One thing that has really been hammered into me over the last couple of lectures is the idea that hyperlinks are people too. The idea of a hyperlinked library or a hyperlinked community is to bring people together, start conversations, and to form ways for your users to connect with each other and with the library.
I chose this infographic because it tells a story of what the hyperlinked library is trying to do. It does this by giving us examples of libraries around the world who are connecting people to each other in different ways. Its simple really, this infographic is showing unusual things that the library has or can check out to patrons. My favorite, the one that I think illustrates this idea of a hyperlinked community the best is people. It says in Denmark, patrons can “check out a person” to talk with. This is their way to combat stereotyping, which it can do, however what it really does is connect people who would not normally be connected. People can essential go to the library to find someone to share stories with, they can learn about other people, connect with a person they normal wouldn’t have access to. They are creating a small community of people who love to learn about other people and share stories about themselves and their cultures. It is a beautiful concept that has now spread to other countries as well.
Some of the ways we have tried to connect our community here at Palmer College of Chiropractic West Campus library (by we I mean my two person library team) is by establishing a quarterly Midterm Study Jam. We partner with student services to bring in as many tutors as we can during a 4 hour period in the library. This allows students to come into the library and ask tutors questions all at once, we encourage the students to work in groups and ask as many questions as they would like. This has increased the amount of students coming into the library for study help, on a normal day we have at most about 25 students in the library at any given time just studying independently or in groups. During our last Midterm Study Jam, we had over 70 students come into the library and seek help from our 14 available tutors. This gave students an opportunity to connect with each other over their study struggles and study habits. We are working on also implanting a similar event for finals, knowing tutors are a helpful resource that should be advertised better to the student population. I know these numbers sound small, but we only have about 350 students enrolled here at Palmer at a time, some of which are working as an intern in our clinic or in chiropractic practices around the city.
Thinking about hyperlinked communities and the hyperlinked library has really helped me to figure out how to better serve my current community. Whether it be by create easy access pages for students to find electronic copies of their textbooks faster (copy of sheet below), or creating a library Instagram in order to keep students updated on new books, changes in library hours, and updates on library events and activities, or working on a mental health book display to go along with out suicide prevention workshop we are offering during Mental Health Awareness Month. Thinking about the smaller communities inside the larger community of Palmer students and alumni has changed the way that we try and run our library.