The Distance Library Services Conference was a biennial event that began 1982 as the Off-Campus Library Services Conference. It served as a forum to discuss, demonstrate, and champion the techniques, trends, and theories of providing library services at a distance and in the online environment. Through formal proceedings and the publication of conference papers in the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, all who had an interest in the field of distance librarianship could benefit from the conference. A detailed history of the Distance Library Services Conference is available from the
of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning.
The program aspired to reflect the geographic, philosophic, and programmatic diversity in distance librarianship through invited speakers, paper presentations, panel discussions, poster sessions, and workshops. The conference encouraged participation by and increased networking opportunities for professionals new to the field of distance librarianship through the Distance Library Services Conference Award. Recipients of the Conference Award were:
- 2018: Victoria (Torrie) Raish, Penn State University
- 2016: Andrea Hebert, Louisiana State University
- 2014: Michelle Keba, Nova Southeastern University
- 2012: Amy Hofer, Portland State University
- 2010: Mark-Shane Scale, University of the West Indies
- 2008: Paul Betty, Regis University, & Susan Shepley, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology
- 2006: Dan Lawrence, Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education
The Distance Library Services Conference was international in both scope and participation, attracting academic, corporate, medical, and military librarians from the United States, Australia, Canada, England, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, and the West Indies. To help ensure that travel for attendees was more evenly distributed, conference organizers sought to hold the conference in different cities, alternating the location across the Mississippi River. The conference was held in
San Antonio, TX (2018);
Pittsburgh, PA (2016); Denver, CO (2014); Memphis, TN (2012); Cleveland, OH (2010); Salt Lake City, UT (2008); Savannah, GA (2006); Scottsdale, AZ (2004); Cincinnati, OH (2002); Portland, OR (2000); Providence, RI (1998); San Diego, CA (1995); Kansas City, MO (1993); Albuquerque, NM (1991); Charleston, SC (1988); Reno, NV (1986); Knoxville, TN (1985); and St. Louis, MO (1982).
The conference was self-supporting, with encouragement and backing from the Central Michigan University Libraries and Global Campus, and it was organized, planned and hosted by the university's distance librarians. Central Michigan University has been a leader in distance education since 1971, but due to changing institutional priorities and budget realities, the University Libraries made the difficult decision in 2018 to discontinue hosting the Distance Library Services Conference. However, the conference is being reimagined through the efforts of distance librarians with Penn State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The proceedings for each Distance Library Services Conference (1982-2018) are accessible from the Central Michigan University Scholarly & Creative Works Collection. Permission to use and reproduce publicly available proceedings content is automatically granted by the rights holder provided the source of the content is properly acknowledged.