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On Line Tutorials In Engineering Libraries: Analysis And Discussion

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Widgets, Add-ons, Toolbars, and Videos: Web 2.0 Tools for Searching, Managing, and Teaching about Engineering Literature and Information

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.927.1 - 14.927.9



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Paper Authors


Yue Xu Mississippi State University

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Yue (Julie) Xu is Assistant Professor/Engineering librarian, Mississippi State University Libraries.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Online Tutorials in Engineering Libraries: Analysis and Discussion


While the need for information instruction is greater than ever, academic libraries are facing the challenges of limited time, staff, and resources to afford the traditional in-person instruction. The new generation prefers to find help from the web at anytime from anywhere. In this situation, web-based instruction could serve as a good candidate to facilitate teaching and learning through easy means of access (24/7) and self-controlled training process together with multimedia features. This study focused on the application of online tutorials in engineering libraries. Data were collected to statistically analyze the application status of online tutorials and the distribution of tutorials in five instructional categories (information literacy, basic library skills, advanced library skills, course related, and others). The author then examined the status of employing active learning and auditory/visual media features to design online tutorials, discussed popular authorizing software features and applications in each category. Further, the author also tried to discover the design trends and provide suggestions for engineering librarians to develop future online tutorials.


Academic libraries have a core responsibility to instruct patrons about information seeking abilities. Studies have shown that the Net Generation tends to acquire information through the assistance of electronic resources1, 2. Patrons, especially those with a background in engineering, have more exposure to technologies and could be more easily accustomed to self-paced learning habit3. New instruction and learning methods built on the underlined foundation of computer and information technologies have offered various opportunities for training and education in libraries. As self-guided training methods, online tutorials can be as interactive as they are easy to access, with 24/7 availability. These convenient features could teach patrons how to conduct research and access library resources easily. On the other hand, the need for information instruction is greater than ever because of the varieties of existing information resources. And online tutorials could help to release the challenges of shortage of staff, limited time, and resources. Hence, using the Internet to provide web-based tutorials would benefit both patrons and libraries.

According to current research, there are only a limited number of resources focusing on web- based instructions in engineering libraries. Analyzing existing online tutorial projects that were implemented in engineering libraries would facilitate teaching and learning process if librarians employed appropriate criteria to design online tutorials.

This research was to determine the current status of the implementation of online tutorials in engineering libraries. This was done by proposing research questions, gathering information regarding requirements for tutorial types, identifying the media types employed by the libraries, and determining their active learning capabilities. The purpose of this study was to help with the

Xu, Y. (2009, June), On Line Tutorials In Engineering Libraries: Analysis And Discussion Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4813

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