Proactive Digital Transformation and a Virtual Academic Library: The APUS Campus Guides Project

STIELOW, Fred (2014) Proactive Digital Transformation and a Virtual Academic Library: The APUS Campus Guides Project. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 208 - Knowledge Management. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Proactive Digital Transformation and a Virtual Academic Library: The APUS Campus Guides Project

This presentation provides practical underpinning for IFLA Trends Report’s predictions on the impact of online education, but from the unique perspectives on a decade’s experience along the cutting edge of a fully virtual university. Its online library had to build from scratch without established resources or sense of academic entitlement. Grounding in physical space and collection ownership was radically supplanted by a Web site, remote staff, and licensing for global access. Sustainability in the heightened competitive of a for-profit school and Internet economy demanded an entrepreneurial mindset and fundamental changes in library services. The results are a paradigm shift into a new variant of the university library. The case study details APUS’ award-winning Course Guides project and further transformation of the academic library. In studied shift from the established research libraries, innovative electronic bibliographies and classroom services rise to prominence. Remote subject-specialists librarians take the lead. Their skills in mining and staying abreast of the Web tidal wave supplant past concentration on massive collection building. Librarian expertise vets licensed holdings and the Open Web. It produces a dynamic array of individualized interfaces across the entire curriculum and alternatives in the struggles with textbook inflation. Working in partnerships with the faculty, the efforts proffer significant quality enhancements and pedagogical enhancement for the 21st-century classroom. They come too with major cost-savings and the creation of trusted research launching pad for students. As seen, APUS’ Online Library and Course Guides proved remarkably successful. Over an eight year period in heightened competitive setting, the number of professional librarians increased from 2 to 23. Library traffic grew an unprecedented 3,000 percent and the university emerged in the top echelon of research database use. Course Guides became a prominent figure within the electronic classrooms and library materials adopted in 1/3rd of courses with millions in savings.

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