Library 2.0 PDQ: Meeting the Challenges of the Rapid Growth of Distance Learning and Off-site Courses at a University Regional Campus

Presentation at the 11th LITA National Forum, October 18, 2008

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Beth Tumbleson, MU Middletown
John Burke, MU Middletown

As the regional campus of a university broadens its focus from lower division, oncampus courses to web-based and off-campus bachelors-completion and professional degree offerings, how does its library adapt? Only a one-year deadline was available to accommodate the creation and offering of bachelors-completion degree programs and the successful construction of an off-site building in a growing suburban area. Using Library 2.0 inspired strategies and technologies, the regional campus library was able to continue to provide its ongoing services in this new environment, and also create new services and enable new opportunities for interaction within its academic community. Technologies such as instant messaging (IM) reference, podcasting, blogs, wikis, librarian participation in course management systems, and screencast tutorials were used. The library's planning process, the gathering of input from students, faculty, and staff, staff development activities, the implementation of the new tools and services, and its early assessment of the effort will be shared. While this presentation represents a case study of only a single library, the lessons the staff learned can be applied in multiple settings. It is important to note that with only a small staff, the library was able to find new approaches that multiplied its efforts and maximized its impact.