At the start of the Winter 2022 term, the MacEwan University library piloted a new Library Services Laptop Bursary.

Over the course of the term, 20 eligible students received new laptops and Wi-Fi sticks through a pilot run of the bursary. The bursary was open to students in the pimâcihisowin Foundation Program or the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care (BCYC) program who demonstrated financial need. A collaboration between the MacEwan Library, Financial Services, faculty in both the BCYC and pimâcihisowin programs and the kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre ensured that the much-needed technology got into the hands of those who needed it most.

"We know that all students require stable technology to be successful these days," says librarian Lindsey Whitson, who was part of the team that came up with the idea for the bursary.

In the early days of the pandemic, library staff saw students grappling with unstable technology, using reserves, or being unable to access or engage fully in courses because of technical issues. That led to staff "thinking big" about how they could help students who need functional computers and reliable internet connections. Librarians Martina King and Whitson, along with Dean of the Library Karen Keiller, pitched the idea of the laptop bursary to the Student Technology Fee Fund committee and received approval.

The Student Technology Fee was established to fund technology projects that specifically result in providing new or improved technology services that benefit students.

“We’ve seen for years a need to have laptops in the library for students to borrow," says Keiller. "This was never an ideal situation and finding a way to get the technology in the hands of students, without the inconvenience of returning the laptop every few days, is wonderful. To me, this is a perfect use of the Student Technology Fee — to fund a pilot project of benefit directly to students. Now that we know that the pilot is successful, the next challenge is securing ongoing funding.”

The library has been proud to be able to offer the Library Services Laptop Bursary and is hoping to be able to provide even more laptops to a larger body of students in the future. 

To learn more about the bursary and how to apply, visit

Related Reads

Let’s stay in touch!
Sign up to receive our weekly MacEwan University e-newsletter straight to your inbox.