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Distance Education

Resources provided by the library for online students and instructors

ALA Standards for Distance Learning Library Services

All students, faculty members, administrators, staff members, or any other members of an institution of higher education are entitled to the library services and resources of that institution, including direct communication with the appropriate library personnel, regardless of where they are physically located in relation to the campus; where they attend class in relation to the institution’s main campus; or the modality by which they take courses. Academic libraries must, therefore, meet the information and research needs of all these constituents, wherever they may be. This principle of access entitlement, as applied to individuals at a distance, is the undergirding and uncompromising conviction of the Standards for Distance Learning Library Services, hereinafter designated as the Standards.

The access entitlement principle applies equally to all affiliated individuals, whether on a main campus or away from that campus, including both national and international locations, and to those in designated distance learning programs, or on branch or regional campuses, or in the absence of any physical campus. The principle applies to all public, private, profit, and non-profit academic institutions. The principle likewise applies to courses taken for credit, non-credit, and through continuing education programs, and to courses taught face-to-face in classrooms in remote settings, or via any medium, technology or platform - or through any other means or scale of distance learning. 

-American Library Association. Approved by the ACRL Board of Directors, July 2008. Revised June 2016.

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