Reflection Timeline on Course Content

Virtual Symposium

For my reflection and virtual symposium of the course content this semester I decided to use Knightlab Timeline.  This is a great digital humanities tool that allows you to build a timeline in Google sheets and then translate it into a presentation.    I have had the opportunity to work with this application once before and it stretched my technical abilities as it requires Html coding for any formatting options.  Often, for me, a 2nd go at a new application solidifies my abilities and confidence, so I felt like this was a great opportunity to do just that.

This class taught me so much and I believe I reflected some of those core takeaways in this project.  What I will miss most about this class is the course assigned readings.  ( I can’t say I’ve ever made such a broad statement about a class before).  The course readings this semester were wonderful and engaging.  Dr. Stephens- if you ever launch a newsletter with a “what I am reading this week” section I would be the first to sign up.

With all that, I close out this Fall 2020 Semester.


Link To TimeLine



Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

Claire Sewell & Danny Kingsley (2017) Developing the 21st century academic librarian: The research support ambassador programme. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 23(2-3), 148-158, DOI: 10.1080/13614533.2017.1323766

Stephens, M. (2016). The heart of librarianship: attentive, positive, and purposeful change. American Library Association.

Schneider,K.G. (2006). The user is not broken: A meme masquerading as a manifesto. Free Range Librarian.

Media Credit

Blg3. (2009). All New Librarian Action Figure.

Eden, Janine, & Jim. (2020). Fortitude With Face Mask.

Lucio,A (2011). cores.

Prachatai. (2020). Covid-19.

Nilsson, S. (2015). colorful droplets.

Raymond, N. (2014). Sideling Hill Stairway.

Sampanthera. (2015). Sun.

Wordshore. (2013). The Internet, Networking and the Public Library.





Participatory Archiving Director’s Brief

Participatory Director’s Brief Link

This project really was transformative for me.  The subject felt powerful but also incredibly sad.  I think like many, I’m feeling incredibly vulnerable and unsettled these days, but reading these stories and seeing how marginalized societies and traumatized countries are working to find empowerment through their sorrows really expanded my perspective.

So often in my public library setting my perspective can be so micro-focused.  I happen to work in a very different library compared to the rest of the district and the rest of Denver.  My library caters to a niche population of Russian-Americans and new immigrants.  A lot of my work focuses specifically on serving the needs of such a specific community.  I tend to filter everything I learn, both in school and work, through the lens of “will that apply to the needs of my community?”.  This project allowed me to think more globally, recognizing that while a lot of the trendy local ideas don’t always make sense for the needs of my community, it’s worthwhile to look further and see what’s on the horizon internationally.

Specifically, participatory archiving feels like a new wave we should all be considering.  So much of 2020 has been focused on systems that do not work for everyone and that are fundamentally flawed.  It was really powerful to think through a complete realignment of a system and how it could lead to not only a better outcome but have tangible effects on the community in the process.


Focused Professional Development

For my CYOA I opted for Professional Development.  Since I joined the library world and started my MLIS I have been overwhelmed by the amount of PD available.  Every day my email fills with new information on classes, webinars, articles, etc.  I cannot be the only one that on most days just clears it all out like junk mail.  It is not junk mail though, there is a gem in there somewhere for me, the time-consuming part is finding it.  With this in mind, I really appreciated the 23 Things Challenge.  Who doesn’t love a good numbered challenge, honestly?  But practically this approach made sense.  It laid out a clear plan for developing your technological skills.  To me it felt like “license to play”, an opportunity or challenge to go and explore a technology you haven’t had the chance to work with yet but that could open up new ideas once you explore it.

This challenge was clearly successful in the early 2000s (Stephens & Cheetham 2012).  Stephens and Cheetham (2012) find that this PD experience for the Australian public libraries translated to a transformative learning experience because it had the effect of changing habitual expectations in the students.  This was clearly seen in how the library staff felt more comfortable with emerging technologies, both the ones they were presented within the Challenge but also in other ones that arose through work or patron experiences.

Here we are in 2020, and PD has been completely upended this year (I am really getting tired of the trite statement, but it’s true).  No conferences, an abundance of webinars from all over the place popping up, and more time than ever to fill them.  My library just closed to the public again and many of us will need to fill 10-15 hours a week with some form of PD.  This can be daunting.  When time used to be such a crunch to fit in an hour webinar during a shift, now we are faced we ongoing hours of webinars that too often feel unrelated to the situations we are in.

I was not in the library world in 2009 when this trend of the 23 Things Challenge was popular, but I think now would be a great time to revise and relaunch it.  A guided practice would help make the weeks go by and relieve us from hours upon hours of webinars.  At the end of this experience of quarantining and social distancing, I think many of us want something to be proud of for how we spent that extra time.  A challenge would do just that for us.  I intend to submit this to our idea bank in hopes that we can organize something as a district, but if nothing more, I am happy to have had the opportunity to review this work as I plan for how to spend my 7-week winter break at home.


Stephens, M., & Cheetham, W. (2012). The impact and effect of Learning 2.0 programs in Australian public libraries. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice7(1), 53-64.

Power of Storytelling in a Future We Can’t Predict

I have had the “power of stories” rolling around in my head all week.  I’ve also been thinking about how disconnected I’ve been feeling from my community. I don’t go to Narrators anymore, I don’t attend library events and I haven’t made time for many virtual events this year.  The most interaction I’ve had with new people this year has been through school group work and the hyperlib chats this semester.

With all that said, of course, storytelling is powerful.  It connects us with other human experiences and allows us to imagine a different set of scenarios and events.  The point I want to make here though is that storytelling programming, as presented in the readings, is going to be even more important in the future.

I’m going to make a big leap here and attempt to connect the power of storytelling to the issues emerging surrounding deep fakes.  Deep fakes are popping up as a concern all over the place.  Images and videos can be manipulated by AI to perfectly (almost) imitate real people and events.  In this polarized climate, both sides are bound to see something and accept it as real without further research, leading to an even deeper polarized climate through continued technologically enhanced misinformation.  In general, I think this is the next wave for LIS education.  As information professionals, it will land on our table to help combat this problem in the next generation.  Information literacy is already vital and will need to adapt quickly to all the changes coming.  Digital preservation is going to have to be even more careful to articulate authenticity through metadata and ensure the items preserved have not been altered with malintent. In other words, there are going to be so many aspects that we face in the next two decades that we are not able to prepare for adequately during our time in school.  Classes like this that teach us to step out of the box and focus on creative solutions and community engagement are key.

Ok, so to link all this to the power of storytelling.  Stephens writes “Story-based experiences of all kinds can increase listeners’ understanding of diverse groups, demonstrate the value of everyone’s experience, and remind listeners of their shared humanity”.  It is clear that storytelling experiences could have an effect on the views and understanding within an individual. Hearing something you know you basically can trust and feeling the connection of emotion with another individual through that shared experience opens up trust, understanding, and possibly critical thoughts in other aspects of their life.   If we are heading into a world where we are unable to trust video and images, I believe a strong return to individual connection through interaction and storytelling could be part of the solution for this societal problem.  Just as librarians are going to have to work to help assert authority into information that is valuable and well-vetted, we also have the opportunity to provide space for individuals to interact with others in real-time.  Sure, a storyteller can lie or stretch the truth.  That has been true throughout the ages, and humans have adapted to pick up on or expect these elaborations.  The difference is that a person has a chance to sit in a room and look into the eyes of another human and experience the reality that the storyteller puts forth in her/his own words.  The words out of the mouth of the storyteller can be trusted as far as knowing that those are truly the words he/she spoke. Whereas a deep fake video produces an experience that wholeheartedly cannot be trusted.  We are adept at recognizing that videos and images can be taken out of context, and we expect memory to play a part in aberrations of the truth from a storyteller, but with a deep fake all trust is lost.  If we are to continue down this path, and we will be since this technology is powerful, cheap, and “fun” for the entertainment industry, then we as information professionals need to hone in on programs and services that meet the new needs of a community where deep fakes proliferate.  While teaching literacy skills can be part of that wouldn’t it also be well worth it to promote activities that pull people into real-world interactions where another person’s story can be experienced without any of the concerns of AI impacts?


Stephens, M. (2020). Office hours: The power of stories (part 2)

Reflections on Participatory Services in the Academic Library

Quick Personal Reflection:

When I reflect on my undergrad experience at Georgia State I have so many memories of the library.  As an English Lit student, I relied heavily on every aspect of the library: print, electronic, space.  What I have no memory of is any one-on-one interaction with a librarian during the entire four years.  I was the type of student to pop in to see professors during office hours 2-3 times a semester, but I never reached out to a librarian.  I had general plans for grad school either as an LIS student or English major and still it never occurred to me to see a librarian for any reason.

Academic Library Participatory Services

With that personal anecdote as a pin point in my reflection of what kind of academic librarian I would like to be, I have to consider that more can be done to interact and reach out to the student body individually and via group.  Embedded librarianship is key solution to this and from what I can tell, the concept is still getting off the ground.  Including a librarian in specific courses and programs on the forefront instead of an after thought could have provide the bridge students need to approach a librarian.  As Laurersen (2016) puts it: “Libraries are not closed circuits, they are – or should – be well integrated value-adding units in the academic community”.  I would expand on this and say that Librarian’s are not closed circuit, we need to well-integrated into the community and on the forefront for students to approach either virtually or in person.

Three Takeaways!

Since this is was a CYOA module and I know we did not all read the same set of links, I wanted to share some highlights for me from the reading.

  • Get into the passenger seat!  This truck metaphor struck me as so profoundly on point.   What a clear depiction of my perception of academic librarianship.  I now have a clear metaphor for the issue at hand- how do we as academic librarians get into the passenger seat, available and ready for student interactions?
  • Destination experience In Hayden Library at Arizona State Library they are taking cues from the retail model and creating thematic experiences at the entrances to the library.  They are highlighting the special collections prominently for the students to experience as they make their way to their desired space in the library.  With libraries being used so often (pre-covid) as study and communal spaces, it is important to highlight the largely unknown layers of the collection.  This adds to the experience of the library, increasing the desirability of the destination space, but it also creates a shared experience for the campus community.
  • International student interactions:  This part of the reading really struck me as new and important.  International students are on the rise and the libraries can play a huge part in the success of the student’s experience if there are opportunities to connect.  A major “ah-ha” moment for me was that students from other countries have different expectations of what a library can offer.  It is vitally important that there is a well-formed partnership between the library and the international student affairs office.  By offering services, resources, social opportunities to these students right away the library can make the experience of transitioning to a new learning environment that much more successful.

Considering Hyperlinked Communities: Covid-19 and Digital Divide

In the 21st Century Digital Divide Jessamyn West (2014) touches on some very current dilemmas we are facing here in 2020.  She examined the role of libraries as the safety net for the digital divide in most areas, as well as considered the role we are all playing in the shaping of our culture though our behavior online. 

The public library’s role as the safety net for the digital divide abruptly ended in mid-March for many organizations.  There was no time for planning and infrastructure building.  On March 11th, my library was filled with patrons taking care of their daily needs on the computer provided and by later that evening we were all being informed the library wouldn’t reopen the following morning. By “we”, I mean those of us who had access to online information. 

Closed, shield, note, after work, mirroring - free image from

I am sure many showed up the next morning completely unaware of what had shifted overnight.  While there might not be any need for finger-pointing or blame, this was still an utter fail.  We abruptly ceased our social contract of providing the community with needed resources, offering very little backup support to the most in need.  In hindsight, we let fear lead when we could have thought more strategically about how to stay linked with the community.  Only time will tell the long-lasting damage done to our reputation. (disclaimer- a reflection on my own personal work experience- not libraries at large).

I want to pause here and think about the term “Hyperlinked” and how we are extending that term in this class.  Webster defines hyperlink as an electronic link providing direct access from one distinctively marked place in a hypertext or hypermedia document to another in the same or a different document.  My understanding that I am gathering from the course content (correct me if I am wrong) is that we are extending this term to represent the invisible but powerful connection we want to make between the information and services we provide as a library to our community. This connection is to be a two-way model, information and services that reflect the needs and wants of the community even if the community cannot articulate those needs and wants.  By using this modern term “hyperlink” we are putting into the imagination the understanding that we are linking together in real spaces and in virtual spaces due to the new technology that is all around us.

Here is where I pushback, this new technology is all around us, but is only available to some through the physical space that we provide.  After over five months of the physical space being closed and the connection severed, I think we have some real work to do when imagining the Hyperlinked community in a post quarantine time.  If we are going to sure up the connection in the future, we are going to have to be activist about closing the digital divide.  Offering hotspots for check out and expanded WIFI in our parking lots is one way I have seen this work done.  Another way would mean being local voices in our community about the need for infrastructure and funding for school-age children to have free WIFI in their home.

photo of all the new hotspots purchased this summer for circulation

All this is part of the work of a truly hyperlinked community, that even in a crisis situation we think about that connection we have forged and get creative about how we support those who rely on us.

A great example of a hyperlinked community that held connection through the quarantine:


West, J. (2014). 21st century digital divide.

A Recommendation to Find a “gap”: Context Book Review of Hamlet’s Blackberry

Be Mindful of the Gap.  This is the fundamental theme and advise that weaves through William Powers (2010) book Hamlet’s Blackberry where he examines how great thinkers from the past have dealt with the emerging technology of their time.  Powers (2010) provides a close reading analysis of historical texts to draw ideas and solutions that we could employ today help solve our current inability to balance our screen usage as a tool instead of an addiction.  The tangible solutions found in this book for an individual to employ are vast and well worth a read for personal development reasons. 

For library organizations, I found interesting connections between what the Library 2.0 model is focused on and how the ideas from this book would serve the model well.  “Human beings are skillful at figuring out the best uses for new tools. However, it can take a while” (Powers, p.3, 2010). 

A library is well-positioned to facilitate that process.  As stewards of information and technology, we have a responsibility to help our community experience these tools in the best way possible.  “You cannot change the user, but you can transform the user experience to meet the user” (Schneider, 2006).  Through programming, participatory services, and mindful spaces we have the opportunity to help shape the community’s adaptation process to the technologies that emerge.

For humans to find the “good life” Powers (2010) presents the idea that there must be depth in context, “depth is what makes life fulfilling and meaningful” (Powers, p.4,2010).  To achieve this depth, the primary suggestion is to find space for our inner world.  Essentially a “gap” between connections.  How can library programming facilitate this gap?  As we develop programs or trainings this should be a primary consideration.  Just as we would rarely start a class or program without a set of objectives, we should also build in reflection gaps either during the program or suggestions for afterwards. Maybe a simple suggestion after a VR experience where we encourage the patron to reflect on the experience this evening and consider what connections she made to her own life could have an impact on the overall experience leading to further depth for the individual.  We should not be prescriptive but it is our job to help information be absorbed by the individual, we have a duty to provide suggestions for the best possible path to absorption. 

We can also consider our spaces as a place for a gap.  While the library is of course both well connected to the internet and to the community, it is often a place people go to be alone and quiet with their thoughts.  When space and furniture planning these concepts continue to be important.  Quiet spaces are still a request as seen in the user-designed teen spaces. (Chant, 2016).  The Library 2.0 model asks that we think broadly about the concept of the library as a service to the people not the housing of a book collection (Casey& Savastinuk, 2007).  Thinking outside the box in an attempt to facilitate a gap from the technological connectivity is a service to patrons.  This is clearly illustrated in the example of the new Helsinki Library offering a public sauna.  Space where neither books nor technology have relevance, but instead a place to step away from the crowd and focus on our own inner world (ALA Architects Wins Helsinki Library Competition, 2013).

            The point of participatory service is not just the feedback, the feedback is merely a useful byproduct.  The goal is the enhanced experience for the user who is given the opportunity to participate and seizes it.  Imagine the busy working mother who sees the trip to the library in the evening as another errand on the list but instead of just picking up a book she notices a simple poster asking the community to reflect on their favorite holiday tradition and jot it down on a post-it.  She seizes this moment to add to the conversation and reflect on how her community members have responded.  This is the meaningful gap that Powers (2010) is pushing for.  The quick errand has turned into a brief gap from the day’s agenda and connectivity allowing for the real connectivity that we are so often reaching for when we scroll social media.  The process of sharing and reflecting in that moment created the gap and associated the library space with that depth of experience.

            Adapting to change requires reflection, this theme persists in Hamlet’s Blackberry and it is echoed in the Stephens (2016) words: “one way of handling change graciously is through reflective practice” (p.2).  This prescription for gracious acceptance of change is valid not only for librarians but also for the spaces and services we offer. “We must always keep working to be there, to be present, to be at the edge of what’s happening, and to be very visible while focusing on people, not technology, not the collection. Those are merely tools” (Stephens, p.26,2016).   Since “our tools are fertile and constantly multiplying” (Powers, p.2, 2010) it best to see technology for what it is: an enhancement of the human experience- not a distraction from it. 


ALA Architects wins Helsinki library competition. (2013, June 14). Dezeen.

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Information Today, Inc.

Chant, I. (2016). User-designed libraries | Design4Impact. Library Journal. Retrieved September 11, 2020, from

Powers, W. (2010). Hamlet’s Blackberry : A practical philosophy for building a good life in the digital age. HarperCollins.

Schneider, K. G. (2006, June 3). The user is not broken: A meme masquerading as a manifesto. Free Range Librarian.

Stephens, M. (2016). The heart of librarianship: Attentive, positive, and purposeful change. American Library Association

Reflections On Foundational Readings in Our Current Times

Continuous improvement and reflection on the library service model were a core understanding I pulled from the foundational reading this week.  As mentioned, living in Denver, this library model is in full swing among public libraries due to the innovative Anythink Libraries in Adams county.  The history of public libraries in the Denver metro area is one for the textbooks.  We have seen the loss of significant funding causing multiple branches and whole library districts to collapse and from those ashes, we have watched a robust public library culture emerge.  I landed my first paid library position six months before entering this program. My learning curve for an innovative library model has been steep and I think it’s sufficient to say that sometimes my memory fails me on whether I learned something through a work training or via an SJSU class.  What really struck me about the foundational readings was that they added incredible context to my workplace ethos and expectations I work inside of.  I appreciated learning the impetus for creating the technology guild, inclusivity guild, and feedback ticket option.  These guilds seem to be directly inspired by Casey & Savastinuk’s (2007) three branches of the change model laid out in the Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service.  In my district, it is just as easy to put in a ticket for maintenance issues as it is to submit an idea for a service or improvement.  I have watched in amazement at how fast an idea from either a patron or coworker can go from a sentence or two on a screen to an actuality. This is the embodiment of the Creative marketplace model: “values are enablement, self-organization and continuous improvement to add value to the user or customer (Denning, 2015)

So here we are in this time of Covid.  I feel that this semester as we discuss the hyperlinked library and a model for ongoing change and improvement we should not and could not operate in a vacuum.  This is a time when innovation is kicked into high gear.  As pointed out in the Heart of Librarianship “Our students need grounding in concepts like decision-making, advocacy, human resources, administration, and management of nonprofits.” (Stephens, p.4, 2016).  This statement is even more powerful now.  Being a good leader is vital right now and the decision skills required are put to the test as we weigh out the safety of the public and staff along with our need to be advocates for our relevance during a time of economic strife and extensive change to the public school model.  A noticeable theme in the readings that I saw emerge was the importance of seeing tech as an opportunity to answer new questions.

 “The initial question may be: How could library services be advantageously automated? This is a matter of doing the same things better. The longer term, more interesting question is: How could library service be re-designed with a change in technology? This is a matter of how to do better, different things.” (Buckland, 1992, p.64).  

This concept is reiterated in stating technology “is not a primary element” in the Library 2.0 model, but instead an “excellent tool” (Casey & Savastinuk, p.6, 2007).  I think this is a hard-learned lesson that we are in the thick of right now.  We are now in the process of answering new questions we had not predicted, and technology is being used in new ways.  With each week that passes during the reopening phases and I am watching as we try out new things to see what works.  A big issue we are having is providing computer assistance to our patrons on the other side of the digital divide.  Patrons who are already tech hesitant are not interested in a tech chatbox as a replacement to the one on one in-person assistance they leaned on in the past.  The working solution we have found is an iPad on a stand that immediately can dial into a remote tech specialist using Facetime.  It feels so much like the below clip for the Big Bang Theory. 

This innovation still has issues as the patron navigates flipping the camera and talking to a perceived stranger, but I know this will not be the last iteration as we search to meet needs and keep individuals safe.

The point is, we are already set up for ongoing change thanks to the Library 2.0 Model that focuses on innovation and serving the needs of the user and not just on lending books. As we navigate a crisis we are not confronting a completely new terrain, but instead an accelerated one.


Buckland, M. K. (1992). Redesigning library services: a manifesto. Chicago: American Library Association.

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Information Today.

Denning, S. (n.d.). Do We Need Libraries? Forbes. Retrieved August 26, 2020, from

Stephens, M. (2016). The heart of librarianship: attentive, positive, and purposeful change. American Library Association.

A Quick Intro…

Hi- Thanks for taking a minute to stop by! I am about halfway through this program. I feel like this semester is my “fun” semester, I have no core classes on the roster, only classes that really line up to my interests. I live in Denver, Colorado, and work in a public library district. Libraries have been my passion for my entire life. As a homeschooled child we relied heavily on our local library and at a young age, I began volunteering. My B.A. is in English Lit and my general professional focus is digital library services. I have a strong interest in the field of digital humanities and digital management.

Why am I here?! (in this class that is)

Living in Denver is a privilege when it comes to amazing libraries. I live in the Anythink Library Distict and I work in a neighboring district that is also a special library district modeled similarly to Anythink. I am surrounded by the idea of libraries being more than just books. I really felt that this class would help me be competitive in the Denver job market and further my understanding of the philosophy of librarianship in general that I want to be a part of. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I was introduced to the library world very young. I spent so many hours with librarians in a rural library district in Georgia. I have early memories though of discussions with my mother that librarians were so grumpy all the time. She always joked that they had to take a class on grumpiness in library school (this was not a bash, she was truly a library advocate in the 90s, this was honest perception). This general overview of the profession was and sometime still is a stain on the powerful work of a library and librarians. I am overjoyed that there has been a dedicated effort to changing that perception over the past 20 years. I believe this class and the model of the hyperlinked library is a part of that work and I want to be a part of that effort!