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4 Ways Libraries are Supporting Remote Learning

Remote Learning which is synonymous to distance learning is the system where the students and teachers are not physically present in a classroom. The barriers of education have broken due to technology, teaching and learning is no longer limited to the four walls of a classroom. Classes are held through technological means such as zoom, Skype, WhatsApp etc. Teachers send their lessons to students to read and understand it on their own, with occasional physical contact.

Remote learning basically is self-education so the role of the library is essential and necessary. Students go to the library to get access to in-depth information to help them understand a particular course or lesson. Unlike the traditional mode of learning where students have more contact hours with the teachers and colleagues to ask for explanation of things they don’t comprehend, the contact hours for the remote learning is minimal so students have to read on their own, go to library to search for materials that will answer their questions and also widen their knowledge.

The school libraries have not only helped the students but the teachers as well. Day in day out, theories are formulated, syllabuses are changed, new research papers are published. So teachers access library materials to update themselves in their field of teaching and also make recommendations of books to students.

One of the ways libraries are supporting distance learning is by creating digital literacy programs or platforms. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, all schools globally had to close down, switch from the traditional mode of teaching to the remote form of teaching and later to the hybrid form of learning(partly traditional, partly remote).  Libraries devised creative digital programs to make sure students had access to learning materials while serving students at a distance. The solutions differed among school and countries. Some school libraries set up e-book circulation options and e-book lending. This is a practice where access to e-books are made available for a limited time to the borrower. The reader or borrower looses access once the time is up.

Furthermore, some libraries built a virtual library document filled with digital resources that were easily and remotely accessible by all students who needed learning materials to aid in their studies.

 Also, other  libraries offer curbside library delivery service, where students order for books they wanted online  and when the book is available or ready, the students came to the library premises using drive through to pick up the books.

School libraries support remote learning by responding to changes or additions of new programs or subjects in the school. Often the new courses or topics are introduced, and students will need corresponding materials read. The library ensures that they are abreast with the new developments and consequently provide the necessary materials for students consumption.

Another way school libraries can support distance learning, is by liasing with teachers. When teachers give assignments, especially in the university, they will inform the library on the assignments and books that could help do the assignments. Consequently, the library would then provide these books and other resourceful references on their digital platform for the students to access.

Libraries have always played an important role in remote learning and education on a whole and its impact over the years are undeniable. However, we live in a changing world and as technology continues to change the mode of learning, school libraries are entreated to quickly adapt to the changes by introducing creative and innovative systems that will align with new change in the education system to ensure effective teaching and learning.

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