Integrating Library Services Into a Learning Management System

A Conference on
Computing in the Disciplines (COCID)


Library Services and Learning Management Systems

The rapid increase in the use of learning management systems such as Blackboard, ANGEL, and other open source programs has necessitated the tailoring of library services to fit this new model.  While libraries have provided online services for years, their web sites list such a vast array of information that students often have difficulty determining the most appropriate databases or websites to use for research.  Learning management systems allow faculty, librarians, and students to interact in ways far different from traditional classrooms or even static web pages. Since each class enjoys an online environment uniquely its own, faculty can address that classes’ individual needs for scholarly databases, credible information resources, and e-reserves material.  Librarians who work with those classes have a new opportunity to publish individualized guides in these courses, provide links to scholarly sources, or hold “online reference chats” at scheduled times.  Beyond the course-level involvement, or "micro" level, libraries may add customized guides at the "macro" level including links to the library catalog and article databases, and other resources appropriate for the entire campus.

Examples of how librarians are working in LMS:

"Macro" levels:

  • "Tabs" specific for library services and information.
  • Broad-based guides for conducting research.
  • Direct links to library catalogs and databases.
  • Links to the library's online chat services.

"Micro" levels:

  • "Embedded librarian" -- One librarian works individuallly with classes, providing instruction and feedback for research assignments.
  • Individualized guides for specific class assignments.
  • E-reserves or links to articles for the course's reading list.
  • Quizzes or questionnaires related to information literacy components.

Further Reading:

Last updated, 4 April, 2008|Anne Canale Stalnecker