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Title: Venturing Cooperation between Alpha University College (AUC) Library and Resource Centers of College of Distance Studies
Authors: Mammo, Wondimeneh
Keywords: distance education, student support centers, academic libraries, library services for distance learners, consortia
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: As one means of creating wider access to individuals who for various reasons are unable to be enrolled in the traditional, face-to-face programs, distance education has become a well-established approach to pursue education in their respective interest areas for adults. A quick glimpse at the history of distance education in Ethiopia vis-à-vis institutions engaged in the sector provides us with the fact that private higher education has taken a leading role despite facing unlimited challenges in the sector. Commencing a distance education programme requires commitment from all stakeholders’ side to make it a success. Especially, providing dependable student support for students enrolled in the distance education programme of Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) can be taken as a strong challenge as it requires huge amount of resources. As one of the components of student services, provision of library services for distance learners by instituting resource centers to provide library and other services by targeting proximity is evident in the provision of distance education. In the light of providing such services in Alpha University College, different resource centers are put in place to reach the students in their respective locations. Close look at such centers revealed that there are some degrees of similarities in the resources that are housed and services provided in the centers with Alpha University College Library. Nevertheless, irrespective of the similarities, there has never been a formal agreement in boosting the capacities of the resource centers to provide quality services and ultimately improve the delivery of distance education in AUC. Therefore, this research was undertaken to Identify possible cooperation and collaboration areas between the distance education resource centers and Alpha University College Library. Specifically attempt has been made to respond to such research questions as “what mechanisms are used to acquire resources at the resource centers?”~ “how resources are organized in the resource centers?”~ “how users are made aware of the existence of resources and services in the resource centers?”~ “what is the level of adequacy and ICT utilization in the centers?” and “what are the immediate collaboration areas between the resource centers and UC library?”. In order to respond to the above research questions, literature review, interview and review of such professional networks as Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL) were uses as methodologies. Major findings of the research are: absence of collection development policy; lack of collaboration on the collection development of the resource centers; formal resource discovery tools are missing; user education/information literacy is non-existent; ICT related content and services are extremely weak; services provided for distance learners are very limited and formal agreement with similar nearby institution is lacking. Based on the major findings future cooperation and collaboration areas are provided.
Appears in Collections:The 3rd Annual Open and Distance Education Seminar

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