Theological Librarian Sister Rebecca Abel recently published an article, “Online Library at Catholic Distance University,” in Theological Librarianship, an open access journal for peer reviewed articles as well as essays and reviews on subjects at the intersection of librarianship and religious and theological studies that potentially impact libraries.
Sister Rebecca has been CDU’s theological librarian since 2015. Originally from Owensboro, Kentucky, she is a Sister of St. Benedict based in Ferdinand, Indiana. Her order lives faithfully the 1,500-year-old tradition of Benedictine life: they seek God together, pray daily, and share their lives and ministries with others. Sister Rebecca served as librarian of the North American College in Rome, Italy, for 17 years after 25 years in the SE Dubois County Public Schools as librarian and director of Media Services. She earned her B.S. in Education from St. Benedict College and an M.L.S. from Ball State University.
Under Sister Rebecca’s direction, the CDU online library has significantly grown its collection to provide ample online resources and e-books. In addition to maintaining the online library, Sister Rebecca assists students and faculty with research, locating resources, and provides guidance to students in writing. Organized around nine modules, the Canvas LMS-based library has seen usage grow significantly with her efforts to increase its holdings and make it more user friendly.
Students and faculty can browse the library by accessing an Index page, links to websites offering open access resources are included, and e-books can be checked out through the ATLA E-Book Lending Program. Links to open access and public domain e-books are also provided. A module on “Research and Writing” provides a link to the online Chicago Manual of Style and various writing guides. Specific term paper and citation guidelines required by the CDU faculty are included as well. Resources are easily accessible to students and faculty 24/7. For scholarly theological journal articles, students can access the EBSCO/ATLA databases. Additional databases and e-books are added yearly so that students have access to the materials needed for research and study.
Read Sister Rebecca’s article here: https://serials.atla.com/theolib/article/view/1931/2202.