Join the DLS Discussion Group for a Virtual Panel @ Midwinter

Join the DLS Discussion Group for a Virtual Panel Discussion on Defining Distance in the Academic Library

Event: At the Tipping Point: Defining “Distance” in the Academic Library—Trends, Roles, and Challenges

Please register at:

Date and time: Thursday, February 12, 2015 12:00 pm Eastern

Duration: 1 hour

Distance Librarians work on the front lines of one of the biggest changes taking place in higher education—online learning. As educational institutions develop models for online delivery of courses and curriculum that best serve their students, their libraries must also respond with the appropriate services and support for these students. The result is many different models for how distance librarians work, where they work, and what additional challenges and obstacles they face.

Panelists include Neely Tang, Off-Site Public Services Librarian, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University; Stefanie Buck, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University Libraries in the Teaching and Engagement Department; Luann Edwards, E-Librarian, Tiffin University; Seth Allen, Online Instruction Librarian, King University; and Priscilla Coulter, Senior Online Librarian, American Public University System.

These librarians bring experience and insights into blended distance librarianship, working outside the library’s traditional organizational structure, and whether librarianship is increasingly serving all its students “at a distance”. Join us for a conversation with these librarians, to learn more about their experiences as they meet the needs of distance learners.

Take part in our discussion on Twitter with #dlsdefinedistancechat

Attendees will need a headset or speakers and an Internet connection to hear the discussion. Prior to accessing the meeting, you will need to have the most up-to-date version of Java downloaded. If attendees have any difficulties accessing the meeting, they can call WebEx’s tech support number at 877-469-3239.

If you have never attended WebEx Event before:

How do I join a meeting demo:

System Requirements:

For more information, please contact Jill Hallam-Miller at or at 717-728-2415.

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Tech Tool Review: E-Learning Tutorial Creators

This month the Instruction Committee is highlighting three very useful and powerful tools to create E-learning and tutorials. Our reviewers looked at Articulate StoryLine, Camtasia Studio, and Adobe Captivate. We know many distance librarians have used at least one of these tools so please weigh in on the comments below. We look forward to learning which tools you find most user friendly and productive. You can also post projects you might have made with these tools so others can see the final outcomes.

Articulate StoryLine

Access/Storage: Computer
Cost: $1398/single license* $1845/single license (regular pricing)
Academic Discount (save 50% or more) ;Volume Pricing discounts on purchases of 5 or more licenses (at Academic Discount) *special advertised at time of review
Learning Curve: Medium
Evaluation: Articulate Storyline is an E-learning authoring software with highly interactive features including customizable slide templates, avatars, quizzes/assessments, screen recording and animations. This is a very user friendly product. Articulate allows for self-paced progression through content. The published content is Tin Can, SCORM and AICC compliant so it can be integrated into most learning management systems for tracking/reporting of student progress. Articulate is mobile friendly with Articulate’s own app. The downside is that it is very pricey: one license was advertised as 1K+ at the time of this review. Academic discounts of 50% or volume pricing options may help reduce cost.

Reviewer: Rebecca Bliquez

Techsmith’s Camtasia Studio

Access/Storage: Computer
Cost: $299PC/$99MAC Software is licensed per user. Each purchased user can have the software installed on two machines. Educational and volume discounts available.
Learning Curve: Medium
Evaluation: Camtasia Studio is the most affordable tool listed today. It does not have all the features that others have, but one can still create customized and professional looking videos through screen capture. Videos & quizzes can run on desktops, laptops, iPad, & Android tablets and connect with learning management systems using SCORM. Editing has a learning curve but once you become familiar with it, it is very useful for on-the fly-videos. A webcam and microphone are recommended, however you can also edit videos/voiceover captured with a smartphone. The Techsmith Fuse app facilitates sharing files from your mobile device.

Reviewers: Holger Lenz & Heather Dalal

Adobe Captivate

Access/Storage: Computer
Cost: Student/Teacher Edition: $299. Professional pricing $999 new purchase; $399 upgrade from a previous version; 19.99/month one year subscription.
Learning Curve: Medium to Difficult
Evaluation: Captivate is a screen-casting tool used for making video tutorials with audio (closed captions), text bubbles, quizzes and other interactivity. It and Camtasia Studio work in similar ways. You record your screen movements and then edit slides using a storyboard layout. Captivate is best for more complex and interactive content. Production times takes longer so it is not as useful for on-the-fly videos as Camtasia Studio. However, the slide by slide editing is a timesaver when individual slides need updating. For example when a database interface changes, one does not have to start over from scratch.

Reviewers: Anjali Bhasin & Heather Dalal

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Only 17 Days Left for the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award!

Dear colleagues,

There are only two weeks left to submit your nomination or apply for the Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Conference Sponsorship Award!

This prestigious award honors an ACRL member who has made valuable contributions to the field of distance librarianship.

Award, Sponsored by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group: A plaque to honor the winner’s achievements and $1,200 to attend the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. The award will be presented to the winner at a special ceremony during the conference.

Submissions must be received by December 5, 2014. Self-nominations are welcome! For complete information about this award and the application form, please visit:

The applicant should demonstrate achievement in one or more of the following areas:

  • Support for distance learning librarianship and library services, e.g., service to students and faculty, innovation and/or leadership
  • Training of faculty/staff who support library services for distance students
  • Significant research and publication in areas of distance learning librarianship
  • Advocacy at decision-making levels, especially in funding and policy development as related to distance learning librarianship
  • Work with outside agencies in support of students learning at a distance
  • Consultation services in support of higher education distance students and programs beyond the traditional library boundaries
  • Planning and implementation of distance learning library programs of such exemplary quality that they serve as a model for others.

Check out a list of previous recipients here:

Questions? Contact Jennifer Hill, DLS Awards Committee Chair:, 410-516-8823

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Ad Hoc Committee Would Like Your In-put

The DLS Ad Hoc committee is looking at ways for you, the DLS members, to connect professionally, and we would like to know your thoughts. What type of connections do you benefit from the most? What has worked for you in the past? And, what type of program or format would you like DLS to provide?  Please respond with your comments and suggestions by 11/9/2014.

If you would like more information on this committee, you may see the committee description at:

Thank you,

Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen and the Ad Hoc committee.

Please feel free to comment on this post or send feedback to Sandy Hawes at:
1.352.588.8262 (phone)

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Tools for Distance Learning Librarians

Each month the Instruction Committee will offer a brief review of 2-3 tools in different categories that can help you in your instruction, communication, and the creation of tutorials and guides, among others. This month, we’re looking at Learning Management Systems. Our reviewers looked at 2 very popular LMSs: Canvas and Blackboard. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments about these or other LMSs you have used. Tell us what you liked or didn’t like and how you have used the tool successfully in your work.


Access/Storage: Cloud
Cost: Institutional Licensing
Learning Curve: Medium
Evaluation: The Blackboard company offers several products for online learning including:

As a learning management system, Blackboard Learn allows instructors to build content, quizzes, assignments, and discussion areas. Additionally instructors can track student progress and send announcements.

Reviewer: Michelle Keba


Access/Storage: Cloud
Cost: Institutional Licensing/Open Source, Commercial/AGPL
Learning Curve: Medium
Evaluation: Company’s self-stated goal is to create products for online learning that are simple and that include “intuitive and easy-to-use features.” The Canvas learning management system allows instructors to build content in the form of text pages, discussions, quizzes, assignments and video/audio recording. It also includes a built in chat feature, collaborative documents option (with a choice between EtherPad and Google Docs) and a web conferencing tool. Canvas also has or will soon have several additional features (many of which are not available in other learning management systems) including: course and grading apps for iOS and Android platforms, a mobile polling app, global support, integrated learning outcomes, 1 click LTI integration and open source status.

Reviewer: Rebecca Bliquez


Access/Storage: Cloud
Cost: Institutional Licensing/Open Source, Commercial/AGPL
Learning Curve: Medium
Evaluation: Sakai is a community of educators with the goal of “providing a robust and truly community-driven alternative to proprietary learning systems.” The open source LMS is used for course delivery and collaborative projects. The source code is free and allows for customization, but the software suite requires adequate institutional support to install and maintain; commercial affiliates can provide a full range of services with a full range of prices. There is strong Sakai community support for technical help and collaborative development.

Course sites tie in with campus registration systems and project sites provide tools for non-instructional uses such as collaborative research or committee work. Instructors can choose appropriate tools for communication, active learning, and assessment. Core tools include Syllabus, Assignments, Discussion Board, Quiz, Gradebook, Chat, and Lesson Builder. Sakai can be used for delivery of asynchronous and blended courses or as a supplement to F2F classes.

To try out the LMS, faculty can request sandbox accounts at one of the commercial affiliates and developers and system administrators can download the software.

Reviewer: Jim Kinnie

Next month; Screen casting tools!

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