Having convenient, instant access to electronic library resources in academia is excellent as research can be conducted literally anywhere and at any time; however, a level of user self-direction is required for optimal results, creating the need for librarian interaction to guide the user towards acquiring this self-direction most effectively. As more institutions add online degree programs, it is essential that librarians are integrated within so that participating students have access to the same (or at least, equivalent) library resources and services as those who are on campus, and also develop sound research skills for information literacy acquisition. Although librarians have been involved in distance learning for decades, emerging technology has allowed for a more substantial emphasis on librarian involvement in distance learning. This is evidenced by such trends as job responsibilities expanding to include distance learning activities, libraries adding Distance Learning Librarian positions, online library services such as virtual reference and instruction, and journals focusing on library services in distance learning.
Helmstutler, Brenna, "Towards Virtual Information Literacy: Academic Librarian Integration into Teacher Education Distance Learning Programs" (2009). University Library Faculty Presentations. Paper 25.