An exploration of the experiences of pioneering online library and information science graduate students in the 1990s




Shelnutt, Cherri

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This researcher explored the impact of the experience of early library and information science (LIS) online graduate courses from the perspective of the pioneering students involved in such courses in the 1990s. The study identified some of the experiences of LIS graduate students who took courses online during the 1990s, the time period marking the beginning of this form of educational delivery in the library and information studies field. Focusing on Rogers' theory of the diffusion of innovation, the researcher used an online questionnaire with quantitative questions as well as open-ended ones. This historical study obtained descriptions, experiences, and stories from 185 early student participants in their own words. The more quantitative questions provided background information about the LIS online graduate courses from a student perspective. Using coding, the researcher analyzed the text responses and identified categories commonly reported by the early LIS graduate students who participated in this study. The resulting categories expand knowledge about LIS education in general and early LIS online learning in particular.



Communication and the arts, Education, Distance learning, Online education, Technology adoption