Info 287-10 Blog MHeadrick

Reflections on Learning in the #hyperlib Community

Hyperlinked School Libraries & Insta-envy

Hyperlinked School Libraries

I loved the choose your own adventure! I chose to explore hyperlinked school libraries and their role in student learning opportunities. In the article “16 Modern Realities” the author talks about how traditional school learning is no longer enough for our children. He says we must embrace changes that allow educators to remove barriers to information and foster learning experiences for students. This change challenges the traditional school library to adapt and evolve and examine what it is doing to facilitate learning opportunities that require less teacher-led learning and more student to student collaboration. School libraries can ask themselves how they are using technology to foster these experiences.

In the “Flip this Library” article, libraries are called to act less like Microsoft (if you build it, they will come) and more like Google (integrate this into your life). The author encourages us to “resolve to think like a patron rather than a provider” in order to continually make choices that put the user first (Loertscher, 2008).

My favorite part of this learning adventure was the TED talk by Ken Robinson, Bring on the learning Revolution (2010). It is a great reminder that one size does not fit all when it comes to education. Our students have gifts and talents that need discovery and nourishment- school libraries are in a unique position to nurture these.


In the lecture this week there was discussion about Technoshame and Techno-isolation. This reminded me of how many of us follow other libraries/librarians on Instagram and how important it can be to be transparent about successes and failures. Here’s what I mean- We all know those people who post only the shiny highlights of their life on Facebook even though their everyday life is rather ordinary. It can create insecurities to scroll through all these highlights- leading us to believe our own life is lacking. I’m a huge fan and enthusiastic user of Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and follow a wide variety of amazing librarians. But just like in our personal lives, it can feel exhausting to flick through only the highlights: amazing remodeled spaces, the best innovations, and successful programming. I have found librarians/libraries who are truly transparent will post the challenges and/or failures, too. I appreciate this. Innovation means taking risks and I like to think we can all be real about it. Maybe it means making a faux site that just shares the hilarious trials and errors or maybe it just means keeping the regular feed human in another way. Just a thought. Any other ideas for what we could call this?




  1. Hi @mheadrick. I totally agree with everything you wrote. I get so frustrated when trying to read information about new projects or services or attending library conferences. The information is, like you mentioned, all positive. It is also usually too specific (only their library with their exact circumstances could ever do it). Worse than to specific, however, is too general. I want to know the steps you took. What road blocks you ran into and how you overcame them. What would you do differently? So much detail gets left unsaid. It’d be nice if this could change.

    • Hi Anjanette,

      Yes- library conferences can feel like this too! My favorite presentation at CSLA this year was by a high school librarian that kept her presentation so real. I think the best part about it was that she presented it as a work in progress. Even though her project was done with teens- I felt like I could take her approach and apply it to younger students. Her can-do attitude and openness about her mistakes and lessons learned was refreshing. Perhaps as we are all taking more risks in our work and embracing the growth mindset we will also be more public about the realities of our work. I hope so.
      This was the presentation.

      • Thanks for the link, I’ll definitely check out the presentation. Hopefully, more presentations will be like this in the future. I guess transparency and communication are important amongst our colleagues as well as our patrons 🙂

  2. This past weekend, one of our tech savvy subs worked on getting our social media sites up to date. While it doesn’t seem like much, it did take a few days to pull it all together and I wish it didn’t take quite so long to make it all happen! Nevertheless, it looks fabulous. In her process she pointed out a few things I’d never really thought about. First of all, I wish HQ would realize the benefits of dedicating a job position to this task as a permanent hire. Secondly, she suggested that we ought to be following certain libraries and community organizations. At first, I really loved this idea, but after reading your post I can see how it might be overwhelming at times. However, my hope is to see what kinds of cool things are being offered around the world and hopefully adapt them to our community’s needs, but I also think that honesty is a must when posting…including the ups and downs only makes it that much more valuable!

    • Hi Kelly,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree that having a dedicated social media team member would be a great thing. If there was a small group that shared the vision for the social media and could contribute that would be even better. So many times, we jump in posting but taking the time to regularly check in and respond to patrons can be tedious. It is easy for one person to get burned out if they are just doing it alone. A team could pass the baton – one day is reference posting, another day is children’s services…this could keep it fresh and humorous as well.
      While it can be overwhelming scanning all the other library/librarian feeds – I have never seen such a generous group of people. I have found that librarians share anything if you just ask. I asked a question of a librarian on twitter (we’d never met) about one of her programs and she shared the documents for the entire thing. So kind.
      I wish you luck in your social media adventures. 🙂

  3. @mheadrick Perhaps “The Library Failure Blog?” Although the name would surely turn folks off. You tap into what i call the “how we Dit Good Syndrome” – those endless conference presentations that highlight all the good and how great everything is. A couple of years ago, I believe it was Internet Librarian had a “failure track” for lessons learned and sharing of when things crashed and burned.

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