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Libraries, Technology Most Needed Services in Community Colleges

For community college students, a library is the most promising source of support which can play an essential role in student success, according to a new “Student Needs Are Academic Needs” report released by Ithaka S+R.

The organization surveyed 10,844 students across seven community colleges to explore their needs. It found that libraries were the most selected option by 77 percent of students who were given a list of possible institutional providers for new services, including academic advising office and tutoring and writing center.

Following libraries, the students ranked loaning tech as the second-highest valued service concept that provides students with an opportunity to borrow and access different types of technological software or hardware for use inside or outside of class.

“These technologies would be particularly valuable for those who are enrolled in person, are Pell-eligible, and/or identify as black, African American, Hispanic, and/or Latinx,” the report noted.

The students showed greater interest in having access to Wi-Fi hotspots, printers, laptops, and multimedia editing tools.

The report found that students mostly coming from low-income households, students of color, first-generation college students, gender minorities face greater challenges throughout their college years and suggested libraries to customize their approaches to the services they offer.

It also found that many students struggle to balance their personal, professional, and academic responsibilities especially the student parents who pitched for having childcare services at their college.

Most of the students said that they would value the child-care services during the weekday, followed by 68 percent of respondents who pitched for services during the daytime, 64 percent during the evening, and 56 percent during the weekends.

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