Back to Community Mindedness...

In the beginning of the semester, Dr. Bird had us read a few articles by David Carr on the topic of a Community Mind. The premise is that libraries, museums and archives need to work together to tell the collectives story. These are the places where our histories are capture and stored, but they need to work together and present the entire communities stories, while constantly monitoring and adapting to the changing story.

Carr had 6 points in his article which he felt an institution should embody:

  • Connecting Through Story
  • Experimentations in Inquiry
  • Public Spaces
  • Foundations of A Community Mind
  • Acts of Giving
  • Necessity of Story (Carr, 2002)

I struggled with some of these concepts as I felt that libraries, museums and archives all struggle to finance themselves. There is only so much that can be allocated to staff salaries, preservation, collections, and acquisitions, not to mention the new collections/exhibits that need to be developed to present to the public. So my initial reaction was somewhat luke-warm. Our follow-up assignment was to read about digital libraries and then visit a few sites. Again, I wasn't too impressed with what I was seeing and, to be honest, I was having a hard time making 'connections' with some of the online libraries. They seemed totally disconnected and I wasn't sure how they would ever be useful to the public, especially after reading Carr's article.

However, the more I have thought about digital collections and libraries, the more intrigued I have become and am starting to see the value in them. I was on my way to ERIT Wednesday afternoon when a book on the shelves near the circulation desk caught my eye. "Library 2.0 and Beyond" is a compilation of works by various authors on technology use and users in the library, however, there is a great chapter on Digital Storytelling by Karen Diaz and Anne Fields. In this work, they discuss the importance and effect that regular storytelling has on a community and how, with our now digital capabilities, storytelling can open our structures to allowing users to learn more about who we are and what we do. (2007)

Of course, gleaning the stories and making them so that others would want to read them is part of the difficulties that they mention. I think, though, that people would read them if they saw them online. Digital stories can build relationships between the community of users, not only in the academic setting, but also in a public library where incentives can pay off in tax dollar amounts. (Diaz & Fields, 2007)

I know this is a bit much for a reflective post, but I wanted to share this thought and hopefully, generate some discussion about it. What would it mean for Jackson Library to start incorporating this model of digital storytelling on their website? How would it enhance the user experience according to Carr's ideas of community mindedness?


Carr, D. (2002). A Community Mind. Public Libraries , 41 (5), 284-288.

Diaz, K. & Fields, A. M. (2007). Digital Storytelling, Libraries, and Community. In N. Courtney (Ed.), Library 2.0 and Beyond: Innovative Technologies and Tomorrow's User (129-139). Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.


My Tagxedo

Here is my 'peace librarian' tagxedo that I created tonight. It contains all the words that are in this blog. I love it! Now I need a t-shirt with it on it...


Hello Wiki! Meet My Blog!

I wanted to put this on my blog...This assignment is posted on our Blackboard course wiki, however, I won't be able to access it after class is over. The assignment was to create and present an electronic list of resources based on either material, process or user community. We then needed to market it to other librarians. I struggled with this assignment, but in the end, I think it came out okay. The Prezi is my marketing piece and the resources for Distance Education Users as a community are listed beneath it. Here are the fruits of my endeavors...

Distance Education User Community


As more universities and colleges begin to turn towards online education as a viable means of delivering classes, libraries are going to need to learn how to serve this community of users. Distance education students were typically students who received instruction by mail or traveled to a site designated by the school to receive instruction through video conferencing. With courses being available online, students can not only access their coursework, they can also access their college’s library and materials. Librarians who are looking to build a collection of online resources and materials to serve this population can use this guide to serve as introduction to meeting the needs of this user population. Resources are listed alphabetically by category.


Ault, M. (2002). Thinking Outside the Library: How to Develop, Implement and Promote Library Services for Distance Learners. Journal of Library Administration, 37, 1, 39.

Article is a bit dated but provides librarians with a framework for thinking about and using different strategies to reach distance students. The article focuses on identifying users and their needs and then building resources and services to meet their needs. UNCG’s Jackson Library owns this article and it can be accessed through Journal Finder.

Calvert, H. M. (2002). Distance Education from a Collections Development Perspective. Journal of Library Administration, 37, 1, 117.

The author focuses on the collaborative process that is needed between librarians and faculty who are delivering distance courses to provide a better experience for distance learners. Studies and initiatives are taken from Ball State University Library who have experienced these issues and have had successful distance program outcomes. UNCG’s Jackson Library owns this article and it can be accessed through Journal Finder.

Raraigh-Hopper, J. (2010). Improving Library Services for Distance Learners: A Literature Review. Reference Librarian, 51(1), 69-78.

“Academic libraries offer many services to distance learning students. The sources of literature reviewed here offer information that shows relevant similarities and differences between library services offered to traditional students and distance learning students. Likewise, the associated findings from the literature offer insight that is applicable for a project to modify and improve library services for distance learners in higher education.” (Raraigh-Hopper, 2010)


ACRL: Distance Learning Section

ACRL is a division of the American Libraries Association and has a section dedicated to topics on distance learning. This site maintains news, standards, statistics, research and other resources that would be of interest to librarians seeking information on distance education.

Lita: Library & Information Technology Association

A division of ALA, Lita focuses on technology education and services to all librarians, independent of library type. While some of the material may have more of a technology focus rather than the user, there is a Distance Learning users group within the body of Lita that may be of interest to librarians who support distance education users. Lita publishes a peer-reviewed journal, Library and Information Technology, that includes information on topics related to distance education.


ACRL Distance Learning Section: Library Services for Distance Learning: Fifth Bibliography – 2008-2010. Retrieved from http://caspian.switchinc.org/~distlearn/resources/5thBibliography/BibliographyHome.html

The fifth version of ACRL’s Distance Learning Section bibliography provides current information on library services for distance learning. The work was edited and compiled by an extensive committee of academic librarians including UNCG’s Jackson Library Distance Education librarian, Beth Filar Williams who was co-chair for this edition.


Duke’s CIT: Center for Instructional Technology

Blog is written by members of Duke University’s Instructional Technology faculty. Entries contain information on technology tools, as well as, how to teach with them. Although posts are not all focused on distance education, they are focused on the use of technology with regards to teaching and learning. Interested users can subscribe to the blog’s RSS feeds for updates.


Goodson, C. (2001). Providing Library Services for Distance Education Students: A How-To-Do It Manual. Neal-Schuman Publishers, New York, NY

This book gives librarians ideas and resources needed to provide online services to distance students. Since its publication date is nine years old, this book may not be quite so current in technology. However, the need to plan and strategize an approach to serving distance students can be independent of the technology. This books shares forms, documents, sample policies and other resource materials that will be helpful to librarians who are seeking more information on how to serve this user community. (Stahr, 2002)

Moore, M. G., & Anderson, W. G. (2007). Handbook of distance education. (2nd ed.) L. Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ

This received favorable reviews by both Technical Communications and Indian Journal of Open Learning for its ease of use and ready-reference for anyone delivering instruction at a distance. Michael G. Moore is editor of the American Journal of Distance Education. This is a holding in the UNC library system. (Martinez, 2008)(Mishra, 2009)

Noah, C.B. and Braun, L.W. (2002). The Browsable Classroom: An Introduction to E-learning for Librarians. Neal-Schuman Publishers, New York, NY

While this book is geared more towards school and public librarians, it does offer a foundational understanding of distance education. The book offers an approach to planning, starting and ‘balancing’ online with onsite projects. (Lankford, 2002)

Arant, W., & Mosley, P. A. (2000). Library outreach, partnerships, and distance education: Reference librarians at the gateway. Haworth Information Press , New York

Albeit mixed reviews on the timeliness of the technology at the time of this printing, the book offers strategies and examples of how librarians are using technology to reach their patrons. The book is a compilation of twenty papers on such topics as “technology and outreach, targeting special connections, a different approach, and outreach in an academic library.” (Reid-Smith, 2001)

Book Series

Williams, D. E., & Golden, J. (Ed.). (2010). Advances in library administration and organization (Vols. 1 - 29). Bingley, UK: Emerald.

This series provides relevant and timely researched articles on numerous library topics, including distance education and technology. Series is available online and in print through Jackson library.

Conference Proceedings

Off-Campus Library Services Conference. (2010). Fourteenth Off-Campus Library Services Conference proceedings. Mount Pleasant, Mich: Central Michigan University.

For those who were unable to attend the conference but who work in distributed, branch, or electronic academic libraries, or interact with faculty teaching remotely or electronically, this invaluable resource covers a wide range of distance learning issues, including how to develop and promote library services for distance learners, how to establish a partnership with faculty to improve these services to students, and more. This volume is highly recommended for librarians and administrators at academic institutions with distance learning programs as it will provide them with awareness of the best practices and innovative methods to meet the needs of distance learners and faculty. (Stahr, 2003)


Chatham, L. (2005). Exploring the guidelines for library services to distance education programs. Retrieved from http://www.ils.unc.edu/mpact/mpact.php?op=show_tree&id=4737

Chatham explores the way in which library services are provided to distance education programs. She aligns her research with the standards set forth by ACRL’s Guidelines for Distance Learning Library Services to see how they compare and contrast. The results and recommendations are included in the summary.


ACRL: Guidelines for Distance Learning Library Services

These are the standards that have been set forth by the Association of College & Research Libraries on use and provisions for the distance education community. The guidelines provide an excellent starting point for librarians who are seeking initial information on serving the needs of this user group. Included in this online document are foundations and specific requirements, as well as, other links to resources that will assist libraries and librarians.


Moore, M. (Ed.). The American Journal of Distance Education. Routledge.

This journal focuses on use, effect and problems associated with distance education. Articles are composed of research studies as well as conceptual pieces, interviews with distance educators, book reviews, and short descriptions of publications received. “Libraries serving these populations [education, higher education and business] will find AJDE to be an essential title.” (UlrichsWeb, 1997) A link to the journals website is here: http://www.ajde.com/

Lee, S. H. (Ed.). The Journal of Library Administration. Routledge.

Many of the articles have a focus on librarians, distance education and technology related topics. UNCG’s Jackson Library owns this journal and it can be accessed through Journal Finder.

Poe, J. (Ed). Journal of Library & Information Service for Distance Learning. Routledge.

Aimed at serving librarians and information professionals, this journal is focused on the topic of distance education. Some subjects that will be of particular interest to librarians building collections for distance users are “collection development strategies, faculty/librarian partnerships or collaborations, cutting edge instruction and reference techniques, document delivery, remote access, evaluation, etc.” Description was taken from publisher’s website. Journal can be found at UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Pembroke, as well as, Winston-Salem State University and Appalachian State University. A link to the journals website is here: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/WLIS

Perry, E. H. and Pilati, M. L. (Eds.). Journal of Online Learning and Teaching. MERLOT.

A free and peer-reviewed online journal that is managed by the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) website. Topics are geared towards online teaching and learning. The website link is http://jolt.merlot.org/currentissue.html


ASTD’s Learning Circuits
This is a website developed by the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) on the topics of e-learning and the resources to enable people to use technology effectively in teaching online. While this is primarily focused on the corporate training industry, it has many good tips, tricks and trend-watching guides that librarians can use when working with the faculty, staff and students at their institution. ASTD is a national recognized organization in training and online learning.

Library Conference Planner – Conferences that focus on Distance Education
Provides links to various national and international librarian conferences. Several national conferences that librarians may want to focus on are Brick and Click, Distance Teaching and Learning, Educause 2010, and E-Learn 2010. Referred from UNCG’s Master’s in Library and Information Studies Resource page.


Lankford, M. (2002). [Review of the book The Browsable Classroom: an Introduction to E-Learning for Librarians, by C. Noah and L. Braun]. School Library Journal, 48(7), 147.

Martinez, D. (2008). [Review of the book Handbook of Distance Education, by M. G. Moore and W. G. Anderson]. Technical Communications, 55(4), 441.

Mishra, S. (2009). [Review of the book Handbook of Distance Education, by M. G. Moore and W. G. Anderson]. Indian Journal of Open Learning, 18(3), 167-168.

Raraigh-Hopper, J. (2010). Improving Library Services for Distance Learners: A Literature Review [Abstract]. Reference Librarian, 51(1), 69-78.

Reid-Smith, E. R. (2001). [Review of the book Library outreach, partnerships, and distance education: Reference librarians at the gateway, by W. Arendt and P.A. Mosley]. The Australian Library Journal,50(2), 191.

Stahr, B. (2002). "Distance education services “[Review of the book Providing Library Services for Distance Education Students: A How-To-Do It Manual, by C. Goodson]. Library Journal, 127(9), 132.

Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. (1997). Retrieved from http://libproxy.uncg.edu:2424/ulrichsweb/Search/fullCitation.asp?tab=6&navPage=1&serial_uid=185501&issn=


How do you NOT use information?

Okay, that's my question for the week...but let me give you a little bit of background so it makes sense. I think it's going to be very enlightening, not to mention interesting to see what types of info I don't use.

I need to observe people not using information this week for my Info Users & Use class...I know...how do you do that!?!? Kinda tricky, but my readings this week discussed some ways that people use different coping strategies:

Monitor (want to know everything on a topic right now) or Blunt (just give me what I can handle; I'll come back when I'm ready for more);

and whether information use is self-imposed (meaning you go ask the questions) or if they are imposed (you have someone else go ask the question for you and then bring you back the answer). I know that last one is tricky but hey...I'm new at this whole thing ; )

So with all the information that we down in a given week, think about what you don't use. Do you catch yourself skimming the house classifieds or help ads, but you don't need either? What about all the ads you watch on TV - what do we do w/ that information? See...I told you it would get interesting...have fun!




E-Everything...What's a librarian to do?

We've been talking about digital libraries in our Collection Management class and while I love (LOVE) the idea of all things being online so I can access them from the comfort of my own home, I have to admit, the inner paper/print-lover in me is getting a little squeamish.

I've been reading several articles on digital-this and e-book-that...the latest is an article by Jeffery Young in the Chronicle on professors building their own textbooks. In some ways it's wonderful because they would be able to mix-n-match chapters of books and have them assembled as either an actual print book or as an e-book for students.

CAVEAT #1: This is going to make buying used books a thing of the past for students.
CAVEAT #2: Professors won't be able to mix-n-match from competitor sites.

However, e-books can be more affordable. I know the e-version of my course text was much cheaper as an e-book than a print book. I have been learning that some of the e-books offer a limited number of views and that is concerning to me. If I buy an e-book, I want to 'own' that book in my collection, not 'rent' it!

The other BIG and LOOMING question I have is:

What does this mean for the future librarian?

I'm not exactly a Luddite, but it does make me wonder what a library is going to look like in 10 years. Fortunately, I know I want to work with faculty on online course design and distance education students. I want to bring my ID background into play. That will mean a focus on technology. Through my intern experience with Jackson's Distance Ed librarian, I have learned that a great deal of what I would be doing would involve technology. And a distance librarian, as far as I can tell, does not have a collection of books to manage like other areas of the library. There is more technology and tech tools management than actual printed documents.

However, it does make me pause and think how students are going to decipher who-wrote-what and is that really want we want to be doing - creating compilations of books rather than having them read the actual book? I know professors have been doing this for years - hello course reserves! - however, I'm not sure I like the "McDonald's effect" when it comes to learning. Hopefully, professors will still be requiring at least 1 complete text that relates to the course theme and then uses the e-book compilations as resource reading. I hope...

Some other readings about digitization & future library thinking can be found here:
The Librarian's Crystal Ball - this is definitely a must read for those academic librarians out there
Libraries of the Future
Chronicle's review of The Limits of Digital Libraries based on The New Yorker's actual article, "Future Reading: Digitization and Its Discontents"

Happy Reading...and Cheers,



Love Cool Survey Tools

I found this nifty little survey tool online called Urtak. You can invite people to take 'yes/no' surveys that you create and then get some fun data from them. I'm working on my Information Users and Uses class and this week is all about.....


Wow! I know...it's going to be interesting to observe this week. I haven't figured out where I'm going to do my observations yet, either. But I decided to check out this tool for work AND create my own survey for my class research at the same time. I know...you are thinking...what a genius this girl is! LOL!

So take my poll.. who knows...maybe we might learn something interesting together!

Peace out,