Virtual Symposium


Hi everyone,

During my Hyperlinked learning journey, I made an unexpected online research side-trip to the Library of Alexandria, the famous historic library that held all the world’s knowledge…and then disastrously lost most of it!  I’ve always wondered about it and had this feeling it must have been really sensational. One day recently something made me think of it, and I suddenly wondered exactly what was in that library–and did it have library programming?  It seemed like something fun to look up–I really doubted they had story times or makers clubs–so I was amazed by the answers I found that are so relevant to this course, that I added it to my takeaways for my Virtual Symposium.  I really recommend watching the video I mention in my Symposium, it’s about the most exciting and inspiring modern-day New Model library I have ever seen!

You can see my Virtual Symposium at this link:

(Note: If you have any trouble scrolling down the infographic using the scroll bar, using the scroll wheel on your computer mouse works.)



Above image: “Map of ancient Alexandria. The Mouseion [Library of Alexandria] was located in the royal Broucheion quarter (listed on this map as “Bruchium”) in the central part of the city near the Great Harbor (“Portus Magnus” on the map).” (Wikipedia, 2023).


Wikipedia. (2023). Library of Alexandria. Wikipedia. Library of Alexandria – Wikipedia

Inspiration Report: An AI-Enhanced Robot Dog in the Library

3D Boston Dynamics Spot Yellow | CGTrader

Hi Everyone!

I’m so excited to share my Inspiration Report with you, An AI-Enhanced Robot Dog in the Library, because I am obsessed with AI and robot dogs.

Here is the link:

Just in case you prefer cats or are stressed out and need some pet therapy, below is a picture of an interesting part of the collection at the Hunt Library at North Carolina State.  I was told by someone they have a robot dog, so I called to ask about it.  It turned out they don’t have a robot dog–they have this:

Mr. Meowgi

Mr. Meowgi is a fluffy robot cat that is a circulating therapy “pet” for stressed out students who can check him out for three days. The students like to put him on their table while studying in the library, or take him home.  I guess they have a new problem to stress over when they get attached and have to turn him back in. He doesn’t walk around, but he does move around and make noise.

What do you think about having an AI-Enhanced Robot Dog (or cat!) in the Library?


Reflection 5: Infinite Learning & Listening to the Library

AutoCAD Deep Dive Series: Blocks & Xrefs

(Thomas, 2015)

Something that caught my attention in our Create Your Own Adventure — Infinite Learning modules was an article in the Library as Classroom — Where Reference Fits in the Modern Library (Kenney, 2015).  The article points out that reference service is no longer about a librarian sitting at a big desk waiting for a question and finding the right huge reference book on a shelf to answer it (Kenney, 2015). It also talks about how we’ve tried redesigning reference desks, roving around the library offering help, and even practically stalking potential reference questions out into the community, until finally realizing that nowadays, reference is about helping people do things, which takes a bit longer but is more in keeping with the New Library Model of participatory libraries (Kenney, 2015, Stephens, 2022).

(Johnson County Library Foundation, 2018)

I pounced on this article because it gives me an opening to discuss my also-ran idea for my Innovation Strategy & Roadmap, which I decided came in a close second to the Espresso Book Machine and Wacom Graphic Tablets-supported classes, clubs, and publishing program I went with.  I’m big on getting community voices into libraries, connecting the community, and trying new things, and in this evolving state of reference services, I see another perfect opportunity to get more voices into libraries.

Jim Dunbar, pioneer in SF newstalk radio, dies at 89 | Datebook

(Whiting, 2019)

I think two things have weakened our communities which used to be more connected before everything came to depend on social media  One is the demise of local talk radio, such as we had thriving in the Bay Area with KGO years ago, which featured various show topics such as current events, interesting guests, movie and book reviews, medical advice, jokes, innovation and speculation, congenial hosts, and most importantly, these shows were not national echo chambers, but rather forums for local people with all kinds of viewpoints to call in and not only get to talk, but also listen to all the different voices and opinions in the community.  It was great fun listening while working, doing chores, eating lunch, driving, and so on–it passed time as enjoyably as surfing the Internet for news and views does today.  On any given day, almost everyone I knew listened to it at some point.  One by one the great local talk shows and hosts went by the wayside, and now our station is a sports betting channel, meaning no more community voices.

Ronn Owens moves to KSFO amid KGO shakeup - SFGate

(Wiegand & Cabanatuan, 2016)

The other thing weakening our community connections is the decline of local weekly newspapers.  There are still some around, but they’re very scaled down on local features and news compared to what they used to be, with local chains mostly owned by distant corporations who own all of the big dailies and smaller weeklies, and nowadays may at best put one or two local news stories on a front page, while the inside section is mostly general content that runs in a whole chain.  I used to write for these weeklies when they were thriving, so I know they covered multiple news stories weekly, but more importantly, they had people like me writing at least a couple of local features for each edition.  Every week, locals got to read the comments of and see photos of interesting people with interesting hobbies, businesses, achievements, and stories, who lived in their own communities and who they might run into at the grocery store.  By the end of one year, readers would have “met” at least 100 fellow community members doing interesting things that made up the community.  It made a difference, people read them, and these stories created connections and a sense of local identity, as well as inspiring people about things they could get involved in, try out, read, or even just think about differently. 

About Meenakshi Mukerji

(Mukerji, 2014)

Something I really wanted to focus on for my Innovation Strategy & Roadmap was creating library-based podcasts with a live call-in format, which would not be just about libraries and books, but rather a wide gamut of topics filling each day, and the hosts would be locals from the library community–mostly users rather than staff.  I was initially tempted to go with a broadcast radio channel, but those are pretty much unavailable, as well as having signal limitations, while podcasting online can reach not only the whole community, but those at any distance anywhere in the world who may have some interest.  What this program would be about is getting away from the echo chambers that have been dividing our communities until people can’t tolerate listening to different opinions than the ones they hold, and connecting us back together again to talk, listen, argue, agree, enjoy, muse, laugh, review, commiserate, ask questions, and everything else that happens when people use their voices to connect.  We might not start out with professional level hosting, but over time, people can learn to do things well.

The Best Podcasting Equipment You Need, According to a Seasoned Podcaster - CreativeLive Blog

(Gregg, 2018)

What Kenney’s article about new developments in reference service made me think we should do, is consider how much additional interest and community connection we could generate by broadcasting reference services.  Yes, reference and library transactions are privacy protected, but audio that didn’t include names, chat that didn’t include identities, could be very interesting as an audio channel and text feed to have on in the background to listen to or see scrolling while doing things, the way we listened to talk radio.  It would be interesting to know what other people are interested in—and what kinds of answers and services librarians are providing, by being able to listen in to the library.  It would be interesting to know that five people asked today for information on a certain show, celebrity, country, or issue, and that another ten asked for technical help with some technology available in the library.  What novels are people asking about?  What’s the latest reader’s advisory for those who like blockbusters?  How long will it be until that new title is on ebook?  And how was it solved–what did the librarian connect the library user with to help?  All of that stuff would be interesting to listen in on.

Internet Audio Feed | Listen to Podcasts On Demand Free | TuneIn

(Internet Audio Feed, 2022)

What would make it more interesting is, during the lulls when no one was at the desk seeking help, the librarian with the broadcast or feed that day, could address some explanatory remarks to the listeners or feed watchers. “In answer to that request about lighthouses, I gave the patron The Lighthouse Stevensons, a really interesting book about the lighthouses once built all along the English and Scottish coasts.  It’s got some great stories about how lighthouse keepers cooped up with one another tended to end up at each other’s throats after several months, and once the entire staff of a lighthouse vanished, and no one ever found out what happened to them.  It’s a great read.”  Or, “We have lots of books on writing fiction in the 808 section, stop by sometime in person–or check out our shelf-reading robot’s video feed to take a look at what’s on the shelf right now!” Or, “I showed the patron asking about whether we have a scanner, our free scanner here by the elevator in the library that can copy a page from anything up to 14 x 16″ and send scans to your email!”  I suspect some members of the public listening would jump in and ask additional questions, if it was set up to allow that, which could be answered when possible or in the chat, the way chat goes on during a Zoom presentation, or they might comment, “Wow, I’m going to read that!”  It would do a lot for other library materials, services, and programs, too.  “While I’ve got a quiet moment here at the desk, if you’re free this evening, stop by for our Travel Talk program at 7 pm.”  What if listeners could chat together, too, as a group?

How to Monetize a Podcast? 24 Ways, Advice & Questions – AVADA Commerce

(Hangtt, 2022)

Maybe some staff and patrons would object to the idea of a public audio and feed—but to preserve privacy, the audio and feed reception could be kept out of the library itself, and maybe AI could even alter voices to make sure privacy was protected–and of course we especially would never reveal what specific users check out or use.  We often see pop up comments in online shops and sites such as Etsy saying, “Someone just put this book in their cart” or “Five people have bought this item in the last week” that don’t violate privacy, but help promote interest.  But we’re not all about promoting materials and circulation, so a Listening to the Library” audio and feed could also roam around the library wherever or whenever there was something public and interesting to listen to.  A storytime, a maker’s group lesson, a book club discussion, the Friends of the Library discussing what’s been donated and the upcoming sale, children’s reference or homework tutoring hour, even an ESL conversation group or lesson—anything public could make an interesting part of a community audio broadcast if no one minded, the way a local restaurant, 94th Aero Squadron, which was located by the airport, used to broadcast air traffic talk on headphones.

It’s fun finding out about what’s happening and what the community is buzzing about, whether it’s the latest pet rock craze, a new pop band ‘tweens are crazy about, or an awesome new show people are streaming, or finding out that people in the community are starting to think about garden seeds.  I like the idea of letting the public listen in to the library–after all, libraries want transparency (Stephens, 2022), and getting the community to think about the library more often and become aware of everything on offer, would be a win-win. It would also give members of the community an ongoing connection with other members.  For that reason, I think reference services should be rebranded Connection Services, because they not only connect people with materials, but connect them technologically.

Five Best Investing Podcasts for Learning to Invest

(International Trading Academy, 2022)

As Kenney’s article’s title says, “today’s reference user wants help doing things rather than finding things” (Kenney, 2015).  Listening to people talk about anything but the divisive political undertow that is dominating everything broadcast today could help everyone in our communities do things more enjoyably–while learning things about the library and technology skills and everything else!  And library-based podcasts reintroducing us to being listeners able to hear all viewpoints would be good for our communities.  I’d love to try out both “Listening to the Library” and library-based call-in podcast talk shows hosted by community members about all kinds of subjects, as an all-day double-feed–the community could listen to and join in by calling our live podcasts, or switch over to listening to the stream of information-connecting in the library.  I wouldn’t mind as a library user or reference staff, sharing my questions or answers with others in the community who might also be interested–after all, even in the library, grocery store, dining out, everywhere we go and talk to others, people can listen and often will even start a conversation if they are interested in what they hear.  As long as there was an opt out for anyone who wanted it, broadcasting the library might help redefine the library as not the hushed, quiet place people remember, but one where people connect in a forum of voices, ideas, activities, nonstop learning, and information exchange.

What do you think about the idea of listening to the library–would you tune in? Do you think people would ask more reference questions if there was an audio and feed, as long as they could opt out?  How do you like the rebranding term Connection Services?

38 Photos Capturing the Day World War II Ended

(Patches & Chilton, 2015)

Reflection 4: The Power of Stories for Human Books

As a story lover, I’m very interested in what our Power of Stories module is about—libraries’ mission of keeping, sharing, and making stories (Stephens, 2019).  Stories can connect people, so by focusing on keeping, sharing, and making stories, libraries can help the members of their community connect with each other (Stephens, 2019).  On the other hand, there is also a flip side to the connecting power of stories–it can be hard for people who have a complex story that has a lot of moving parts or is difficult to listen to, to find people willing to listen, which can be very isolating, and a reason people seek out support groups.Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) | Doris day movies, Dory, Favorite movies

I’ve had the experience as a local journalist of interviewing people who were all over the place when they tried to tell me their story, sometimes to the point I had to follow up to make sure I sorted out the facts or timeline right.  Even more challenging, I sometimes do local history stories where someone who has tried without success to get someone to write up their family history for a newspaper, will pile up a bunch of old photos, historic diaries, and scribbled notes from the family Bible on their kitchen table, rattle off a few hours’ worth of dizzyingly disorganized stories about three or four different generations on their different family branches, many with confusingly similar names, completely out of order, with gaps in what they know—and I then have to make sense of it all (which luckily I love to do).

with six you get eggroll - Doris Day Image (21949572) - Fanpop

I have been really surprised to discover someone had an amazing, important story they knew everyone local would want to know, but no one had ever had the time to really listen long enough to sort out all the facts, or the person they spoke to before just wasn’t particularly interested in that topic.  When someone interested finally actually listened, they were so excited and relieved, their story came out in a jumble.  That’s what makes me so excited about the Human Library Program, because I have learned that what’s good about the Human Library experience for “readers”–connecting people through stories to change the stereotypes people have of others from surface impressions–is likely just half of the program’s benefits (Wentz, 2013).

A 'Human Book' tells a story to a guest in upstate New York.

(Caters News, 2014)

I’ve interviewed people who after they read my story about them, changed the way they saw and presented their own story.  I once interviewed a prominent local person about his childhood start in a lifelong hobby, and when I saw him speak at an event shortly after, I was surprised to notice that he told his audience my version of his life story, right down to the lead I’d used, as if it had made him see himself in a new light he seemed to really like.

Watch Please Don't Eat the Daisies on Netflix Today! |

The same thing happened when I interviewed a “mommy blogger,” who was mortified and apologizing that her toddlers were screaming and running amuck during her shining mommy moment being interviewed on the phone for a newspaper story.  After I said, “Oh, no, I love it, it reminds me of a zany Doris Day movie!” she embraced the way I had framed her life–maybe a little too much.  Shortly after we hung up, she posted a whole story about the interview on her Facebook page, presenting herself as this zany, fun loving, Doris Day-style mom running a chaotic household full of kids, laundry sorting, and cupcake baking while being interviewed, that was missing only the sheepdog–and she cast the “reporter” (ahem, me?) as if I had been disapproving and humorless about misbehaving children!  Thanks to social media, she had scooped me with my own planned story, spun it around, and was getting feedback on it before I even stacked up my notes!

Doris Day on the phone | Doris day movies, Movie stars, Dory

What those experiences showed me is that a Human Library program is bound to be as beneficial to the Human Books as it is to the “readers” who “check them out” for a chat to listen to them and ask them questions (Wentz, 2013).  A part of working out our own story, who we are and what it all means, and getting over some of the kinds of things a Human Book volunteer is there to share, is getting to tell our story and be heard, and then getting feedback from others saying, hey, you’re great, I admire your courage, I understand you.  Since most of us seem to be harder on ourselves than others would be, I’d like to think that libraries bringing mutually interested people together for this kind of connection and communication in this and lots of other programs and activities, will help the members of our communities see themselves more clearly and self-acceptingly thanks to others. That’s the second benefit of the Human Library program, I’m convinced it’s good for the Human Books, as well.

Living In Fifties Fashion: Doris Day's Designers

I decided to check on whether there was any support for my theory in academic journals, and was excited to find a research study had actually set out to answer that exact question–what are the benefits of the Human Library Program, if any, for the Human Books? (Dobreski & Huang, 2016).  It turns out, the researchers studied four different groups of Human Book volunteers in Human Library Programs, and found they received eight benefits that fell into two categories– altruistic benefits and self-focused benefits (Dobreski & Huang, 2016).  Altruistic benefits enjoyed by volunteers include helping others, teaching, and making connections such as finding new people to invite to clubs and activities, and on the more self-focused benefits side, learning, self-expression, reflection, therapeutic benefits, and personal enjoyment were all found to be among the ways volunteers benefitted (Dobreski & Huang, 2016).

Reader of a 'Human Book' seems captivated as she listens to a story.

(Caters News, 2014)

According to the study, the hardest part of planning a Human Library event is finding volunteers willing to be Human Books (Dobreski & Huang, 2016).  The researchers who studied the benefits for the volunteer Human Books hope that if libraries keep these two-way benefits in mind, it will be easier to find volunteers who are willing to sit down with strangers and tell their stories (Dobreski & Huang, 2016).  I think this is a great takeaway to remember when creating a Human Library event.  Volunteers may be apprehensive about sharing stories from their life that they have possibly found are not easy to talk about–and that maybe some people haven’t been that interested in hearing–but if they do volunteer, they are not only going to help others, they are also likely to benefit in several ways themselves–and even take away from the event some new friends (Dobreski & Huang, 2016).  Not a bad return on telling a few stories!

A reader and Book in conversation

(Trudsley, 2023)

The Human Library Model was based on the original library model of people checking out books, as well as the newer vision of libraries connecting people in a public forum of learning (Wentz, 2013).  Recently, the Human Library Project has also ventured out of the library into Human Library Reading Gardens (Human Library, 2023).  That makes me wonder if we are going to see a Human Library Model 2.0 that is based even more on our New Library Model–and what would that look like?  Will “readers” be doing more than checking out Human Book companions to talk with in libraries or library gardens–maybe making the program more “mobile” and doing things or sharing activities and experiences with them completely away from the library setting?  Human Books on a library book cart bike or Bookmobile?  A Human Book waiting by a Little Library on a front lawn like a friendly gnome?  A Human Book being “checked out” to go with someone to the hospital to talk directly to a patient who has been diagnosed with what he or she overcame?  What do you think–would you like to try to make your Human Library event more 2.0 in some way?

According to Wentz, libraries have to register and get permission from the Human Library Organization to host an event, so please don’t try this 2.0 idea without contacting them first and seeing what they think! (Wentz, 2013).

(Dobreski & Huang, 2016)


Caters News. (2014, January 28). ‘Human Library’ project in Rochester turns people into talking books. NYDailyNews. ‘Human Library’ project in Rochester turns people into talking books – New York Daily News (

Dobreski, B., & Huang, Y. (2016). The joy of being a book: Benefits of participation in the human library. Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting, 53(1), 1–3.

Stephens, M. (2019). Wholehearted librarianship: Finding hope, inspiration, and balance. ALA Editions.

Trudsley, A. (2023, March 30). New season at the Human Library. Human Library. New Season at the Human Library Reading Garden – The Human Library Organization

Wentz, E. (2013, April 26). The Human Library: Sharing the community with Itself. Public Libraries Online.


Images of Doris Day are from the films With Six You Get Eggrolls (Cinema Center Films, 1968) and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (MGM, 1960).

Innovation Strategy & Roadmap: The Power of Stories: A Book Machine in the Library

HeLLo GoD, MaY i SPeaK To My SoN, PLeASe?

Hi Everyone!

For my Innovation Strategy & Roadmap, I focused on an amazing technology-supported storytelling, writing, book-printing, and publishing program for a public library, that really does have the power to transform lives and both traditional and Library 2.0 services.  You can see my project, The Power of Stories: A Book Machine in the Library at this link:

Innovation Strategy Roadmap – Library Publishing.pdf

Snoopy and Woodstock's Great Adventure | Book by Charles M. Schulz, Lauren Forte, Scott Jeralds ...

What do you think about a tech-supported storytelling, writing, printing, and publishing program in public libraries?  What would you create?

Thanks for looking!


(Images: Snoopy from Peanuts by Charles Schulz)


Reflection 3: Libraries are Hyperlinks, too

Eric Klinenberg. (Miller, 2012).

I loved our reading about Eric Klinenberg in our New Models module, because for a second time Klinenberg’s thoughts resonated with me and launched me on an exploration of ideas that really illuminate what our Hyperlinked Environments and New Models aspire to achieve in libraries.

We want to get as many diverse members of our communities into our libraries as we can, sharing experiences and space and making every voice heard.  Why is that again? It’s easy to think the new library model emphasizing people over books, might be just a fun idea our communities might enjoy, or an exciting change because we’re just bored of books and want to be more popular and global to keep libraries funded and open, or to think this talk about constantly “evolving” is some kind of relentless change we’re forcing on our users trying to stay relevant, avoid getting stale, and keep up with everyone else.

That may all be partly true to some extent, but there’s way more to it.

Pioneering sociologist foresaw our current chaos 100 years ago

Emile Durkheim (School of Life, 2015).

Tracing Klinenberg’s hyperlinked mention of “collective effervescence,” a fantastic term I couldn’t resist clicking on, led me to Émile Durkheim (1858-1917), a French sociologist who basically invented sociology as an academic science (Peet, 2018; Wikipedia, 2023b).  Durkheim came up with that sociological concept—collective effervescence (Rimé & Páez, 2023).  His idea was that when a community or society comes together to participate in doing some activity together, thinking the same thoughts, it creates this sort of heightened, shared emotional experience—and more importantly, it unifies the group–it pulls a community or society together (Rimé & Páez, 2023). Emile Durkheim by ludilozezanje on DeviantArt

(Ludilozezange, 2012).

Durkheim was “concerned with how societies can maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity, an era in which traditional social and religious ties are much less universal, and in which new social institutions have come into being” (Wikipedia, 2023b). Doesn’t that sound like this era?  That really made me think about what libraries are aspiring to be today, when this new social institution—social media—has come into being and changed everything.  We hear from every direction that we live in a very polarized, fractured society today, with for example, teens barely seeing each other compared to how they visited face to face daily not that long ago.

There are a lot of sociologists linked to Durkheim, all great minds who were the most influential thinkers of the 19th Century, who tried to understand the nature of the individual and society (Wikipedia, 2023c).  Some thought society constantly evolved from being a simple, cohesive whole, to becoming highly differentiated within, with individuals all serving to meet a different specialized need of the whole, culminating in a society that elevated individuals (Wikipedia, 2023c).  Others focused on how minorities integrate into society, with integration leading to a more equal and just world (Wikipedia, 2023c). 

What exactly are we trying to do in libraries today, if not those things?

All of these great minds and ideas are hyperlinked on Wikipedia, where anyone can start with just one concept such as Klinenberg’s mention of collective effervescence (Wikipedia, 2023a), and follow the hyperlinked concepts on a journey through many of the same ideas we’re trying to realize in libraries, theorized about by some of the greatest minds of the past from all over the world.  There have been many modern studies on these theories, too.

A survey of a lot of the ideas and theories connected to Durkheim and collective effervescence, shows that while instituting those great ideas of sociology into libraries, such as elevating every individual in the community, may make libraries more popular destinations and indeed benefit the field, these efforts will also have a much more profound impact.  By bringing our communities together to experience elevated moments of excitement and togetherness and connection, we are helping pull society itself as a whole back together and preserve it (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

Durkheim noted that most of the life of people in a “tribe” is spent doing mundane, everyday, individual work, minding our own business but depleted of the energy that comes from collective experiences—which makes the rare occasions when the entire tribe gathers become sacred and unifying (Rimé & Páez, 2023). We all know from weekends, holidays, and special gatherings, that feeling that together times are more sacred to us.

If you think about Hygge, the Danish concept which is mentioned in our Module 8 lecture as a key part of our new model and which is a major theme of the Anythink Library, it is all about taking a break from mundane, everyday work, and coming together to savor the glowing atmosphere of togetherness with a heightened shared awareness of well-being, contentment, and appreciation (Brits, 2016).  Brits describes Hygge as “an experience of selfhood and communion with people and places that anchors and affirms us, gives us courage and consolation.  To Hygge is to invite intimacy and connection.  It’s a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other. Hygge is about being, not having” (Brits, 2016).

What we are talking about doing in libraries is bringing the entire tribe together and setting the stage for them to experience the same sacred and unifying collective experiences defined by Durkheim and found in Hygge.

This is how people are hyperlinks, because individuals are naturally linked as part of greater collectives, and it’s also why we say the new library model is really about people, not books.  In the past, people loved and prized books so much that being together among them in a space was sharing an experience that was sacred and elevating.  Now, new social models have been established, because of a new technological era.  We are not the ones imposing constant evolution on our users— technology is making society constantly evolve, and we are adjusting to meet society’s evolving needs.

So, our mission to create the New Model library is simple.  We need to find the things that people will now find sacred and elevating when their everyday mundane is much more virtual than before.  In a world that is overwhelming us with nonstop information and communication and where we are more isolated physically in a virtual-heavy lifestyle, the sacred and elevating is now being in physical spaces among others, communicating face to face in person, doing things we share enthusiasm for with our hands and activating our senses, and experiencing Hygge, the opposite of Internet overload (Brits, 2016).  Even those who love STEM and virtual everything, love sharing it in person in a library more.

Libraries promote programs, resources and more in literacy push - Washington Daily News ...

(Rumley, 2017).

By bringing the individuals of the tribe into the library to play and learn together, we are not just creating better libraries and library communities, we’re creating a more cohesive and unified society as a whole (Rimé & Páez, 2023; Stephens, 2023).

So, what it comes down to is, libraries are hyperlinks, too.

A fantastic new journal article synthesizing many recent research studies on Durkheim’s theory details the way collective effervescence works and identifies elements that I think can help libraries achieve collective effervescence (Rimé & Páez, 2023).  Among those, there are several practices that have been proven in many recent studies to create transcendent group experiences, which I think libraries seeking to successfully implement the New Model, should try to incorporate, not only for group events but shared spaces and in general:

Library Tees | LiBlog

(McKinney, 2016).

  • Making sure there are membership emblems, sayings, and songs—tee shirts, badges, anything that says “I belong to this group/activity/space/library”—for every possible group anyone might identify with in the library—this is hugely valuable and worth investing in for creating group identity and emotional fusion, and is also great publicity if people wear them around the community (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

TEAM BUILDING For LARGE Groups | Creative Team Events

(Creative Team Events, 2023).

  • At the start of a gathering, have the group participate in sayings, songs, movement rituals to open the proceedings, because that makes individuals transition from a self-other individual mindset to identifying with the we-ness of the group and lets everyone share awareness that they are all entering into this shared experience together (Rimé & Páez, 2023). I would even try to greet every patron who enters the library in some ritual way, even if they’re just coming for books, like the bell at Dokk1 that rings when a baby is born (Stephens, 2023). This concept is exactly why Hygge tends to be strongest at the holidays, because we share so many sayings, songs, and rituals then (Brits, 2016).

Health: How to Throw a Chocolate Tasting Party |

(Boomer, 2020).

  • New and sensory experiences that create emotion should be a mainstay in the library, and presented in ways that encourage sharing closely, which amplifies the experience—for instance, treats should be offered from one shared plate or tray at an assembled gathering—not separate plates, even if you have to have someone act as server or offer prewrapped items, because that increases feelings of cooperation and unity (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

Campus Party 2019 abre inscrições para startups e makers - Alexandre Porfírio

(Porfirio, 2018).

  • Shared activities where everyone is doing the same things in the same spaces, either synchronously or overlapping in time, create strong feelings of shared identity and belonging, increase cooperative behaviors, feelings of trust, and feelings of similarity (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

What Is "Mirroring?" | Henry A. Davidsen | Men's Custom Tailors

(Davidsen, 2020).

  • Mirroring patrons’ postures and movements when interacting can make them feel belonging and welcome and liked, bringing them out of themselves into a wider “we” perspective (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

Meet the Beatles for Real: Beatlemania in full swing!

(Sara S., 2011).

  • Bringing in “awe” as much as possible with new amazing tech, video, or other shared experiences that create “awe,” because shared awe experiences especially create self-transcending experiences, aka collective effervescence (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

Gathring | Library, Gathering, Create(Yong, 2023).

  • Go big! The bigger the assembly of people, the stronger the shared emotional experience of the group (Rimé & Páez, 2023).

Durkheim believed individuals’ survival and well-being are built on periodic social-belonging cultural experiences (Rimé & Páez, 2023).  The collective effects wear off eventually once we go off as individuals and resume our mundane daily lives, until another periodic group experience raises our confidence and energy again (Rimé & Páez, 2023).  Researchers have shown in 148 studies that social connection safeguards well-being and physical health, while isolation increases mortality, so the more we can get our communities participating in their library, and the more often we can get them to come and enjoy collective experiences, the better for everyone (Rimé & Páez, 2023).  Studying Durkheim’s theory on how the elements of collective effervescence work can make us really effective allies for our community.

(Miller, 2012).


Boomer. (2020, January 31). How to Throw a Chocolate-Tasting Party. Boomer. Health: How to Throw a Chocolate Tasting Party |

Brits, L. T. (2016). The book of hygge: The Danish art of contentment, comfort, and connection. Plume.

Creative Team Events. (2023). Large team building events. Creative Team Events. TEAM BUILDING For LARGE Groups | Creative Team Events

Davidsen, H. A. (2020, December 7). What is “mirroring?” Henry A. Davidsen.

Ludilozezanje. (2012). Emile Durkheim. DeviantArtEmile Durkheim by ludilozezanje on DeviantArt

McKinney, M. (2016, June 20). Library Tees. LiBlog. Library Tees | LiBlog (

Miller, B. (2012, March 5). Eric Klinenberg. Seattle Weekly. Eric Klinenberg | Seattle Weekly

Peet, L. (2018, October 3). Eric Klinenberg: Libraries and social infrastructure. Library Journal. Eric Klinenberg: Libraries and Social Infrastructure | Library Journal

Porfírio, A. (2018, September 24). Campus party 2019 abre inscrições para startups e makers. Alexander Porfírio. Campus Party 2019 abre inscrições para startups e makers – Alexandre Porfírio (

Rimé, B., & Páez, D. (2023). Why we gather: A new look, empirically documented, at Émile Durkheim’s theory of collective assemblies and collective effervescence. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 0(0) [ahead of print]. Why We Gather: A New Look, Empirically Documented, at Émile Durkheim’s Theory of Collective Assemblies and Collective Effervescence – Bernard Rimé, Dario Páez, 2023 (

Rumley, V. S. (2017, February 3). Libraries promote programs, resources and more in literacy push. Washington Daily News. Libraries promote programs, resources and more in literacy push – Washington Daily News | Washington Daily News (

Sara S. (2011, December 7). Beatlemania in full swing. Meet the Beatles for Real. Meet the Beatles for Real: Beatlemania in full swing!

School of Life. (2015, May 22). Sociology – Émile Durkheim. You Tube. SOCIOLOGY – Émile Durkheim – YouTube

Seymour, G. (2021, February 10). Boost social-emotional health with a hygge library program. Demco Ideas & Inspiration. Boost Social-Emotional Health with a Hygge Library Program (

Stephens, M. (2023). New Models [Lecture]. The Hyperlinked Library, Info 287.

Wikipedia. (2023a). Collective effervescence. Wikipedia. Collective effervescence – Wikipedia

Wikipedia. (2023b). Emile Durkheim. Wikipedia. Émile Durkheim – Wikipedia

Wikipedia. (2023c). Social cycle theory. Wikipedia. Social cycle theory – Wikipedia

Yong, R. H. (2023) Gathering. Pinterest. Gathring | Library, Gathering (


Reflection 2: The Library Felicitator

Raining Tomatoes | Tomato, Surreal art, ArtI’m always reading headlines a little too fast and thinking I’ve just read that a series of tomatoes hit Kansas!  The same thing happened to me as I was reading about the need for libraries to have conversation rooms, and how facilitators at NPL help with conversations (Dixon, 2017). Only, when I read the word facilitators, in my mind I heard, felicitators.  I instantly thought, hmm!—and looked up whether that was a real word, and yes, it is.  It was a serendipitous accident and exactly the word I needed.

Felicitator is a word that has fallen by the wayside, but it used to mean someone who creates happiness!

After reading StarRose’s great Assignment X post, “Why ‘Shh!’ Has No Place in the Library,” I started thinking about what libraries are not doing that they could or should be doing to change that persistent stereotype (StarRose, 2023).  While as StarRose points out, some libraries are installing audio tech rooms and introducing noisy areas (StarRose, 2023), that doesn’t seem to be changing the ongoing library user perception that librarians generally want quiet when an event isn’t going on.

Just this week I saw an old cartoon of a librarian asking a man, “How may I shush you?” I now know that stereotyped desire for quiet is not what librarians want, but I didn’t know that before the MLIS program as an avid library user, and I think most of us still feel shushed in libraries because many are still mostly very quiet most of the time. I couldn’t find that cartoon again, but here’s another with the same message.

Library humor image by University library Nikola Tesl on Funny library stuff | Librarian humor ...

(Piraro, 2013)

I’ve been going to a lot of different local libraries recently, because my longtime favorite library has been closed for a couple of years for renovations, and I’ve noticed from a sampling of several libraries in different local suburban communities at all different times of day, that all of them are basically still the really quiet, hushed kind of library we want to transform into more lively community spaces in keeping with Library 2.0 and the Hyperlinked Library Model (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007; Stephens, 2019).

Vicky Doodles

(Cavendish Square, 2023)

Now, I know libraries can be noisy at times. I used to go weekly to my favorite library to pick out a big stack of picture books, kids’ crafts books, and other inspiring materials, and I deliberately went during the biggest, noisiest story hour when all the toddlers were shrieking and singing, it made being there a lot of fun!  I also like the afterschool rush when lots of grade school kids and families flood in to pick out books.  But that’s not really the “new kinds of uses” for libraries happy-noisy we’re looking for all the time rather than just the times we’re having programs or events.

Packed Library at Wiley | You'd think they were giving thing… | Flickr

(Packed Library at Wiley, 2017)

When I read “Felicitator” in my reading mind, I was already thinking, maybe we need a new library specialty, noisy librarians who go in and act like the life of the party to show patrons that it’s okay to be excited and having fun in the library anytime!  “Please stop whispering and talk louder or you’re going to be asked to leave and come back when you can behave right!”

Librarian clipart shushing, Librarian shushing Transparent FREE for download on WebStockReview 2020

(Wolfman, 2013)

A Library Felicitator would be the perfect title for a person, outside of regular events and programs, who would be in the library visibly doing fun and interesting things to get the creative and fun energy going for the patrons, luring unsuspecting patrons into detouring to have fun doing some activity or craft for a little bit, and bringing in some happy noise that would be contagious.  Rather than being like that dad who says, “I brought you kids here, now have fun!” we would be the dad jumping in the pool with his clothes on first, showing them how to have fun and make their own party. And of course, as we saw what was popular, we would do more of that so that patrons were driving the fun.

#31 Handpicked DIY Tissue Paper Flowers: Table Decor & Hangings

(Shree, 2018)

A Felicitator could be anywhere in the library making a little Morse code telegraph, making cardboard kaleidoscopes, be that “artist in residence” we saw in our Hyperlinked Communities lecture (Stephens, 2023), be demonstrating something on a mobile cooking cart and giving out samples, be asking people what their favorite hobby is, be turning recyclables into funny animals, be modeling that it’s okay to laugh out loud, talk at a normal level, and be showing that it can be fun to be in the library as a destination, not just a grab-and-go stop or silent study hall.  They’d be something like a court jester brought in to enliven the atmosphere, maybe wearing a fun apron with pockets full of bookmarks, stickers, jokes, and little treats, and have one of those mobile tables where they might stop and whip out a paper flower kit and start making it and give the result to a patron, or demonstrate a science experiment and send a big purple cloud floating around the library.  Corporations hire close-up magicians to walk around their events doing this kind of thing for thousands of dollars to better engage their guests.

See the source image

(Boone, 2023)

Libraries could have a Felicitator, and the Felicitator could recruit a variety of extra ones from staff to take over the role for an hour here and there, and more importantly, the Felicitator could also recruit widely diverse volunteers from the community, both patrons and non-patrons, to take a turn as a way of bringing a wide variety of people and their spirit and talents into the library community.  Instead of using that personable retired volunteer to shelve books, we could have him out there making people laugh or challenging them to pick a card any card, or to a bubble blowing contest or impromptu scavenger hunt, doing an impromptu reading, or demonstrating a brand-new tech device.  Peter Block points out in his book, Community, The Structure of Belonging, that “communities are built from the assets and gifts of their citizens” (Block, 2008). Bringing in community members to share their gifts is one of the building blocks of connection that can create authentic community in libraries.  Felicitators could do this in a more ongoing and relatable way than hired professionals doing costly paid programming, who often aren’t even part of the community.

Portrait of Smiling Group of Students Wearing Aprons Taking Part in Cookery Class in Kitchen ...

(Monkey Business Images, 2023)

Patrons don’t know from just using the library, that all the librarians behind the desks or pushing carts or helping people, are really there wholeheartedly to create a wonderful community hub for them.  I’m a lifelong, avid library user and I never knew that, because no one ever said so!  I think I read in PscyhoCybernetics, that shy people may be so reserved, they may not reveal how they feel about others, so they need to be sure to let others know that they like them. How could libraries better let the community know, both inside and outside the library community of users, that we really like them and want them in our libraries sticking around and having fun and feeling free to make some happy noise, than to have fun specialists in the library (and sometimes out in the community) mingling with them and giving out that clear message–this library is your fun community hub!

Pin by Erin Harris on I Like to Read | Book fairy costume, Book character costumes, Halloween ...

(Merrilee, 2011).

What do you think?  Would you like to be a Library Felicitator?– or go to a library where one is making things lively?



Block, P. (2008). Community the structure of belonging (1st ed.). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Boone, M. (2023). Strolling magician. Magician Michael Boone. Strolling Magic – Atlanta Magician Michael Boone

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

Cavendish Square. (2023). Librarian chic. Pinterest. by Domingo Ayala | Bibliotecari, Personaggi, Libri (

Dixon, J. A. (2017, October 15) Convening community conversation. Library Journal, 142(17).  Convening community conversation | Programming.

Merrilee. (2011, September). Halloween costume contest. Lilliedale [Blog}.

Monkey Business Images. (2023). Portrait of smiling group of students wearing aprons taking part in cooker class in kitchen. Dreamstime. Portrait of Smiling Group of Students Wearing Aprons Taking Part in Cookery Class in Kitchen Stock Image – Image of demonstration, horizontal: 175156549 (

Oliveira, M. (2023). Braldt Bralds: Raining tomatoes. Pinterest. “TOMATOES…LOTS OF TOMATOES…” ∼ BY BRADLT BRALDS | Portrait, Fantasy, Collage ( (top image)

Piraro, D. (2013, April 22). [Comic]. Bizarro. Bizarro

Shree, M. (2018, July 25). Tissue paper flower. DIY Craft Ideas & Gardening. #31 Handpicked DIY Tissue Paper Flowers: Table Decor & Hangings (

StarRose. (2023). Assignment X: Why ‘Shh!’ has no place in the library [Blog post]. StarRose’s Info 287 Blog. Assignment X: Why “Shhh!” Has No Place in the Library – StarRose’s INFO287 Blog (

Stephens, M. (2022). Hyperlinked communities [Video lecture]. Hyperlinked Library, Info 287. Hyperlinked Communties (

Stephens, M. (2019). The hyperlinked library model [Video lecture]. Hyperlinked Library, Info 287.

Wolfman, K. (2013, December 10). How to be a model librarian. How May I Shush You Today? [Blog].


Project X: Here Comes Dewey 2.0!

For my Project X exploration, I set out to expand what I know about Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People, which is shown and mentioned in our Hyperlinked Library Model overview.  Since I didn’t know a lot about it, I was hoping to simply expand my knowledge about his book’s premise. 

(Penguin Random House, 2019)

What I didn’t expect was to go on a Hyperlinked journey that led me to make a couple of surprising discoveries.

First of all, Klinenberg’s book establishes that restoring robust social infrastructure—places for people to spend time in person with others in their communities—is as powerfully important as the infrastructure for energy, communications, and transit, and shouldn’t be ignored (Klinenberg, 2018).  Social infrastructure combats many problems that are weakening our society, including loneliness and isolation, crime, inequality, natural disasters, political divisiveness, too much screen time, and much more (Klinenberg, 2018).  If you think about it, having good social infrastructure can also make our other infrastructure work better because people doing things together often share resources.

               Carnegie Library, Dallas, Texas (Anderson, 2023)

Libraries serve as a bedrock of civil society, Klinenberg asserts (Klinenberg, 2018). The term “Palaces for the People” came from a name used often for the thousands of early Carnegie Libraries in the media, and the reason for that was and is that libraries see the nobility and potential of all their users, they trust their patrons and have faith in them, and are at their service for free to help them elevate themselves (Klinenberg, 2018).

(Reading Agency, 2023)

My favorite part of the book is one librarian’s story about patrons who were at his library every morning reading the news, and how he began serving tea and cookies daily to them.  These patrons began to socialize as they sat together daily reading their morning newspapers and having tea, and the tradition elevated the gatherings to a true Palace for the People. He said the profound impact Tea-Time had creating relationships and community and an elevated atmosphere, made him come to see it as one of the most important parts of his job (Klinenberg, 2018).

(Thornbury Library, 2023)

Another wonderful story in the book illustrating how much libraries can help users, was about a new mother in her late 30s who was suffering isolation and loneliness after being used to working outside the home, and who was feeling depressed, incompetent, and anxious.  Going to the local library daily changed everything.  It brought her into contact with lots of other moms who could advise her, cheered her up, gave her friendships, and she even got to observe a wonderful nanny with her charges, making her decision to return to work later on easier because she knew a nanny would be a good alternative when she wasn’t home (Klinenberg, 2018). The library transformed a low point in her life into a wonderful, enriched time that broadened her social world, increased her expertise and confidence, and introduced her to new choices that helped her succeed in life doing what she dreamed of doing.  Other stories of elderly people forming friendships and having fun together at the library made clear libraries really are palaces for the people.

                Eric Klinenberg (Miller, 2012)

When I had finished browsing through the whole book, I wanted to know more about the author, Eric Klinenberg.  I instantly noticed that the name of the K-12 school he had attended was hyperlinked (Wikipedia, 2023). The Francis W. Parker School has a philosophy that aims to support children’s growth and development by making them aware of and responsive to the fundamental needs of society (Parker. 2023).  That’s really what Klinenberg’s book is about, the fundamental needs of human society—and that’s what libraries are about– social infrastructure focused on serving the community.

                    Francis W. Parker (Wikipedia, 2023)

What’s interesting about this school and the impact it had on Klinenberg’s thinking, is it was founded by one of the cofounders of Progressive Education in America, Francis W. Parker (1837-1902).  Parker’s colleague who co-founded Progressive Education in America was a prominent intellectual named John Dewey.  I checked whether he was related to Melville Dewey, and while answers online say no one has found any evidence to suggest they were related, I’m a local history fanatic and I love to find links between historic figures.  I spent some time comparing their respective ancestral lines and established that they are in fact related–they shared a common emigrant ancestor, Thomas Dewey (1606-1648), who came from England as a dissenting Puritan and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony circa 1630 (Dewey, 2017).  He was Melville’s sixth great grandfather, and John’s fifth great grandfather, even though Melville (1851-1931) was slightly older than John (1859-1952). 

                        John Dewey (Wikipedia, 2023)

What’s really interesting about this other Dewey, is that John Dewey was a hugely popular and praised major philosopher and thinker known around the world–China considered him “a second Confucius!” (Gibbon, 2019). He was a university professor, wrote 37 books and 766 articles for 150 journals, and travelled the world helping countries improve their educational systems (Gibbon, 2019).  Looking into his theories, I discovered that in his landmark work, “My Pedagogic Creed,” he insisted that human beings are wired to be social, craving group activity and connections (Gibbon, 2019)A look at Dewey’s theories shows that across the board he believed in many of the same things we are talking about in this class.  Discovery experiences.  Constant change.  Lifelong learning. Community.  Input from those served.  

           Parker School: Learning by Experience (Parker, 2023)

This is a list of some of the basics of Progressive Education (Wikipedia, 2023)—do you see some that ring a bell?

• Integrated curriculum focused on thematic units
• Strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking
• Group work and development of social skills
• Understanding and action as the goals of learning as opposed to rote knowledge
• Collaborative and cooperative learning projects
• Education for social responsibility and democracy
• Integration of community service and service-learning projects into the daily         curriculum
• Selection of subject content by looking forward to ask what skills will be needed in future society
• De-emphasis on textbooks in favor of varied learning resources
• Emphasis on lifelong learning and social skills

Progressive NY School in 1942 or modern Library Maker Space?

(Parker, 2023)

My Hyperlinked journey through Klinenberg’s book and his school, its founder, the founder’s education theorist colleague, and their educational approach, brought me full circle, right back to Library 2.0, looking at an almost matching model—by Melville Dewey’s cousin!  What are the odds?

                    Parker School or The Bubbler at Madison Library? (Parker, 2023)

I’m really excited about what I learned about Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People theory, and also about John Dewey and Progressive Education’s similarity to Library 2.0 and the Hyperlinked Library Model, and can’t wait to learn more about both. I think the library field may want to take a good look into John Dewey’s theories and Progressive Education, because they seem to have a lot in common with Library 2.0, and since many of the ideas were implemented and evaluated for decades by thousands of different educators, including Parker in his school and Dewey in an education lab for several years, they could provide us insights that could help us implement our own similar ideas to make libraries community hubs of lifelong learning.  

In future I will definitely be thinking of the library as social infrastructure and looking for ways to build a more thriving lifelong learning community using the ideas I’ve learned about.

              John Dewey’s 90th Birthday (Gibbon, 2019)



Anderson, C. S. (2023). Carnegie Library, Dallas, Texas [Vintage Postcard]. Flickr. Vintage postcard: Carnegie Library, downtown Dallas, Texas… | Flickr

Dewey, M. (2017). Thomas Dewey. Thomas Dewey, The Settler, 1606-1648

Gibbon, P. (2019, Spring). John Dewey: Portrait of a progressive thinker. Humanities, (40)2.

Klinenberg, E. (2018). Palaces for the people : How social infrastructure can help fight inequality, polarization, and the decline of civic life. Crown.

Miller, B. (2012, March 5). Eric Klinenberg. Seattle Weekly. Eric Klinenberg | Seattle Weekly

Parker. (2023). About: History. Parker | Chicago | History (

Reading Agency. (2023).Reading friends reading aloud. Reading Friends. Reading Friends Reading Aloud – Reading Friends

Thornbury Library. (2023). Reading. MyThornbury. Thornbury Library – MyThornbury

Wikipedia. (2023). Eric Klinenberg. Wikipedia. Eric Klinenberg – Wikipedia

Wikipedia. (2023). Francis Wayland Parker. Wikipedia. Francis Wayland Parker – Wikipedia

Wikipedia. (2023). Progressive Education. Wikipedia. Progressive education – Wikipedia


Some interesting links for further reading:

About John Dewey: John Dewey – Wikipedia

About Francis W. Parker:  Francis Wayland Parker – Wikipedia

Great profile on Dewey and his theories:  John Dewey | Biography, Philosophy, Pragmatism, & Education | Britannica

About John Dewey’s views, including change as a constant:  John Dewey – Instrumentalism | Britannica

A Brief Overview of Progressive Education:

An excellent article about John Dewey:


Dewey Genealogy

If you’re interested in how Melville Dewey and John Dewey are related, I’ll list my findings below and add the link for each on Geni, where you can explore their family tree by clicking on the hyperlinks. If you go to the bottom of the Geni pages, there is often a lot of interesting information about the individual.

Melville Dewey (1851-1931) > Joel Dewey (1810-1889) > David Dewey (1786-1827) > Eleazar Dewey (1761-1824) > Aaron Dewey (1734-1805) > Jonathan Dewey (1710-1759) > John Dewey (b. 1669) > Deacon Josiah Randall Dewey (1641-1732) > Thomas Dewey (1606-1648)

Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey (1851 – 1931) – Genealogy (

John Dewey (1859-1952) > Archibald Sprague Dewey (1811-1890) > Archibald Dewey (1764-1812) > Martin Dewey (1740-1763) > Martin Dewey > (1716-1763) Jedediah Dewey (1676-1728) > Ensign Jedediah Dewey (1647-1718) > Thomas Dewey (1606-1648)

John Dewey (1859 – 1952) – Genealogy (

A few interesting Dewey family history links to explore:

Thomas Dewey, The Settler, 1606-1648 

Dewey Wiltshire Roots

Thomas Dewey Family (

Bonus Deweys: 

The NY governor & presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey, whose paternal line goes straight back to Thomas Dewey the emigrant b. 1606:

Thomas Edmund Dewey, Sr. (1902 – 1971) – Genealogy (

James Dewey Watson (1928 –  living), Nobel Prize Winner for co-discovering the DNA double-helix.  Another brilliant offspring of Thomas Dewey the emigrant b. 1606, who like his cousin Melville, got “cancelled.” (I won’t list his family tree since he’s living.)

James Watson – Wikipedia


Reflection 1: A Tale of Two Hyperlinked Libraries

As I’ve been learning about Library 2.0 and the Hyperlinked Library model, I’ve wondered — just how much of the model being described is actually being put in practice in the local libraries I use as a patron?

I decided to find out!  I called and talked to a librarian at a branch of each of my local library systems, Santa Clara County Public Library, and San Jose Public Library– and asked!

Just how much do staff member interact with their colleagues using technology, such as email–and can they reach out to their highest director without going through levels of supervisors—are they really connecting by tech?

At both libraries, email is freely used to interact with colleagues. Librarians in both systems get a lot of informational emails daily, and a lot more when a new program is being set up.  They don’t have to answer all of them, but they do have to read them and know the content, as well as respond when required.  At San Jose, personnel are allowed an hour a day just to deal with email to stay well connected and functioning as a cohesive team with everyone on the same page.  While Library 2.0 suggested in 2007 that more instant messaging might be preferred, these libraries seem to prefer email (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007).

Just as we would expect from learning about Library 2.0 and the Hyperlinked Library model, both organizations have staff of every level interacting freely with one another in an ongoing, networked conversation, including supervisors and administration, making constant use of technology, and email is written in an informal style, with a flatter, more team-based organization the result, as described in our Hyperlinked Library model lecture (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007; Stephens, 2019).

You can see some of the programs the staffs have been busy emailing about here: Events | Santa Clara County Library | BiblioCommons and here: Events | San José Public Library | BiblioCommons.

Does the acquisition of new innovations and new tech advances really include library users’ input?

Well, on this one, not so much and sort of.  The decisions about tech come from staff and headquarters, or city administration, and a lot depends on budgets, which is why the input of library users isn’t leading in this particular area.  However, the San Jose system has an “Ask For” program in which patrons can answer a posted question with a post-it note request about things they want, and these are recorded quarterly and sent to the main library to be considered. The San Jose staff person I spoke to also mentioned that in response to the pandemic, the library swiftly increased its e-book collection to meet new user demand, and has yet to determine whether to keep the collection of e-books at that level or reduce it to non-pandemic level, but this is clearly an example of Hyperlinked Library services being born from thoughtfully adapting to change based on the mission of the library (Stephens, 2019).

While Library 2.0 and the Hyperlinked Library model envision users being an integral part of the process of decision making, we learn from Library 2.0 that that doesn’t mean users have direct control of the evaluation of everything in a library, so the lack of user input into new tech may be an example of that (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007) but user ideas and feedback are being included in the overall scheme of things in at least one system.


What about blogging—do the librarians really interact with each other and their users with blogging?

At the County library branch, I was told they do write a blog, but no one really has time for it–although their Facebook page is used more by patrons and updated more by staff (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007).  This is interesting in that it shows that this library changed focus from one platform considered an exceptionally useful tool for library staff in Library 2.0, to another platform based on customer demand, something also described in Library 2.0 (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007). At San Jose, though, the staff member I talked with, Ila, is avidly blogging, and not only internally, but externally, which are both recommended by Library 2.0 (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007).  One blog focuses one post monthly spotlighting “Pathfinders”a staff member who has created an innovative program in the overall library system, which gets regular feedback from library staff members.

Another blog is Ms. Ila’s Middle Grade Reading Club,” which cleverly uses book plots to make kids aware of available library databases in which they can find useful related resources–one blog post focused on a book about a rescue dog, and hyperlinked to a database about emergency preparedness.  Kids may be reading the blog, but they never respond, she said–possibly a sign young digital natives are changing how the world works–moving on from blogs to some other way of sharing as described in our Hyperlinked Library model lecture (Stephens, 2019).  Ila also has done a blog about picture books, and a more “random” blog that has included a special focus on the autism spectrum community, showing that the library is making an effort at reaching out to everybody in the community to build relatedness and bring them into the library (Stephens, 2019).

While Library 2.0 envisions blogging as an exceptional connection between staff and other staff and users, we can see that in some cases blogging without a lot of response isn’t very motivating when there’s a lot of other work to be done and more popular platforms, but in other cases, the feedback and the goals of the blog seem to keep the staff blogger blogging away.  And sometimes, the library realizes its users prefer another platform and change what they’re using to connect with the community (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007).

You can see all of Ila’s amazing blogs here: Ila Langner | San Jose Public Library ( and Cupertino Library’s Facebook page here: Cupertino Library | Cupertino CA | Facebook.


What about being–or trying to be–a library-as-community-social-hub with all sorts of activities going on besides the traditional ones, such as maker spaces and cafes?

The County library does have programs, including very popular craft programs, but no ongoing maker space sort of activities, and that’s about it as far as the community hub model.  The San Jose librarian really liked this question, mentioning a bus-sized Maker Spaceship that visits schools, a seed library program branching out from the original library where it started, a branch library with a soldering workshop, and monthly Fandom Swaps where people can bring any kind of fandom memorabilia to swap with others for free.  She said she was excited to be asked about this kind of programming because she likes knowing MLIS students are excited about bringing new creativity into libraries based on the Library 2.0 and Hyperlinked Library model.

As an MLIS student I was really excited to hear that!

I’m glad I asked and found out that libraries I use in my area are already implementing the Library 2.0 and Hyperlinked Library model, and would welcome new staff who are excited about it and have the interest and energy to bring more of that model into libraries. It’s great to know that libraries are thinking like startups by embracing innovation, as suggested in our foundational readings (Mathews, 2012).

How is your library implementing the Hyperlinked Library Model?  What signs do you see?


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

Mathews, B. (2012). Think like a start up.

Stephens, M. (2019). Hyperlinked Library Model [Panopto Lecture]. Hyperlinked Library Master Lectures. 

(Art by Cindy)


Welcome to my new blog Trendy!

Hi everyone, I’m Cindy!  Welcome to my new blog Trendy!

I’m in my fourth term in the MLIS program and have my heart set on public library service.  I’m especially interested in event programming, helping information communities spring up in my local libraries, community building, and outreach, and will likely go into youth services.

I chose this class because I loved Dr. Stephens’ video lectures about information communities in my Information Communities course last Spring.  Everything about the subject matter and potential for transforming a local community’s experience with a public library into a place to be is super exciting to me.

I’m a big fan of the new global trend for “discovery libraries” where the library is a community hub for all kinds of activities including cafes, yoga classes, cooking clubs,  anything!  I am hoping to find in this course even more innovative trends for libraries and how they can better serve and connect their communities in new ways.

Have you spotted a super new trend in your library?  Tell me about it!

Thanks so much for visiting!


(Art by Cindy.)