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Library Services for Distance Education Students in Higher Education

Library Services for Distance Education Students in Higher Education
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Author(s): Elizabeth Buchanan (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 4
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch197


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Contemporary distance education has its roots in early forms of postal correspondence study but has evolved to sophisticated, technologically grounded forms of education. It has progressed from simplistic forms of written, correspondence study, known as the first wave of distance education (1870-1970), to early forms of television, satellite, and compressed video delivery and open education, known as the second wave (1970-1992), to its present stage of computer-based delivery, mainly over the Internet and its multimedia component, the World Wide Web (WWW). This form constitutes the third wave or phase. While the means by which institutions of higher learning deliver education remotely will continue to change, there is at least one constant—distance students will need support from their institutions and, in particular, access to library resources and services to successfully complete their educational endeavors. Libraries’ roles are indeed changing in light of Webbased distance learning, as well as such developments as full-text databases, e-books, and on-demand services. For years, libraries have struggled with the tension between “just-in-time” versus “just-in-case” collection development, and the need to now serve remote users and on-site students exacerbates this tension. Yet, serving remote students is not novel—the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) issued its first guidelines for serving “extension students” in 1963. The ACRL Guidelines are now in their fourth revision (ACRL, 2000).

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