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Online Library Education Programs: Implications for Rural Students
Constance A. Mellon and Diane D. Kester
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science
Vol. 45, No. 3 (Summer, 2004), pp. 210-220
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40323888
Page Count: 11
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The primary purpose of this study was to identify and examine the unique needs of library education graduate students from a rural working population in eastern North Carolina. The data for this study were collected formally and informally over a five-year period. Methods used included observation, interview, faculty discussion, informal interaction, student surveys, and documentation of personal experience, plus action research. Examination of the data identified five issues basic to the importance and success of online graduate programs for rural working adults: student reaction to online teaching, motivating faculty to develop online courses, recruiting and mentoring faculty as online teachers, providing technical assistance to students, and creating an electronic community for student interaction. The study has significance for both library education for rural students and for educating faculty to work in universities serving large rural regions. It provides a model describing the elements necessary to develop and maintain effective online library education programs and examines why such programs are important in serving the educational needs of a rural region. Moreover, it suggests a way in which the shortage of school librarians in rural regions can be addressed.
Journal of Education for Library and Information Science © 2004 Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE)