My name is Cristin Marie and I am so excited to be in this class! I work in Youth Services in a remote rural library in the middle of the southern California desert.
After living in the city for twenty years (and working outside of libraries), I moved to a small town. Living and working at a rural library has given me lots of time to think about how rural communities can participate in Library 2.0 and Hyperlinked spaces, and my hope is that this course will allow me to develop and enlarge my ideas, and possibly, initiate some changes where I work and beyond.
Over the last few years, I have become more passionate about connecting rural populations to digital resources (all resources, actually) and advocating for rural communities within the library field. Before I moved to rural area, I took a lot of things for granted: big grocery stores, nearby medical services, and fast internet speeds. One of the issues complicating the Library 2.0 initiative is that rural areas are only now getting Internet speeds that allow them to participate in these types of virtual communities (and we are still trying to catch up). For example, where I live there is no fiber lines, only cell tower feeds, and when the weather gets too cold or windy, the whole town can lose Internet (usually only a few hours by one time for over five days).
Since moving to a rural area, I also rely more on virtual communities (like the one we are creating in this course) to keep me connected to interesting people and ideas. Many of my friendships, by virtue of where I live, have to happen in the virtual realm more and more. I am very, very grateful for the ways in which the Internet allows for building connections for people like me who live in isolated areas. It’s beautiful here, but that beauty comes at the price of living a very different lifestyle than most people!