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The subject librarian and the virtual learning environment: A study of UK universities

Corrall, S and Keates, J (2011) The subject librarian and the virtual learning environment: A study of UK universities. Program, 45 (1). 29 - 49. ISSN 0033-0337

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Purpose: The prevalence of virtual learning environments (VLEs) in higher education is well documented and has been promoted in the UK by government funded projects, but there has been little empirical research on the level of involvement of subject librarians with VLEs. A survey was designed to investigate how VLEs are affecting the work of subject librarians and to examine factors influencing their use in providing electronic information resources and developing information skills. The aim of this paper is to document the results Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire was distributed electronically to a purposive sample of 132 subject librarians at seven UK universities. The instrument contained mainly closed specified response questions with a few open questions and a response rate of 43 per cent (n=57) was achieved. Findings: Use of VLEs by subject librarians varies both between and within institutions. Factors affecting this include the subject area, co-operation of academic staff and attitudes of librarians towards technology-based teaching. JISC-funded projects have enabled better use of VLEs through the creation of re-usable learning objects and development of pedagogical understanding and skills. Recognition by academic staff of the teaching role of subject librarians has a critical impact on their involvement with VLEs. Research limitations/implications: The timeframe limited the scale of the study and size of the sample. The mainly quantitative approach limited the detail and depth of responses, but sufficient data were collected to establish broad trends, illuminate important factors and identify key issues. Originality/value: The paper provides empirical evidence of how VLEs are affecting the day-to-day activities of subject librarians and suggests areas where further research would be valuable. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Corrall, Sscorrall@pitt.eduSCORRALL
Keates, J
Date: 1 February 2011
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Program
Volume: 45
Number: 1
Page Range: 29 - 49
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1108/00330331111107385
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Information Sciences > Library and Information Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0033-0337
Date Deposited: 04 May 2015 20:47
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 20:55


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