Saturday, April 19, 2014

Thinking Outside the Library How to Develop, Implement and Promote Library Services for Distance Learners


Thinking Outside the LibraryHow to Develop, Implement and Promote Library Services for Distance LearnersSupporting distance learners requires a shift in the traditional “library” mindset. Librarians who serve distance learners must come up with new and innovative ways to meet the needs of their unique users. Librarians must attempt to define and identify who their distance users are and what their needs are, and in turn, develop and implement a set of library resources and services in support of these needs. Promotion of the resources and services available is necessary in order to successfully provide library support; students and faculty must know what services are available and how to access them.

Meredith Ault (2002) Thinking Outside the Library, Journal of
Library Administration, 37:1-2, 39-48, DOI: 10.1300/J111v37n01_05

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Distance Education and Virtual Reference: Implementing a Marketing Plan at Texas A&M University


Texas A&M University Libraries has been testing virtual reference services since February 2004, but during the fall semester 2005, the Libraries began implementing and actively promoting the services to various target groups. Distance education students were identified as a primary target group for virtual reference services, and as of the fall semester 2005, approximately 1,600 students were enrolled in 190 distance education classes. This paper presents the Libraries plan for promoting virtual reference services to distance education students and faculty and for evaluating the plan.



The Texas A&M University Libraries experience provides evidence that the implementation of an organized, cohesive marketing strategy can have a positive effect on the promotion of library services. But it also demonstrates the need for more systematic and quantitative analysis of the impact of marketing strategies. In particular, this study poses questions for further research: When should a marketing blitz take place? Should faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates be targeted at the same time or at staggered times throughout the academic year? Should a marketing campaign be repeated? How often? Long-term evaluation of user statistics is certain to offer more insight into the process of marketing library services.


Distance Education and Virtual Reference / Karen I. MacDonald, Wyoma Vanduinkerken
Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning / Vol. 2, Iss. 4, 2006

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