Does Gender Matter? University Library Access and Career Preparedness

Daniella Smith


The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine how the gender of distance learning students related to variables such as the perception of the availability of library resources, technology available at home and work, technology provided by a university for distance learning, and career preparedness. A total of 166 master’s students in the last semester of their degree program submitted answers to a self-administered online survey designed to collect information about their degree program experiences. The results of the study indicated that female students felt more prepared by their degree programs when they felt library resources were accessible. Females were also more likely to feel library materials were available if they believed the university’s distance learning technology was reliable and that web-based technology provided by the university was adequate. Both genders were more likely to feel they had access to library resources when they felt they had adequate information technology at home or work. Based on these results, it is recommended that faculty collaborate with librarians to market library services so that students are aware of the resources that are available to them. Moreover, implementing strategies such as differentiated learning and optional gender-based library training sessions that utilize learning styles preferred by each gender may be beneficial for students.


Gender, technology skills, library access, distance learning, information literacy skills

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