The DLIG has had a few challenges leading up to our meeting this time. First, we weren’t assigned a room. Then, we were assigned a room, but it was too late to be printed in the program. Today, when we found it, someone else was meeting there and we were listed on the sign for a different day than we had arranged. So, by the time we were able to find a room, we were down to three people.
Nevertheless, we had a lovely discussion and brainstormed ideas for what the interest group could do leading up to midwinter. We discussed how there is often only one distance learning librarian at an institution and the challenges associated with that when a new distance learning librarian is hired. We talked about how a designated DL librarian position can sometimes lead staff to assume all things DL are being taken care of, and maybe back-off in areas of their jobs that overlap. This becomes a problem as we discussed our next topic: what’s a distance learner anyway? Today, our students are accessing materials online and using the library website whether they’re studying in another country or in the building next door to the library. When everyone is using online resources, does it matter where the student does (or doesn’t) live?
DLIG has started a blog, where we hope to provide a space for community discussion and a place where people can share success stories or tips. We decided that some good topics to begin with include copyright law and licensing, case studies, screen casts of things that work, and materials that distance learning librarians can share among themselves.
We discussed programming opportunities around these ideas and talked about trying to put together an online distance learning interest group meeting so that we can get together the 25-30 people who typically would come to our discussion group. We figure, if anyone is well suited for an online meeting, it’s the Distance Learning IG!!