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Librarians have been quick to see the opportunities of an “information age,” and their online library resources for students and faculty have grown quickly. They have also been active collaborators with other libraries, both academic and public, to make greatest use of limited funds in licensing online collections of resources. Thus, in the library links below, you will find multiple cross references that can help you track down information you need for an assignment or research paper.
If you’re new to higher education, it’s important to remember that just “googling” on a topic isn’t likely to lead you immediately to the most credible scholarly articles and books for academic study. Librarians (today, more nearly “information scientists”) work with college faculty to identify the most appropriate databases, references, and books for the subjects taught. In some cases, librarians have created web pages for individual courses to help launch student research in appropriate directions; in other cases, the library material you need for a course may be imbedded in the course management system (e.g., BlackBoard, WebCT, OnCourse, First Class, etc.) for your particular class.
Librarians at institutions engaged in distance education have also responded to the challenges faced by the increasing number of off-campus students. Beyond remote access to online databases, you may find virtual reference services (through 800 phone numbers, chat, and sometimes videoconferencing), online tutorials, electronic reserves, and special arrangements for delivery of books and other documents through Inter-Library Loan. The links below will take you to the main library web site for each institution; be sure to look for special sections related to distance education services.
The state’s “virtual library,” INSPIRE, can be a very helpful resource for online reference materials. And since there will probably be circumstances when you need physical as well as virtual facilities, don’t overlook your local public library. Indiana’s public librarians are dedicated, hard-working, and very willing to help their patrons with information research of all kinds, including distance education classes. You can help your local librarian help you by having complete information about your assignment and perhaps the URL for your course or your college library at hand.
ICN Member Institution Online Libraries
State Library Resources