These days, most universities are moving towards learning management systems and libraries are moving towards online resources. However, we often overlook the fact that many students don’t have a reliable internet connection at home. Librarians at the San Juan College Library recognized this major issue and took action. Librarian Kim Lowe explains:
Last summer we started a new program at the library to address the lack of internet access for many of our students. Increasingly more and more high quality academic and research materials are online instead of being readily available in print. Classes are also becoming increasingly integrated with online classroom management systems such as Blackboard and Canvas. Inspired by Chicago and New York City Public Library’s programs of checking out the internet to patrons, we decided to give it a go.
We at first limited patrons to 1 GB per week and it was disastrous. To combat the massive overages, I created an infographic to better portray what sort of data different internetting used. This helped out a lot:
Simple, easy-to-understand, and super-informative, right? This design was a small handout that was given to each student that checked out a hotspot. Since creating this design, San Juan College Library has extended the data allowed from 1 to 10 GB, so they are no longer having issues, but this is still a great way to communicate information that can be pretty difficult to understand.