Overcoming Technology Barriers, Particularly for Historically Underrepresented Students
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona Libraries
MetadataShow full item record
CitationTravis Teetor and Robyn Huff-Eibl, “Overcoming Technology Barriers, Particularly for Historically Underrepresented Students,” Proceedings of the 2022 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment, ed. Angela Pappalardo, November 1–3, 2022, virtual conference (Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2023), https://www.libraryassessment.org/2022-proceedings/.
PublisherAssociation of Research Libraries
JournalProceedings of the 2022 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment,
AbstractThis paper describes efforts at the University of Arizona Libraries to improve access to internet and technology during the pandemic and we continue to adapt to an ongoing hybrid instructional modality. We highlight how our institution leveraged campus data and new partnerships to better meet student’ basic technology needs, particularly for underrepresented and first-generation students. The University of Arizona Libraries analyzed anonymized student demographic data, including race/ethnicity, first generation student status, and Pell grant recipients to determine how existing service utilization aligned with the campus population. The initial data analysis and establishment of new campus partnerships has been completed, and we are in process of evaluating and refining our approach. This foundational work has provided us with new ideas for ways to reach more students in need and form additional unions with groups on campus. Additionally, we are awaiting a decision on a National Telecommunications and Information Administration grant that could increase access to technology for students throughout the state while also expanding partnerships. As literature suggests, not all internet access is created equal and students often rely on outdated technology particularly when they are unaware of educational resources. Long-term goals include further linking student access to technology so that it positively impacts overall retention and success. Funding is key to providing the amount of technology needed to accommodate the hybrid learning models that students currently work in. Technology has become a basic need for students to successfully participate in learning. Thus, it is important that we continue to increase funds for technology in the form of grants, partnerships and endowments.