Several Rasmussen College librarians recently attended and presented at the Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries conference in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, held April 17 – 20, 2012. Librarians representing Rasmussen College included: Karen Eckberg from Green Bay, Wisc.; John Fedoryn from Romeoville, Ill.; Shana Friedman from Aurora, Ill.; Jeneen LaSee-Willemssen from Wausau, Wisc.; Naomi Stuesser from Appleton, Wisc.; and myself. Emily O’Connor, Director of Library and Learning Resources, also attended. The group worked together to facilitate a breakout session focused on “Distance Librarianship at Rasmussen College.” The panel shared information and ideas with attendees on how Rasmussen College works together to serve a diverse group of students and faculty, most of whom work and study in the online environment and may never meet face-to-face.
The presentation highlighted that while each of the 22 Rasmussen College campuses has a solo librarian on-site, they are able to collaborate daily as a team to provide the needed distance services to students and staff in traditional and innovative ways. A few of those services include the postal mail delivery of physical books and the interactive question-and-answer database, Answers from RasLLC. The group also discussed a variety of communication tools regularly used; including chat, text, and email reference services, online interactive workshops via Wimba, videos on information literacy topics, co-teaching via ANGEL,Online, Academic Guides for APA, and a variety of other subjects.
Finally, the group was able to share how they work collectively, long distance. Conference calls, chat, email, and Wimba sessions are commonly used to communicate with each other. Librarians throughout Rasmussen College also collaborate on documents and presentations in a variety of ways including GoogleDocs and LibCal, an online calendar accessible by all of the librarians. Social media is also used to share local and library system happenings, especially through Facebook. The key takeaway from the presentation was that all of the librarians throughout the system work as a team to provide excellent services to the students, faculty, and staff at Rasmussen College. The session was well-attended and while participants already use some of the applications highlighted, they discovered new ways in which to use them.