Distance students are generally adult learners, mature, employed, and have family responsibilities. They have higher motivation and are willing to take responsibility for their own education. They are self-directed, study on independent basis. They learn in a variety of ways and take control over their learning. Their acccess to library is by technology, using a variety of media such as telephone, voice mail, web site, email etc. To be successful, distance learners need to possess basic knowledge and skills of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to access library services.
Similarly electronic libraries need to to build the capacity of their staff to be able to develop the professional ICT expertise needed to manage and maintain the Library information system in an efficient, effective and sustainable ways.
Electronic library & its resources
A digital library is a library in which collections are stored in digital formats (as opposed to print, microform, or other media) and accessible by computers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_library It purchases and make subscriptions for electronic collections for full test journals, magazines, newspapers, e-books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, digital images etc. CBS library is a good example of an electronic/digital library.
Students need to have the basic skills for searching electronic resources on the web. The 10 basic search skills can be accessed at: http://websearch.about.com/od/enginesanddirectories/tp/toptentp.htm There are many search engines like Google, Yahoo, Dog-pile etc. Of these Google is the widely used search engine. See their video showing Google search skills
Read this article for more information as well. http://www.classroomtech.org/Searching/StudentMaterials.pdf
Some Problems Distance Education Students face in accessing a Library
- their institution may not offer a library service; they may face delays and expense in contacting the library or there are many barriers that students give up trying to use it.
- their library expectations are often low.
- they lack information literacy skill , they frequently do not know or do not find out.
- what services and resources are available or how to access them.
- they frequently possess inadequately knowledge and experience in library research, electronic informational resources, and technology in general.
- they may never come on campus so that they rarely receive information literacy training and are unable to use in- person assistance from librarian