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Erica Defrain's picture

ALA Midwinter Meeting Minutes

The LITA Distance Learning Interest Group met at ALA Midwinter in Seattle on Saturday, February 26, 2013. It appears that there was some confusion over the proper location, so these meeting minutes document the conversation that took place following the LITA Joint Chairs meeting, in the Washington State Convention Center TCC, room 303.

Approximately 10 people attended. 

As the majority of those in attendance were new to the IG, we felt it was appropriate to hold a general conversation instead of follow an explicit agenda. There were many topics of discussion, best represented by the following general categories:

  • Tools and strategies for embedding in online courses - A number of librarians were either thinking about physically embedding into online courses or had recently begun to. The need to also virtually embed library resources and services was also discussed.
  • New tools for online instruction - The University of Arizona released the "Guide on the Side" online tutorial creation tool as an open source download last year. Many libraries are familiar with the tool and are interested in using the tool.
  • How to transition to new CMS's - Many of those in attendance had gone through multiple course management systems at their institutions. In general, students adapted quickly, whereas faculty were often more resistant to the change. The library is often seen as a neutral space on campus where faculty can get assistance with instructional design and learning how t use the new technology. 
  • Best tools for online communication - A number of people felt overwhelmed by the numerous ways to communicate information online (listservs, email, ALA Connect, Twitter, blogs, etc). The group shared ideas for keeping up to date and discussed online privacy concerns.

While it is too late to submit an official session proposal for ALA Annual, the IG is scheduled to meet on June 29, from 1-2:30. It is apparent from the conversation that having a more formal presentation or panel discussion on any of the topics would be welcome. Planning for Annual will be conducted via the listserv and over Connect.