ABSTRACT

Reference services in academic libraries traditionally include professional assistance with general reference questions, information-gathering, development of research strategies, resource selection, and mediated database searching. However, when reference services begin to occur over a distance rather than in a face-to-face transaction, a shift must take place in how reference services are offered. This shift can, in part, be guided by a framework of published guidelines and standards. Published guidelines for distance learning library services provide a framework for distance education librarians to use in planning all types of services for off-campus students and faculty, and for administering programs of distance education services. Other literature in the arena of distance education librarianship provides concrete examples of how, practically, reference and instruction services have shifted to fit the needs of both the off-campus and the campus communities. This paper attempts to provide a synthesis of the guidelines and standards, supported by specific implementation examples, to provide a framework for distance education librarianship.