Back from vacation - here are some recent articles dealing with distance librarianship (courtesy of Erik Arfeuille's New Technologies in Libraries email service):
Collaboration: The Key to Unlocking the Dilemma of Distance Reference Services / Sherry Hawkins Backhus, Terri Pedersen Summey. In: The Reference Librarian. (2003)83/84; p. 193-202. Distant education offerings are growing at a phenomenal rate for academic institutions, creating new groups of library users and research needs. Recent studies examining the needs of this unique and growing population note that reference and research assistance are key services needed. Many institutions have appointed or hired distance educations librarians to help provide services to distant learners. They are often, however, one-person operations that function more as coordinators rather than full-service providers. Since the coordinator cannot provide all of the reference services alone, the key to providing these services for distant education students is to create and sustain good working relationships both in the library and with external entities. Offerings to distance students include phone reference and accessibility to online resources, plus virtual reference and often 24/7 services. This article will examine issues and experiences in bringing together different groups to provide reference services to distant learning communities. It will also describe key relationships necessary for keeping distance reference services at an optimal level.
Reference Beyond the Walls of the Library: Interacting with Faculty and Students in the 21st Century / Connie Ury, Carolyn Johnson.
In: The Reference Librarian. (2003)83/84; p. 203-218.
The nature of research continues to evolve from accessing print publications in a library building toward retrieving information online, any time any place. Since patrons no longer need to enter a library building to access information, the social character of reference service has also changed. Demand for face-to-face reference interaction has declined, altering the traditional one-on-one venue for teaching information retrieval and evaluation. To develop new opportunities for influencing the information literacy of students, librarians at the Northwest Missouri State University are creating outreach strategies that facilitate increased interaction with students and faculty.