey, 2005;
Hedreen, 2005; Schroeder, 2004)
“Embedding
requires more direct &
purposeful interaction than acting in
parallel” (Dewey, 2005, p.6)
Expanded
beyond physical campus to
distance learning environment (Figa &
Bone, 2009; Matthew & Schroeder, 2006; Kvenild & Calkins, 2011)
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Changed Framework
“Embedded librarians realized that
research action no longer swirls around
the reference desk nor the library Web
site, but in students’ online learning
space otherwise known as course
management systems”
(Tumbleson & Burke, 2010)
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Role of Librarian in Distant
Learning
“Wide
ranging arsenal of skills” (Gandhi,
2003, p.140)
More
proactive & creative approach to
teaching IL (Gandhi, 2003)
Purposefully
increase faculty
awareness of services, resources, and
instructional support available (Gandhi,
2003)
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Success Factors for Librarians
Supporting Distance Learners
 “Interpersonal
communication skills;
library research and reference skills;
information organization skills; information
technology skills; & knowledge of customer
subject domain” (Shumaker & Tyler, 2007, p. 18)
 Collaboration
 Marketing
with faculty (Owens & Bozeman, 2009)
& public relations (Gandhi, 2003)
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Embedded Librarian Activities – A
Sampling
Planning;
Assessment
Virtual Ref;
IM; Chat;
WebEx
Tutorials;
Videos;
Guides
Discussion
Board,
Blogs, Wikis
Technical
Assistance
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Challenges
Learning
management systems
Technology
Communication
Varying
strategies
levels of embeddedness
Workload
Relationship
librarians
with subject specific
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The Future
“If our services are to remain relevant,
and if we are to remain responsive to
our users’ diverse information,
reference and research needs, we
envision a future in which embedded
librarians – and embedded
librarianship – are the norm rather
than at the forefront”
(Kesselman & Watstein, 2009, pp. 395-396)
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Selected Resources

Allen, I. E. & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States, 2009. Needham,
MA: The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved from
http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/pdf/learningondemand.pdf

American Library Association. (2008). Standards for distance learning library services. Chicago, IL: American
Library Association. Retrieved from
http://www.acrl.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/guidelinesdistancelearning.cfm

Dewey, B. I. (2005). The embedded librarian. Resource Sharing & Information Networks, 17, 5-17. doi:
10.1300/J121v17n01_02

Figa, E. & Bone, T. (2009). Librarian on board! Texas Library Journal 85(1), 14–19.

Gandhi, S. (2003). Academic librarians and distance education: Challenges and opportunities. Reference &
User Services Quarterly, 43(2), 138-154.

Hedreen, R. (2005, April). Embedded librarians [Web log message]. Retrieved from
http://frequanq.blogspot.com/2005/04/embedded-librarians.html

Kesselman, M. A. & Watstein, S. B. (2009). Creating opportunities: Embedded librarians. Journal of Library
Administration, 49, 383-400. doi: 10.1080/01930820902832538

Kvenild, C. & Calkins, K. Eds. (2012). Embedded librarians: Moving beyond one-shot instruction. Chicago, IL:
Association of College and Research Libraries.
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
Matthew, V. & Schroeder, A. (2006). The embedded librarian program. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 29, 61-65.

Owens, R. & Bozeman, D. (2009). Toward a faculty-librarian collaboration: Enhancement of online teaching
and learning. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 3, 31-38. doi:
10.1080/15332900902794898

Parnell, S. (2002). Redefining the cost and complexity of library services for open and distance learning.
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 3, 1-15. Retrieved from
http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/102/562

Schroeder, A. (211). Replacing face-to-face information literacy instruction: Offering the embedded librarian
program to all courses. In C. Kvenild & K. Calkins (Eds.), Embedded librarians: Moving beyond one-shot
instruction (pp. 63 – 78), Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Shumaker, D. & Tyler, L.A. (2007, June). Embedded library services: An initial inquiry into practices for their
development, management, and delivery. Paper presented at the meeting of the Special Libraries Association
Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.

Tipton, C. (2001). Graduate students’ perceptions of library support services for distance learners: A
university system-wide study. In A. M. Casey (Ed.), Off-campus library services (pp. 393-408). New York, NY:
Haworth Information Press.

Tumbleson, B. E. & Burke, J. J. (2010). When life hands you lemons: Overcoming obstacles to expand services
in an embedded librarian program. Journal of Library Administration 50, 972 – 988. doi:
10.1080/01930826.2010.489002

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Distance education at degree
granting postsecondary institutions: 2006-07. Retrieved from
http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2009044
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Deborah A. Nolan
Dean of University Libraries
Towson University
Towson, MD
[email protected]

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