Digital Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Libraries: Promoting Student Success for All Learners
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Student success in higher education depends on access to digital resources and services, and today's students rely heavily on the library to facilitate that access. Reliance on digital library resources and services surged in March 2020, when many U.S. higher education institutions moved to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This move exposed a lack of awareness about the ongoing digital divide in higher education in Montana, a rural state with a small population located in the Western U.S., and the underestimation of how student success would be affected in an online learning environment. Many students do not have a computer or device with internet access, or access to reliable, high-speed internet. These barriers inhibit students from experiencing digital equity and inclusion in the realm of remote learning. This article discusses the impact on students, and how librarians working at Montana State University are working to address challenges and advance digital equity and inclusion in their state. It demonstrates how access, or lack of access to resources impacts digital inclusion and digital equity, including personal device ownership, access to the internet or cell service, the ability of libraries to implement remote authentication methods, and digital accessibility. The article shares perspectives and strategies from librarians working in public services and instruction, acquisitions, and electronic resources management, and how they are working together to promote digital equity and inclusion and increase the accessibility of library resources in their community.
Frank, Jacqueline, et al. “Digital Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Libraries: Promoting Student Success for All Learners.” The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, vol. 5, no. 3, 2021, pp. 185–205. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/48644452. Accessed 22 Sept. 2023.