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Abstract

Librarians at Montana State University (MSU) find themselves in a dual role with respect to the idea of urban versus rural. When MSU librarians serve students at a distance, sometimes these distance clientele are in metropolitan communities much larger than MSU’s home, Bozeman. At the same time, many of their distance students are located in tiny rural towns of a couple hundred or fewer, such as Two Dot, Montana. Regardless of where they reside while taking courses, students want access to the full spectrum of the institution’s resources and services, including the library. Whether students are rural or urban, MSU librarians strive to provide equivalent services to all students and faculty. For the past two and a half years, librarians at MSU have utilized Adobe Connect web conferencing software to teach research skills to online students in real-time. This article will describe the MSU library’s services to all library users including the successful implementation of synchronous library instruction. The discovery of best practices, the use of assessment involving both students and faculty, and institutional support were integral components of this project. After several years of using web conferencing, the need for marketing to grow support for the program became evident to MSU librarians.

 

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