Integration of digital libraries and virtual learning environments: a literature review

S. Virkus, Getaneh Alemu, T. Demissie, B. Kokkolari, L. Estrada, D. Yadav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to explore the literature on integration of digital libraries and virtual learning environments (VLEs). Design/methodology/approach – Searches were carried out on Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA), from 2000 to 2008 using the terms “digital libraries” and “virtual learning environments”. In addition, references of relevant articles found in LISA were used to identify additional sources. In total, this literature review analyses 23 articles. Findings – Digital libraries and VLEs have been designed, developed and maintained rather separately. Integration is essential to provide seamless access to content and services to the academic community. The integration process is confronted with many challenges where technical, human and administrative challenges are central concerns. The integration would promote a collaborative approach to learning, re-usability of resources, cross-searching and time saving for academics, librarians and students. In addition, librarians have to rethink their profession and role in the digital age as well as provide the integration with conceptual and theoretical frameworks. Research limitations/implications – LISA was used but other databases, including educational databases, such as ERIC, were not consulted for sources. The language of the documents was limited to English only. Originality/value – This paper can help the academic and library community to understand the challenges, issues and implications of integration of digital libraries and VLEs. This literature review is also built upon previous literature reviews, and is one of the few of its kind in the topic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-150
Number of pages15
JournalNew Library World
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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