January 21, 2022

New Conference Paper: The SolarSPELL Offline Digital Library

The following paper will be presented at the IFLA WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The SolarSPELL Offline Digital Library


Kristen Linzy
Arizona St. University

Laura Hosman
Arizona St. University




The role of technology and the Internet has significantly influenced learning opportunities and environments. However, for resource-constrained regions that lack reliable access to the Internet, or the electricity needed to power their devices, a striking disparity in access to educational resources emerges. This paper introduces SolarSPELL, a solar-powered offline digital library, designed to provide localized open-access educational content to the communities most at-risk for experiencing an educational divide. Through in-person interviews with the Peace Corps Volunteers utilizing SolarSPELL digital libraries in their sites, this study obtained qualitative data demonstrating the impact of SolarSPELL libraries in the field. Findings reflect the efficacy of SolarSPELL learning libraries in expanding access to the quantity and quality of resources available to these communities, the importance of providing digital content in a self-sustaining offline platform, and the ability of the SolarSPELL project to foster both information and technological literacy.

Direct to Full Text Paper
8 pages; PDF.

See Also: Providing Digital Information in Places with Limited or No Access: Library and Internet Organizations Announce “The Tempe Principles” (February 19, 2018)

See Also: Arizona State University’s SolarSPELL Program “Delivers Digital Libraries to Tonga” (December 6, 2016)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.