The Library’s Influence and Impact on Learning: A Case Study From The Open University (UK)

Killick, Selena (2023). The Library’s Influence and Impact on Learning: A Case Study From The Open University (UK). Asian Association of Open Universities Journal [Early Access].



Purpose – The Open University (OU) in the UK has been providing distance learning since 1969. The purpose of this case study is to outline the impact that The OU Library in the UK has had on student learning outcomes by embedding academic literature and digital and information literacy (DIL) skills materials in the curriculum.

Design/methodology/approach – The case study presents an overview of the university context, including how the curriculum is developed. It discusses the role of the library in this process, outlining how librarians work with academic staff to embed skills and literature in the curriculum. Unique in-house technical solutions are presented to aid future approaches to providing distance library services.

Findings – The impact of the library on university education is discussed. Findings from qualitative research are presented, outlining the value the university places on the role of the library as an educational partner. Quantitative research studies are also presented, outlining the positive relationships between library content access and training attendance with student success.

Practical implications – As universities are considering their distance-learning offerings post-COVID-19, it is hoped that this case study will help both library and university administrators examine the role of their libraries in this strategy.

Originality/value – A case study on the approach The OU Library takes to support education in its broadest sense has not been published before.

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