Home » Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session (Spring 2019) » Increasing Distance Instruction Through Electronic Newsletters


ACRL DLS Chair: Natalie Haber
Vice-Chair: Amanda Ziegler
Secretary: Stephanie Espinoza Villamor
Archivist: Andrea Hebert
Webmasters: Katie Stewart and Matthew Stevons (dlswebcontact@gmail.com)
Members-at-Large: Karla Aleman and Jennifer Rundels

Increasing Distance Instruction Through Electronic Newsletters

This poster is part of the Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session hosted by the ACRL DLS Instruction Committee. We encourage you to ask questions and engage in discussion on this poster! Authors will respond to comments between April 1-5.


Lauren Dubell and Edward Coslett, Chapman University

Poster Description:

This poster details the new outreach method we utilized to increase our bibliographic instruction sessions with the distributed Brandman campuses served by the Chapman Leatherby Libraries. The use of our new electronic newsletter increased the amount of bibliographic instruction sessions that we performed during the 2017-18 year.


(Click the pop-out icon in the upper right corner to enlarge)

About the Presenters

Lauren Dubell is the Coordinator of Brandman University Library Services at Chapman University. She coordinates distance services for around 26 campuses, located both online and in California, Washington, and other areas of the United States. She has worked in academic libraries for about three years, and her research interests include distance education and assessment.

Edward Coslett is the Distance Education Librarian at Chapman University.


  1. Not exactly the same thing, but I am using Mail Chimp to send out monthly emails to online students. It is a self-enrolled process where they sign up to receive the email on our Distance Learning Portal site (library home for online students). I started it last May and have 450 students and faculty signed up to receive it so far. I send out research tips, database spotlights, work-life-family balance tips, and a research roundup section which includes recent articles in each of the online program disciplines.

  2. Hi Melissa,
    That sounds like a great idea! Did you develop the Distance Learning Portal site? I am always looking for ways to help students feel comfortable meeting with the librarians, and that sounds like it would be a useful place for distance students to be able to connect with each other, as well. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Like Melissa, I also use MailChimp for outreach! It sounds like you just email faculty? Or do you email students as well? How often were your emails?

    I currently email faculty/staff monthly and students twice a year. Student emails are targeted to their major (but not to their campus, so I email, for example, all English students across campuses at once). Faculty/staff emails aren’t personalized at all at the moment, though. Is that something you do?

  4. Hi Lauren and Jennifer!

    I developed the Distance Learning Portal using LibGuides, but it has a different CSS than our other LibGuides. I looks more like a website than a guide (http://guides.acu.edu/distance). It’s basically a one-stop shop for online students since our library home page is very geared toward on campus students. There are plans to redesign the library home page so that it is the home page for all students (on campus and online), but it is very slow going.

    I email students and faculty and they choose to sign up for the monthly email list (I don’t call it a newsletter as suggested by my Associate Dean). Contacting students at our institution, especially online students, is a big hassle because I have to go through the proper marketing channels. I learned about marketing/contacting online students using informal channels from one of the sessions at the DLS conference, so I brought that back to my supervisor (also the Associate Dean) and he suggested using Mail Chimp. So, I do not mail students directly or by program very often. The email I send out has something for everyone regardless of their program. If I email faculty, I usually email the program directors and they email all the faculty (we have a lot of adjuncts in the online programs).

    I hope that answered your questions!

  5. Thank you for your response, Melissa. In answer to your question, Jennifer, we only email faculty here. We are able to ask an administrator to send the emails out to faculty, and we have been involved in the student newsletter a few times. It would be great if we could email students too, but that something that we are still working out. MailChimp sounds really interesting and I would like to take a look at it!

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