Being clear about Library professionals responsibilities is important for reducing confusion for students. This can be further emphasized by having library professionals embedded or engaged with the e-learning programs at schools as members of the team, with a specific role. Libraries are busy, happening places, but offering to be embedded or involved with e-learning initiatives at institutions means that they are in a good position to help staff and students navigate resources necessary for their courses.
Library professionals need to engage meaningfully with students in the adoption and use of e-learning platforms, even if we aren’t directly involved with the program or course. Helping students make parallels and connections, appointing student leaders or hosting student training sessions, and providing ready reference services about e-learning platforms and initiatives allows us to not only increase digital literacy at our schools, but keeps us in touch with the changing educational landscape in which we are situated. Reaching out to faculty, being an informal sounding board, or officially sitting on an e-learning committee are practical and important ways that library professionals within educational institutes are able to get involved, and work to be embedded with e-learning initiatives and programs at their schools.
Library staff need to be included on course development teams for online programs and represented on on institutional e-learning committees. Too often, the provision of library resources for online courses is something that is left to the last minute or overlooked completely. If library staff are involved from the outset they can not only help locate valuable resources for the course being developed but also advise on the kind of support that they can provide to students once the course is underway. This information can then be built into the course with direct links to library services.