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Reflections on Learning in the #hyperlib Community

Reflections on Communities

This weekend I traveled to the Bay Area with my daughter and had miles of time to ponder this week’s topic. I tumbled these things around in my head as I drove: hyperlinks as people, connectedness, and the digital divide. I love technology and how it can bring people together who may not be geographically close- but this week I kept coming back to human connections and how this could apply to the library where I work.

Hyperlinks as People and Connectedness

This concept mentioned in our lecture and highlighted with the visual of the knitting group had an impact on me. This is a connectedness that I would like to create in the school library where I work. Finding our similarities, providing an environment that facilitates conversations and opportunities for building relatedness are all concepts that I would love to promote. I feel we need these connections fostered particularly in this political climate. Even in the school library the negative news and division can be present and I would like to find ways to bring students together to encourage finding common ground. We have time to discuss books, construct LEGOs, and create crafts in the library and these make for great conversations, but I know I can do more. I love the Idea Box for bringing people together for a common project. While I don’t have the space for that exact thing, I can adapt the principle and implement it on a smaller scale. I’ve been inspired to add a new board to my Pinterest account to find ways to do this. I’d love to see links or hear ideas from classmates, too.

Addressing the Digital Divide

I related to some of the statistics shared in 21st Century Digital Divide article by Jessamyn West. She discussed that in her community, someone may have a member of the household with internet access, yet that doesn’t mean each person can share that access. This is the case with many students at the school where I work. As West states, “access is often ‘personal’ and people don’t share access.” A parent or older sibling may have a smartphone, but allowing a younger child/sibling to use that device to access school work or eBooks may be inconvenient. Our local city library is aware of the need in our community and is working to address this by providing Chromebooks and Hot Spots for checkout.



  1. Hi Michelle,

    I work in a public library, but we are around many schools, and so have a lot of students who regularly visit our locations. We’ve attempted a few collaborative art projects that are intended to foster connectedness between our patrons.

    First we created 3D printable puzzle piece designs. Each participant was able to modify a their piece by changing the 3D design (adding their name or a small 3d figurine were both popular). We then would print out their piece and they could add it to the communal puzzle. We had this project out for a few months, so patrons were able to see it grow as more and more people contributed.

    We also did a similar-type project with origami — each participant creating an origami shape and then adding it to a collective bulletin board. These projects were nice because we didn’t have to organize a huge ‘event’ to make them happen. People participated if they had time and inclination. And everyone got to see how the project grew in size and complexity and everyone’s work contributed toward the greater whole.

  2. Michelle,
    You have touched on promoting connectedness within your environment. In the library that I work in that concept would be wonderful. As you stated the political climate and the general condition of our world are huge in factors in causing division. Hopefully, there will be a brighter tomorrow.

    • Hi @Linda

      Yes, I am hoping it will prompt us to have meaningful conversations with young people and encourage them to participate in our library… and the world! 🙂

  3. I have had students adapt the Idea Box concept to something as manageable as a bulletin board or rolling white board, as well as finding just a little space for a table, a bench, etc depending on the installation desired. Wish you the best as you adapt the examples we are exploring.

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