Michael Stephens

  • Hyperlinked Communities Reflection: Questions & Needs In Reference 210, we were taught the basics of giving a reference interview. In the process, I was surprised to find that most of the work is in Continue reading

  • Hey everyone take a look at this bit of news from California.
    An update in the fight against censorship in the form of book bans.

  • Reflection on Hyperlinked Communities (10/01) “The principal currency today is no longer information, products or services; it is human attention” (Pewhairangi, 2014, p. 8). This line sets the Continue reading

    • Hi Heather,
      Your school is lucky to have you! You have a wonderful heart for helping students at such a difficult age and I appreciate your take-aways from this module. I love your discussion of “have to” and “want to” visits to the library – it’s a wonderful thing for kids to have a library that can be a safe space they want to visit.

      • Hi Anna,
        Thank you. I really appreciate you kind words. I have most definitely stepped on a good amount of toes with the changes, but there are still so many changes needed. You are beyond encouraging.
        Thank you!

  • Blog #1-Social Media and Libraries Social media is a great free resource for libraries. It is a way to drive user engagement, reach new users, and promote library programs and […]

    • I love the Milwaukee Public Library IG! I follow so many libraries, school libraries and authors. Social media is a great place for librarians to go to get new ideas and stay up on latest trends!

  • Hyperlinked Communities in my local view – A Reflection Reflecting upon this module about Hyperlinked Communities, I found it difficult not to consider my local public library.  […]

    • Hi Aaron,

      Your connection between this class and other previous MLIS courses is something that echoes my own experience. While reading and watching this course’s materials I find myself reflecting back on the teen services courses and academic librarianship courses I have taken previously. What you mention about simple changes, like lighting and the physical space of libraries, is so important and so often overlooked. It’s amazing to me that there appears to be so little concern for how patrons feel about a space when they enter a library. For a previous course I took I spent a ton of time analyzing my local libraries’ teen spaces. They were minimal and dismal with a few bleak and disorganized shelves, no seating, and horrible fluorescent lighting. It was almost hostile and seemed to give a clear message of “teens not very welcome.” It would be a fun exercise to bring an interior designer into a library and just see what recommendations they would make to make spaces seem more welcoming. Lighting seems like an easy, accessible, and impactful place to start.

      I enjoyed reading your reflection–thanks for your post!


  • Vlog Post – Reflection Hyperlinked EnvironmentsMy volg reflection on Hyperlinked Environments – DOKK1 I was striving for shorter this time!  

  • By teens, for teens: The power of the YOUMedia Space (Assignment X)On my trip to Chicago earlier this year, I was stunned by the YOUMedia space at the Harold Washington Public Library. Much like SFPL’s “The Mix […]

    • Hi Anjali
      I really loved your post about teens and participatory services. It really is true that teenagers are underserved in many areas of society. They are too old to be children and too young to be adults so there is a lacking of defined space that is for teenagers that allow them to express themselves authentically. It is great to hear that libraries are helping to create those spaces for teenagers, especially such cool ones like Harold Washington Public Library is doing!

  • Assignment X Partnership Model and Makerspaces Shifting dynamics in all libraries Libraries can be seen as only information depositories and […]

  • Kim Burns wrote a new post on the site Hyperconduits 5 days, 22 hours ago

    #hyperlib Assignment X: Radical Self-Care and Radical Trust Radical Self-Care Librarians are change makers, working to intentionally better the lives of people within their communities every day. Continue reading

    • Hi Kim,

      Your thoughts on radical self-care and librarianship resonate so much with me! I especially appreciated the way you phrased this: “In addition to cultivating a workplace culture that supports the mental wellness of all staff and fosters the space for staff members to be trusted, this component of radical self-care and radical trust then radiates outward to benefit the community.” The idea that taking care of the self is really taking care of the community is an essential understanding that has taken me years to grapple with. Librarianship is a profession that I think appeals to a lot of people who are “givers” and might tend to burn themselves out quickly by investing all of their professional and personal resources at work. Self-care is about so much more than bubble baths and healthy food, and you describe that so well. Thanks for your post!


    • Hi Kim,
      I love your post, specifically your attention to self-care, burnout, and people as conduits. I visited a high school library in my district this week and I did not want to leave! I felt so welcomed, important, and the atmosphere in the library was incredible! I am pretty sure students felt the same way! The library is truly designed and set up for the patron/student, not the books. I felt like the library I visited was a complete 180 difference from the library I remember as a high schooler – furniture was moveable and different/functional, books were easy to find, food and drinks were not shunned, no security gate, perfect lighting, hands on STEM activities/room, music, etc.
      I believe the students and the librarians at this library feel the self care, at least the library demonstrates the importance of self care.

    • Hi Kim,
      I loved your post, especially the outreach examples you provided. I liked that you mentioned its okay to fail. Failing allows us a chance to learn from our mistakes and create better solutions.

  • Assignment X: The Library is a Community Garden Stephens (2019) begins his book, Wholehearted Librarianship: Finding Hope, Inspiration, and Balance, with the idea of “taking care.” Thi […]

    • Kristin, I find the garden analogy to be an illustrative, helpful method of thinking about how the library is part of and serves a community. I agree with your thoughts on the cyclical nature of gardens and library service. As a gardener, I’ve learned to accept that even though I won’t always get the results I wanted (e.g., plants dying, pests, seeds not growing), I still learn something valuable and beautiful about the caring for and nurturing something. I think the same can be said for library service, particularly when librarians have a wholehearted, compassionate approach to their work. Mistakes will be made and things will fail or go in a different direction than intended, but when you look at the whole picture, you can still see that there is immense value in learning from those experiences. I think this is helpful to keep in mind when we’re practicing wholehearted service so as not to get discouraged.

      -Mari Carmen

      • HI Mari Carmen, Thank you for taking the time to read my post! I’m so glad that you liked it. I think that gardening can be analogous for so many parts of our lives–I thought it fit perfectly to describe compassionate librarianship.

  • Assignment X – Musings on Participatory Service Intro When I think of how libraries have changed in my lifetime (the past 29 years), one of the most remarkable changes I have witnessed and […]

  • Amanda Davidson wrote a new post on the site Hyperlinked Library 6 days ago

    Libraries as "Third Places"Libraries exist in the cultural imagination as many things: outdated institutions full of dusty books and stuffy librarians, buzzing cultural […]

  • Pam C wrote a new post on the site Pam's Ponderings 6 days, 1 hour ago

    Libraries–They Aren't Just for Books Anymore!! As I have contemplated potential topics for this blog post, the genre at the forefront of my mind has been that of participatory […]

    • Hi Pam,
      Your Assignment X inspired me and got me thinking about my library. I was awarded a grant last year for a LEGO wall. By the time everything went through, it was installed in late May, and the school year ended in June. Students are messing with it now, and our special day class is coming in weekly to explore it too. My hope was to create a hands on/makerspace area… but the process is moving slow. I hope, eventually, I will be able to get 3D printers and more in the library to make it a space to make a mistake, to fail, to succeed, and to “be” just as you said.
      Did your library patrons help set your space up? I am so curious at how it is utilized! If you are willing to share more, I’m willing to listen. Thank you!

      • Pam C replied 4 days ago

        @hfergie It sounds like you work in a school? That sounds great that you have been able to make a “LEGO wall”. To answer you question, I’m not sure how much the library patrons were consulted in the designing and implementing of the makerspace at my library. It was up and running when I began my job there. My daughter actually worked in the makerspace at this library for two years so much of what I have learned, I learned from her. I would say, based upon my observations of the climate and other programs at my library, the makerspace was made with minimal patron participation. There are certainly programs and trainings that cater to patrons, but overall I think it was the library that made the decisions. The more I see the possibilities and how beneficial it is to involve patrons and the community, the more I want to have the opportunity to see how that works “in person”.

        I hope you are able to develop your space and have input from your patrons and community. It sounds like you have a great start and will continue to be able to improve not only the physical space, but the heartbeat of your library, as well.

  • The User is the Sun Assignment X The library is not just a place, it is a social community (Ted Talks, 2016). It is not just a place for books, it is a place to Continue reading

    • Love the metaphor, Heather! The user is the sun! This post is so inspiring to me and is planting some ideas in my head. Well done.

  • @michael and everybody,
    So, I’ve been using Feedly and I notice that in the “Hyperlinked Library Course Blog & Activity” section of Feedly I see some people’s Assignment Xs but not that many (or my own that I published a couple days ago) even though if I go in through “Sites” on the website I see many more Assignment X posts. Wondering if there is…[Read more]

  • Assignment X — Hyperlinked Libraries and Bridging the Digital Divide Webstars: Virtual Reality On-Demand In our fast-paced digital age, the importance of bridging the digital divide cannot be […]

    • Hi Michele,
      The picture at the top of your post made me smile and queasy… I do not have the stomach for VR, but my kids do and friends do! It is so fun to watch people, yet I cannot handle it myself.
      Bringing attention to the VR technology and how it can be used as a tool for learning and growth is definitely worth noting in the digital divide. I would love to bring more opportunities in the technology realm to my library, and offer supports to community to help bridge that gap.

  • Load More