According to Susan Metros et al., learning objects may "offer great value in terms of saving time and money in course development, increasing the reusability of content, enhancing students' learning environment, sharing knowledge within and across disciplines, and engaging faculty in a dynamic community of practice" (http://www.educause.edu/asp/doclib/abstract.asp?ID=NLI0202). How well does this statement describe and capture the essence of learning objects in the real-world situations faced by faculty and their instructional designers? This presentation will discuss the use of open source initiatives and software for creating repositories of learning objects. Additionally, software methods and protocols used for understanding information behaviors and uses of learners (students) and faculty that are integrally embedded in instructional materials, such as citation and reference linking and uses of these links (what students and faculty do with such links), are briefly presented. Multiple examples of learning object uses, like DLIST being developed at the University of Arizona, will be cited to illustrate points made.