Respectfully submitted by:
Rebecca Gardner, co-chair
Ann Watkins, co-chair
New developments in information technology enable libraries to move beyond geographic barriers and provide services to people seeking information outside library walls. The Task Force on Extended Campus Library Services was organized to study the library services needed to support extended campus teaching and research programs. Such off-campus users include those at Rutgers Experiment Stations and Cooperative Extension Offices, students and instructors in extended campus programs, and any user accessing the library remotely. The Task Force has examined the current status of the libraries' services and proposes a series of recommendations to optimize extended library services. These recommendations are firmly based on the Rutgers University Libraries' goal of timely, accurate and convenient delivery of resources to the desktop.
Based on consultations and interviews with key administrators and faculty, the Task Force offers the following descriptions as representative of off-campus programs affiliated with the university.
The Rutgers Experiment Station, based at Cook College, is the largest research unit within the university. Faculty and staff are engaged in applied agricultural research work at centers located throughout the state. Agents in the Cooperative Extension program are based in each county and provide information directly to members of the local community. Station researchers and extension agents require the full spectrum of library services and resources to accomplish their objectives. Several station faculty and extension agents were interviewed to determine the extent of their use of extended library services. Their effective use of such services is complicated by varying levels of expertise, equipment and budgets. In the past, faculty and staff have come to the library for one on one consultations with a librarian, often involving lengthy trips to campus.
The Faculty of Management/Graduate School of Management operates two off-campus sites for entrants in the MBA program. The courses offered are considered core courses. The students must attend a campus to enroll in electives. The curriculum of the core courses is presented, for the most part, by adjunct faculty who have tailored assignments to reduce or eliminate the need for library resources. The student body at the Morristown site numbers 36 and, at the Plainsboro site there are 122 students. Their records are part of the Registrar's database and they are issued ID cards.
The Graduate School of Business, Camden, sponsors courses leading to the MBA degree at three off-campus locations. Thirty students are enrolled at the May's Landing Campus of the Atlantic County Community College and at Atlantic City's City Center. Ten students attend classes at the PSE&G offices in Salem. The Graduate School at Camden offers courses in the masters of liberal studies at Western Monmouth.
The College of Nursing operates two off-campus sites, one in Atlantic City and the other at Western Monmouth . Other sites in southern New Jersey were in operation; however, with declining enrollment, the students have been relocated to the Camden Campus. The college initiated undergraduate and graduate course offerings at the Western Monmouth site in the Spring of 1999. The courses at Atlantic City and Western Monmouth are taught by College of Nursing faculty with assistance from a few adjunct instructors. The curriculum is identical to the presentation given on-campus. The current enrollment for the Atlantic City site is 20 and, at Western Monmouth, there are 50 students. The College is currently negotiating with a large health care system to offer degree programs at their facility so the size of the student population may be increasing.
A survey of the library literature identified four models used to deliver library services to off-campus learners.
The branch campus or regional center provides a site for classrooms and a library facility. The library usually contains a core collection and is operated by trained staff. There is a document delivery service from the main campus library and some type of instruction offered. Reference librarians from the main campus may also provide information by phone, email or in person.
The second model incorporates a local public library to provide services to branch campus students. The arrangement is usually formalized through a contract or letter of agreement. The services offered may be comprehensive, including reserves, borrowing materials, online searching and reimbursement of fines and fees.
The third model provides for a comprehensive program of services based at the main campus library. A separate department of reference librarians within the library organization deliver the services. New information technologies facilitate such a program by reducing dependence on a physical location.
The fourth model incorporates a mix of elements from the previous models.
Task Force members reviewed these models and examined Web sites of other university libraries to help determine what services and resources are beneficial to off-campus library users.
The Task Force offers the following recommendations regarding library services to extended campuses. They are based on the principle that all distance learning services should be fully integrated into Rutgers University Libraries' existing services to promote equity to both on- campus and off-campus users.
Communicate with off-campus instructors and students regarding library services and resources.
A. The Task Force developed an Off-Campus Services Web Page )/rul/off_campus/off_campus.shtml)(see attached) and recommends that it be mounted on the RUL website. This page provides information on: remote access to electronic resources, hardware and software required for off-campus users, reference assistance, delivery of library materials to alternative sites, online tutorial help and library instruction for classes that meet at remote locations. Although much of the information on this page is available elsewhere on the RUL web site, it is organized here in such a way as to gather and highlight resources available for off-campus users.
Action: Refer to the Web Advisory Committee for review and implementation.
B. The Task Force recommends that an informational brochure be developed for off-campus students and instructors. The brochure would describe much of the same information as is found on the website, and would include the URL, but would be sent directly to these users, as well as the Cook Agricultural Experiment Stations and County Extension Offices.
Action: Refer to the Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications for preparation, publication and distribution.
C. The Task Force recommends that lists of instructors and students at remote locations be gathered periodically and made available to such library groups as might find them useful, for example, the Instructional Services Committee, the Assessment Committee and collection development librarians. The Task Force has determined that two university agencies can supply information about instructors and students at remote locations.
Instructors may be identified through the Continuing Education and Outreach Advisory Council, through which most off-campus, for-credit programs are coordinated, or by working with Administrative Computing Services to request a report from the Class Scheduling Program.
Registered off-campus students may be identified by working with Administrative Computing Services to request a report from the Student Record Database (SRDB), based on the curriculum locator code.
Action: Refer to Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications for acquisition and distribution of reports.
Recommendation 2: Increase, as needed, library delivery locations.
As more Rutgers University off-campus sites are established, additional library delivery locations may be needed. The Task Force has determined that the following requirements must be met in order for a site to be a remote library "pick up location":
1) An official Rutgers University research station or cooperative extension office located off the New Brunswick, Newark or Camden campus. These sites must have addresses where books and photocopies can be mailed or delivered to faculty and researchers.
2) A facility designed as a pick up location through agreement with a nonaffiliated institution or library. The facility must have:
Action: Refer to Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services to implement and monitor.
Provide instructional services at remote locations.
In a recent (July 1996) ARL SPEC Kit on the "Role of Libraries in Distance Education," approximately one-half of the seventy-four libraries responding are involved in instructional support for faculty teaching off-campus. Twenty-three libraries also provide instructional support assistance to the faculty for the development of distance education courses which includes instructional design, multimedia development and instructional evaluation.
The Task Force is not suggesting that the Rutgers libraries, at this point in time, become involved with the development of technological delivery for distance education courses.
Traditional forms of instructional support for some courses are needed, requested and should be supported. In the traditional mode, librarians will conduct classes at off-campus sites.
Additionally, new ways of teaching research techniques and conducting library instruction classes for remote sites must be explored. Instruction may be delivered to off-campus sites via an interactive medium, over the Web or through other technological formats. The possibilities for distant library instruction will be greater with the installation of RUNet 2000. The libraries should be poised and ready to take advantage of the opportunities via cable television, etc.
Action: Refer to the Instructional Services Committee to develop policies and procedures.
Evaluate library services offered to remote users.
The libraries' program of services to off-campus users is evolving. It is not yet possible to know exactly what the demands will be on our existing resources, whether resources will need to be reallocated or if the library services offered to remote users are appropriate. Evaluation of services to remote users should focus in areas where these elements of demand and supply are currently measurable:
A. The Task Force recommends examining the impact of the following library services to remote users on existing library resources.
B. The Task Force recommends evaluating the libraries' support for the off-campus user population through:
Action: Refer to the Assessment Committee for inclusion in their user services review.
The Task Force recognizes that the term "extended campus" includes not only users at off-site classrooms, experiment stations and extension offices, but also people seeking information from their homes, offices, dorms and other places outside of library buildings. For this reason, the Task Force fully supports other library initiatives that would enhance equal access to remote users: electronic reserves, the addition of collections not yet in IRIS, such as government documents and other uncataloged materials, and the creation and acquisition of digital collections.
ACRL Guidelines for Distance Learning Library Services. College and Research Libraries News 59 (9): 689-694 October, 1998.
Adams, Kate. "Library Support for UNL Distant Learners." Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska- Lincoln, 1996. ERIC, ED 399962.
Aguilar, William and Kascus, Marie. "Extended Campus Library Services: an Introduction." Library Trends 39 (4): 367-74 Spring, 1991.
Chepesiuk, Ron. "Internet College: the Virtual Classroom Challenge." American Libraries 29 (3): 52-55 March, 1998.
Frank, Ilene. Libraries' Support for Distance Learners http://www.lib.usf.edu/~ifrank/dl.html (June 22, 1998.)
Lessin, Barton M. "Issues Raised by Extended Campus Services Librarians." College and Research Libraries News 53 (1): 14-15 January, 1992.
Lessin, Barton M. "Library Models for the Delivery of Support Services to Off-Campus Academic Programs." Library Trends 39 (4): 405-23 Spring, 1991.
Riggs, Donald E. "Distance Education: Rethinking Practices, Implementing New Approaches." College and Research Libraries 58 (3): 208-209 May, 1997.
West, Sharon. "Information Delivery Strategies and the Rural Student." College and Research Libraries 53 (6): 551-561 November, 1992.