“We should consider our users through a lens of compassion and empathy. What would make their lives easier?” Michael Stephens, Wholehearted Librarianship, p. 80
This week we have been talking about participatory services, transparency, and the hyperlinked communities. In his lecture, Hyperlinked Communities, Professor Stephens showed us how several library services and methods of engagement have either been introduced or recently evolved to ensure that they are “reaching all users” (2022, 00:13).
While there was a lot of content covered in the module, for this reflection I want to focus on the services that caught my attention:
- The Open+ System: early in his video Professor Stephens talked about this service. It is basically a system that allows people to enter the library during hours that it normally would not be open, either during the morning or evening. According to its website, this system “allows libraries to provide more flexible hours, making them more accessible to the community…open+ allows libraries the flexibility to extend access in the way that best meets the needs of their community and space” (Laming, 2021). Considering how some people (such as students) might require access early to acquire a book or want a place to do some work quietly, this would be a handy system to have at our libraries, though it does raise some concerns about security and how to prevent it from being abused by those who might not have the best intentions.
- Library Sleepovers: While perhaps not a new concept, some libraries have been offering people the chance to sleep inside their buildings during the evening, perhaps as a special weekly or monthly event. According to Stephens (2022), the Dokk1 Library located in Aarhus, Denmark, is offering a “post-pandemic, lock-in sleepover” (03:53) that would “pull in young people” (04:07) to enjoy all the things that libraries have to offer at night: late-night storytelling, an activity or two, perhaps even watching a movie before going to bed.
- Community Closet: basically a storage unit at the library where people and staff donate useful items and personal care products that people can have access to. This would certainly be helpful for members of the homeless community or members of the low-income community.
- Soup Night: A weekly or bi-monthly event, people can use the library to
host a soup night (or a bread night, or whatever-you-feel-like-eating night) where members of the community can gather and talk. It’s another great way to help members of the community come together.
- What Are you Reading?: This is either a blog or discussion forum, where library users can chat and discuss about the books they have been reading, their favorite genres, what books they are thinking about reading next, or how we feel about them. According to Professor Stephens, this is a great way to help bring people in the community together by having them share their interests with others and forming connections with others.
Libraries have come a long way since being just places for us to read and study. Nowadays, libraries are almost like the community centers, a place where people can gather and be able to form connections. That’s what I think, as future librarians, should be our main goal: hosting events or introducing programs like this that would allow us to not only better serve our users but also help bring the community together.
Laming, R. (2021, February 9). Extended access. Bibliotheca. https://www.bibliotheca.com/solutions/extended-access/
Stephens, M. (2019). Wholehearted Librarianship: Finding Hope, Inspiration, and Balance. ALA Editions. https://www.dropbox.com/s/gc9ecokb972xgil/HeartofLibrarianship.pdf?dl=0
Stephens, M. (2022). Hyperlinked Communities [Video]. Panopto. https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3eacdb23-84fd-49e5-9975-aef3014b3ed2
One thought on “Reflection #2: The Hyperlinked Communities”
@ajrodgers First – I was fascinated by the super night photo. It looks like they’re getting multiple soups in multiple little containers. I love that idea.
Second – you pull out some of the resonating concepts of the presentation. Many of these would benefit from partnerships and cooperation with other institutions.
Yay for 🍲