I just received an alert for the latest issue of the Journal of Academic Librarianship (vol 39, iss 6) and noticed the following articles:
This study investigates distance learners' information literacy skills in using digital library resources and the factors (online learning and information manipulation) that correlate with learners' information seeking self-efficacy. In addition, distance learners' preferences with regard to digital resources selection and interests of developing information seeking skills were examined. 3517 students enrolled in one or more distance education courses were invited to participate in the online survey; 219 students completed the survey, for a response rate of 6.2%. The results revealed that distance learners who have higher self-efficacy for information seeking and proficiency in information manipulation exhibited higher self-efficacy for online learning. Moreover, students with high self-efficacy demonstrated superior knowledge of digital resources selection. Students who have low self-efficacy with regard to information seeking were more likely to express interest in learning how to use the library resources, although learning techniques for database searching was the exception.
This study analyzes the position announcements published in American Libraries between 1970 and 2010 for the purpose of documenting trends and changes in distance education librarianship in the United States. Findings include the first announced library distance education related job, total number of positions, titles, academic ranking, salary, educational background, roles/duties, and minimum qualifications.
The study concluded technology skills, information science skills, and communication skills are fundamental occupational skills for distance education librarians. Only time will tell if job titles with words like “distance education” or “off-campus” will disappear the same way “extended services” or “external services” have in the field of distance education librarianship. The salient point is that, no matter how they are described or titled in job postings, librarians with the particular skill set of distance education librarians – diverse, with a focus on technology – will likely find a place in libraries of the future.