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 An Analysis of How Instructors Use Library Collections to Support Distance Learners 15th Annual Distance Learning Services Conference – Memphis, Tennessee.

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Presentation on theme: " An Analysis of How Instructors Use Library Collections to Support Distance Learners 15th Annual Distance Learning Services Conference – Memphis, Tennessee."— Presentation transcript:

1  An Analysis of How Instructors Use Library Collections to Support Distance Learners 15th Annual Distance Learning Services Conference – Memphis, Tennessee Michele Behr and Rebecca Hill April 19, 2012

2 Michele Behr  Western Michigan University  Associate Professor, Off Campus Services   Rebecca Hill  Central Michigan University  Librarian, Off-Campus Library Services  

3  Budget dollars and buying power are shrinking for academic libraries  Increasing pressure to make the “right” selection decisions Are the materials librarians are buying serving their intended users?

4  The number of students taking online classes continues to rise (Allen & Seaman, 2011) Are library collections effectively supporting that user population?

5  Questions:  Are the materials librarians buy serving their intended populations, and justified within reduced budgets?  As our distance learner population becomes a larger segment of our patrons are our collections effectively serving them?

6  Questions:  Are the materials librarians buy serving their intended populations, and justified within reduced budgets?  As our distance learner population becomes a larger segment of our patrons are our collections effectively serving them?  …in what ways can we try and answer these questions?

7  Faculty-chosen items or readings, mandatory or suggested as part of the curriculum, and available electronically (ALA, 2003)  These items may be a good target for determining whether library collections are being used in support of distance learners

8  Few research studies exist on faculty use of electronic reserve  General trend is to begin with instructor- authored content and move toward licensed and/or open web content  Most common types of e-reserve items to date are book sections and periodical articles  Copyright restrictions weigh heavily on what is placed on electronic reserve

9 WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF E-RESERVES? o Increasing or decreasing usage? o If you have an e-reserve system in place does it make it more or less attractive for online classes? o How do your institutions’ copyright policies and procedures effect faculty use of e- reserves? o What types of materials do faculty place on e-reserve?

10  To learn more about the types of materials instructors place on e-reserve by taking a closer look at two institutions  To gain insight to the usefulness of librarians’ collection choices  To inform future collection development decisions at our institutions

11 Western Michigan (WMU)  State-supported research institution  Fall 2011 enrollment of 25,000 1  ~ 2.5 million titles  $7 million, FY  Major off-campus degree programs: health, education, business Central Michigan (CMU)  State-supported research institution  Fall 2011 enrollment of 28,000 2  ~ 1.3 million titles  $3.8 million, FY  Major off-campus degree programs: health, education, business 1 WMU Office of Institutional Research, CMU Office of Institutional Research, American Library Directory, 2010

12 Western Michigan (WMU)  Regional sites in Michigan (7)  Long history of serving distance students  Desire2Learn  Resource Sharing Center  ARES (Atlas Systems) for e- reserves data Central Michigan (CMU)  Class centers across North America (60+)  Long history of serving distance students  Blackboard  Course Reserves & Copyright Services office  No automated system

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14  Extracted e-reserve citations for Fall 2011 semester  Selected a randomized sample for a comparable number of citations (815 WMU; 656 CMU)  Citations analyzed and coded for format, source and (for periodical articles only) scholarly status

15 CodeDefinition BCBook chapter (or book section) from a print book EBE-Book (either section or an entire electronic book) FIFiles (usually PDF or.doc) provided by an instructor JAJournal article (i.e. periodical article) LCLaw cases available on the open web MMMultimedia RReports/Research briefs/Working papers REReference entry (encyclopedia, handbook, etc.) WSWebsites

16 CodeDefinition LCELibrary collection, electronic LCPLibrary collection, print NLNot in library collection OWOpen web

17  Each citation with a format code JA was examined for scholarly status  The citation’s publication (by title/ISSN) was checked in Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory  Refereed code – Y (yes) or N (no)

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19  Only examined e-reserves from two libraries  Only examined e-reserves from one semester  Two different random sample sizes were needed in order to get comparable numbers

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26 Refereed Status taken from Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (2011)

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29 Median E-Reserve Publication Dates

30  Format: 87% of total e-reserve citations examined were either periodical articles or sections from a print book  Source: 77% of total e-reserve citations examined were from library collections  Periodical Articles: 71% of total e-reserve citations examined came from scholarly publications  Median Publication Dates: For the most common types of e-reserve citations examined, no median date was more recent than 2004

31  Our collections seem to be serving our users  Items on e-reserve are primarily periodical articles and book sections, followed by instructor files  Few websites and multimedia items  Low use of e-books

32  Overall the results from the two institutions were very similar  A clear majority of periodical articles on e- reserve are from scholarly (refereed) publications  Median date shows that e-reserves are generally about ten years behind

33 WHAT DO YOU THINK? o Are e-reserve materials a good representation of what faculty are using in classes? Or are faculty bypassing the library? o What are barriers to use of e-reserves at your institution? o What other assessments could be done to see how collections are serving distance learners?

34  Look at results over time to gain more meaningful trends  Include other institutions of different sizes, types and locations  More in-depth analysis of items on e-reserve to determine collection gaps  Work with faculty to help improve currency of e-reserve materials

35  An analysis of materials placed on e-reserve is a useful lens through which to view how well our collections are serving our distance learners  E-reserve formats and sources at our institutions reflect what is reported in the literature  Our data will be used to inform future collection development decisions  As electronic formats increase in our collections, the more useful they will become for e-reserve

36  Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2011). Going the distance: Online education in the United States, Babson College: Babson Survey Research Group.  American Library Association. (November 2003). Statement on fair use and electronic reserves. Retrieved from  American Library Directory. (2010). Medford, NJ: Information Today.  Central Michigan University Office of Institutional Research. (2011). Fall semester enrollment statistics Retrieved from  Michigan Votes, Mackinac Center for Public Policy. (2012) Senate bill 178: Appropriations: higher education. Retrieved from  Senate Fiscal Agency, State of Michigan. (2011). FY higher education budget (S.B. 178 (CR-1): Conference Report). Retrieved from Michigan Legislature website: 2012/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0178-R.pdfhttp://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/ /billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0178-R.pdf  Western Michigan University Office of Institutional Research. (2011). Data on students enrolled fall semester Retrieved from  Woodhouse, K. (2012, March 9). Michigan set to lose $4.2M in federal higher education funding. Ann Arbor.com. Retrieved from

37 Michele Behr  Western Michigan University  Associate Professor, Off Campus Services   Rebecca Hill  Central Michigan University  Librarian, Off-Campus Library Services  


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