Monday, November 11, 2013

Marketing Electronic Resources to Distance Students: A Multipronged Approach


In marketing electronic resources to distance students, librarians are seeking to do more than promote high usage levels for scholarly resources. Marketing requires the best mix of resources to match student needs. Distance students want these resources to be easily accessible any time/anywhere and to provide full-text online material. Students should be supported through being alerted to relevant resources and provided with help in using them. This chapter argues that effective promotion is multipronged and will be most effective if it includes direct e-mail, a well-designed Web site, work with faculty to embed a staged approach to developing students' knowledge of resources, and quality advice to students who seek it at their point of need.



To market electronic resources effectively to distance students, we need to ensure that we have relevant quality full text online resources which are easily located and accessed. Our promotion should enhance awareness of what is available and its value to users. Advertising must be timed to attract attention when students have a need and this is primarily when assignment or other research is occurring. Long term take up will be greater if initial experiences are positive. It will also be greater where students have a clear need to use the library resources: a need which faculty can create by their assessment strategies.

Effective promotion is likely to be multipronged. Direct e-mail is the most economical way to reach most distance students. Also effective is providing information where students sign into their online units or within their unit information, particularly when it is tailored and highly relevant to their immediate needs. A well designed website is essential. Working in partnership with faculty to embed a staged approach to exposingstudents to resources is highly recommended. Finally, providing quality advice to students who approach the library for help will build good relationships and encourage return visits to electronic resources.

Cite: Marketing Electronic Resources to Distance Students /  Julia Leong /  The Serials Librarian /  Vol. 53, Iss. 3, 2007 / 77-93.


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