With the arrival of COVID-19, public libraries have been closed or partially re-opened in various phases. This qualitative study explores the lived experiences of select library users in California, particularly people of color who experience digital exclusion, and how they use their public libraries prior to and during the pandemic. The study is guided by two research questions: 1. What are the barriers in using public libraries’ technology resources experienced by patrons of color before and during the pandemic? 2. What are their perspectives, purposes, and beliefs in using technologies in the public library before and during the pandemic? Using critical race theory to illuminate users’ stories and experiences in accessing the internet through their public libraries, the research underscores the constraints that patrons of color experience and how public libraries and its workers can re-imagine their technology services and resources to mitigate restrictions posed by the digital divide and to better serve their communities of color.
Pun, R. (2021). Understanding the Roles of Public Libraries and Digital Exclusion Through Critical Race Theory: An Exploratory Study of People of Color in California Affected by the Digital Divide and the Pandemic. Urban Library Journal, 26 (2). Retrieved from https://academicworks.cuny.edu/ulj/vol26/iss2/1