Library Issues in Adult Online Education

Library Issues in Adult Online Education

Linda Marie Golian-Lui, Suzy Westenkirchner
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-906-0.ch029
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Adult online learners have unique information and technology needs which are best met by libraries and library professionals. Combining the concept of andragogy along with best practices for the library profession significantly assists librarians in providing meaningful learning opportunities. Effective library support for adults in online learning experiences incorporates the concepts of learning style theories, thinking style theories, and library anxiety research. Best practices in information literacy and technology literacy assist librarians in supporting the broad needs of adult online learners.
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Foundational concepts in the field of library information science and the theory of adult learning, a.k.a. andragogy, are a natural partnership for the support of adult online education. This chapter highlights how the library science profession strongly embraces the concepts of andragogy, and provides specific examples how the library science profession supports both formal and informal adult online education situations.

The chapter includes definitions and practical suggestions. It is organized into eight sections highlighting librarianship and andragogy, learning styles, thinking styles, information literacy, technology literacy, library anxiety, best practices and future trends. The chapter concludes with comments about the future role of libraries and librarians in the area of adult online education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer Literacy: Entails the ability to understand and make use of information in a variety of formats.

Library Anxiety: Library anxiety is defined as the negative and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings experienced by many adult learners when using, or contemplating using, the resources or services of a library. The affects of library anxiety include feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and lack of competency.

Technophobia: Technophobia refers to a disdain for the use of technology and can be a learning?barrier that librarians must also address in the information literacy process. It is an aversion to or fear of technology, especially computers.

Lib X: Lib X is a browser plug-in, fully customizable, for Firefox or Internet Explorer that provides direct access to your library’s resources, specifically the OPAC.

Information Communication and Technology: Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Literacy is using digital technology, communications tools, and/or networks to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information in order to function in a knowledge society.

Technology Literacy: Technology literacy represents the aptitude to use media, such as the internet to access and interact with information.

Integrated Library System: Integrated library (automation) systems (ILS) provide libraries with a variety of integrated computerized functions—Cataloging, Circulation, (Online Public Access Catalog) OPAC, Acquisitions, and Serials Control.

Open Access: Digital works that are made available frequently at no cost to the reader on the public Internet for purposes of education and research.

Information Literacy: Information literacy (IL) is the skill set requiring individuals to recognize when they have an information need and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use the information effectively.

Blended or Hybrid Courses: Courses that can be defined as when instruction is required in both face-to-face (F2F) and in an online environment.

Information Commons/Learning Commons: A new type of technology-enhanced collaborative facility on college and university campuses that integrates library and computer application services (information, technology, and learning) in a single floor plan, often equipped with a wireless network and, in some cases, equipment for multimedia production.

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