Distributed Learning and Virtual Librarianship

Distributed Learning and Virtual Librarianship

Distributed Learning and Virtual Librarianship

Distributed Learning and Virtual Librarianship


Brought to you by a team of experienced practitioners in the field, this book examines the vast topic of library support for distributed learning, providing both historical and contemporary viewpoints.

• Ten librarians with current, in-the-field experience bring their knowledge to each chapter

• Provides a complete chronological time line of distributed learning

• Illustrations clarify key topics such as copyright


When I first taught an online course called “Distributed Learning Librarianship” for the University of North Texas (UNT) in 2003, I could not find a textbook for the content I wanted to present. After spending many hours doing research, chatting with my colleagues, and observing my library’s efforts, I assembled a course based on written lectures supplemented by pertinent readings from various journals—all of which served as the basis for in-depth online discussions and explorations. As the course matured over the years, I realized that a one-stop textbook was something that could benefit both this course and others like it. Much of the research had already been completed and was updated as new methods and techniques were introduced. in addition, a talented group of librarians had served as guest lecturers in the course. Who better to complete a book on distributed learning and virtual librarianship than the guest lecturers as contributors and the instructor as editor?

Based on our experiences of teaching the course for several years, the guest lecturers and I assembled the book’s chapters based on the course’s lessons. Our intent was that professors and students could use the chapters either in a continuum or as separate entities. Each chapter addresses a unique aspect of distributed and virtual learning, yet together they form a cohesive whole.

Part of that whole was a historical background, which I considered to be of vital importance when attempting to understand the concept of distributed and virtual learning and librarianship. When initially conducting research for the course, I found the history of library support for distributed learning, open learning, correspondence courses, mailed courses, virtual solutions, and the like fascinating. This interest manifests itself in the chapter 1 annotated time line. Examining how librarians solved issues of distribution and service illustrates how librarians have always been on the cutting edge of both technology and service for all of their customers.

Speaking of cutting edge, three librarians at Eastern Kentucky University examine and discuss current issues in public and academic library support of distributed . . .

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