#hyperlib Symposium: What I learned this semester

The full moon rises behind people standing on the Edge, the outdoor observation deck in Manhattan, New York City, United States, on November 29, 2020. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images).

For this project, I wanted to try something that I had used, but had not yet used for this class. So I went with Canva. So much I wanted to include, but I thought the limited space would help me whittle down some of the key elements that learned this semester. Very fun project to do. I included the picture above because I thought it was just so beautiful.


Johnson County (KS) Library. (2020). Libraries Update. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEFspQiE-oA&fbclid=IwAR0wjNAM1jftWrp5bW93GVqlsARE3dTksuBgbzjvGUL-YBleFkOqPy1NFIk

Leferink, S. (2018). To keep people happy … keep some books. OCLC-NEXT. https://blog.oclc.org/next/to-keep-people-happy-keep-some-books/

Lego Foundation. (2016). What do we Mean by Learning Through Play?. https://www.legofoundation.com/media/1062/learningthroughplay_leaflet_june2017.pdf

Pewhairangi, S. (2016). Library as a Classroom for Library Staff. Finding Heroes. https://findingheroes.co.nz/2016/06/28/the-library-as-a-classroom-for-library-staff/

Peet, L. (2016). The future of futures | Designing the future. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=the-future-of-futures-designing-the-future

Stephens, M. (2017). Libraries in balance/Office hours. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=libraries-in-balance-office-hours

Stephens, M. (2020). (Web Lecture). Infinite Learning: Learning Everywhere. https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52

Director’s Brief: Meet the Patrons Where They are

We have been exposed to so many beautiful and innovative libraries though this course. When deciding on my Director’s Brief, I really wanted to highlight some of the libraries that I had seen globally, some of clever programs that they offer, how they are making a difference in their communities and how their examples might be utilized to a library here in the US. One of the many resources that found through my research was this brief (about 6 minutes) profile of how Calgary Central Library is providing inclusion opportunities for their indigenous community patrons.

Infinite Learning Model Reflection: Finding joy at the library

I have three children and they are all quite different creatures. No surprise. Watching them grow up and go through their various ages, they all approach learning very differently. My oldest is a visual artist. He uses his love of painting and math to study environmental engineering in college. My daughter uses her photography to explain and discover her world, in hopes to use her talents to bring light to the environmental strain on our oceans.

Recently I was going through some storage boxes and I found some old schoolwork from my kids when they were in elementary school. I found a “My Great Dream…” essay that my youngest (he will be 16 on the 26th of this month) had put together in second grade. On one page he outlines his future vocation…LEGOS!  He still builds with LEGOS to this day. The scale is bigger, more elaborate and complex, but using these tactile building blocks is how he learns. He hopes to be an engineer.

So now this must seem like a reflection on the love I have for my children (I’m a mother-I will always praise my kids) but what it brings home for me is they learn by following their joy. It shapes how they see the world, how they move through it and what they would like their world to become. As I was looking the different examples of infinite learning models one of the key themes that I kept coming across was joy and exploration by learning through play. Lauersen talks about Roskilde libraries initiative to instilling the “joy” or reading. Pewhairangi challenges that Teaching practices should find and share the joy…” in learning. On LEGO’s website they share that “Joy is at the heart of play – both enjoying a task for its own sake and the momentary thrill of surprise, insight, or success after overcoming challenges.”

In the lectures for this week, we are reminded that so much of what we learn and the way we learn are also literacies, just like reading (Stephens). Finding new ways to embrace and share our joy within our libraries, as librarians, as citizens of a global learning community. This idea that learning can happen anywhere and everywhere, that the library can be a focal point and a catalyst for a new wave of learning. Where everyone can learn, explore and find our joy…maybe even with LEGOs.


Lauersen, C. (2020). Learning, culture, community and diversity: New library strategy for Roskilde Libraries 2020, The Library Lab. https://christianlauersen.net/2020/06/23/learning-culture-community-and-diversity-new-library-strategy-for-roskilde-libraries-2020/

Lego Foundation. (2016). What do we Mean by Learning Through Play?. https://www.legofoundation.com/media/1062/learningthroughplay_leaflet_june2017.pdf

Pewhairangi, S. (2016). Library as a Classroom for Library Staff. Finding Heroes. https://findingheroes.co.nz/2016/06/28/the-library-as-a-classroom-for-library-staff/

Stephens, M. (2020). (Web Lecture). Infinite Learning: Learning Everywhere. https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52

Picture credits:

Painting: Adrian Hernandez

“My Great Dream: Rene Hernandez

BLM photo collage: Olivia Hernandez

New Models Reflection

In the extraordinary times we are living in, we are all doing a little reinvention. Recreating the ways in which we work, live, study. Libraries are recreating themselves as well. Libraries are now taking the lead and looking at the way they provide services to their communities. More importantly, many are looking to their patrons to assist in mapping this new territory of reinvention. The enthusiasm for the traditional library and its traditional services have been waning but with the ever perception that libraries are open and welcoming to everyone). But as Michael Stephens points out, as our society (and libraries along with it) evolve to a more technologically base model, we cannot decide for a community what it needs in the way of library services and technology. Libraries need to be having the conversation about what patrons how they would like to see their library spaces evolve to better contribute to their communities to help better their lives (Paxaman).

Creating space where communities may come together, create, learn and share is becoming more important in a society where equal communal space is at a premium. Libraries are in a unique position to provide this space and fulfill the needs of a community in this new digital age, especially for the most vulnerable, the elderly and poor (Agresta). Finding ways to bridge the needs of a community, from latest technology to basic needs is one of the emerging challenges that libraries face today. There are few places in communities today where anyone can gather, regardless of background, that is free, convenient and welcoming. Perhaps, this is where libraries can make their mark (Lipsey). An egalitarian space.

There is nothing to suggest that this transformation will be quick or easy or simple. Sometimes there will be quick fixes that can make progress in the face of a never-ending stream of new advances. Like simplifying library loan procedures or providing parking or curbside services for patrons with special needs. Behind any good change has to be human-centered design (Peet, 2016). Speaking to the patrons about what their preferences and needs are enable the whole community to a part of the story (Witteveen). One writer reminds us that libraries will only survive if the communities they serve want and need them to…(Agresta). This is a time for reinvention. For libraries, their survival will depend on a spirit of collaboration, not insistence. Libraries, by working with the community it serves, to understand its place in this world and not by telling them what they need.


Agresta, M. (2014). What will become of the library? How it will evolve as the world goes digital. Slate. https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/04/the-future-of-the-library-how-theyll-evolve-for-the-digital-age.html

Lipsey, R. (2017). 100 Great Ideas for the Future of Libraries — A New Paradigm for Civic Engagement. Huffpost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/100-great-ideas-for-the-for-the-future-of-libraries_b_6551440

Paxaman, M. (2019). Challenged but not dying, the public libraries are more relevant than ever. Jutland Station. http://www.jutlandstation.dk/challenged-but-not-dying-the-public-libraries-are-more-relevant-than-ever/?fbclid=IwAR1g1o4r9XqHTuu8IuGOIWQcGW_EC40ID99C4OYkDxF3xuMiDoWhnpG8Spw

Peet, L. (2016). The future of futures | Designing the future. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=the-future-of-futures-designing-the-future

Witteveen, A. (2016). The future of communities | Designing the future. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=the-future-of-communities-designing-the-future

Picture credit: from Flickr

Reinvention sign- by Underway In Ireland

Bowie – by Helen Orozco

Emerging Technology Planning: Idyllwild Library Senior/Homebound Assist Program


Libraries are in an advantageous position to access and provide services to their communities. Through in branch and outreach programs, libraries can provide value well beyond their stacks. Many small rural communities are hindered by access to necessities. This often affect those who are homebound due to age or infirmity. In my small rural community, there are several resources for people who need food, clothing and utilities but finding ways to limit the isolation that homebound citizens may face is more of a challenge. Offering ways to get services like books, readers and access to web-based applications could provide these patrons a window to the world that they are missing in their current situation.


Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

  • To engage the Friends of the Idyllwild Library (through the County of Riverside) with the guidance of the library itself to provide books, tablets (such as e-readers) for elderly and homebound residents of the community
  • Provide patrons home delivery for the books and e-readers
  • Tech support e-readers supported by teen volunteers
  • Tutorials for e-readers and web applications supported by library staff and teen volunteers
  • Assistance with engaging local cable/Wi-Fi support as needed

Description of Community you wish to engage:

Elderly and homebound library patrons of the Idyllwild/Pine Cove area.

Action Brief Statement:

Staff and volunteers:

Convince the for the Idyllwild Librarian, teen volunteers and the Friends of the Idyllwild Library that by providing tablets and delivery service for the library they will sponsor a much-needed outreach to homebound residents which will allow the residents to feel more connected to the library community because current circumstances and the nature of our rural make for more isolation to our elderly and homebound population.


Convince patrons that by having access to this new program they will broaden their access to library resources and vital virtual information which will enable them to more fully participate in their community because their needs are valued within the library community and the community as a whole.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:

Librarian will be responsible for setting policies, in conjunction with the County of Riverside library guidelines. Ultimately, individual librarians are responsible for the programs within their own libraries. The librarian will be responsible for the implementation and administration of the program. Other stakeholders, such as the board of the Friends of the Library and the teen volunteers, input will be needed for a fully comprehensive and successful program. Friends will be responsible for setting the delivery schedule with library staff. Teen volunteers input will be used to design and plan an initial schedule for tutorial/Q &A timeslots and, if time allows, “cheat sheets” for easy set up and use of devices and to allow for initial trouble shooting.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

The Idyllwild Library has an involved and highly successful volunteer group, The Friends of the Idyllwild Library. When the library moved to a new location in 2011, the Friends were instrumental in not only assisting with the move, but also with continuing on their long tradition of providing financial assistance to the library through their many fundraising opportunities including their re-sale book store, which is housed in the Idyllwild Library. Utilizing the Friends to assist both financially and for the volunteer portion of the delivery for this program would create a stable and sustainable program for the patrons in need in this community. Teen volunteers will make up the additional volunteer tech support staff.

There are also several foundations that provide funding for programs and services that benefit seniors as well as grants that encourage youth to participate in computer education to seniors.

California State Library. (n.d.) Library services and technology act. https://www.library.ca.gov/grants/library-services-technology-act/

Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLSfunded programs and services for older adults. https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/older_adults_imls_funded_projects_and_services_14apr2014.pdf

Action Steps & Timeline

Once the library staff and volunteers have established their project team members and have agreed to a full description of the project guidelines (3-4 weeks), the approximate guideline will be as follows:

  • Marketing roll out to local media/social media will begin immediately (Winter 2020) and last through the first 3 months of the program.
  • Ordering of tablets 3-4 (with the possible addition of more depending on the need), 6-8 weeks.
  • Team leads would be chosen within the stakeholders (library staff primary lead, Friends/Teen volunteers). Training program and protocols will be developed for the program.
  • Training of library and volunteer staff provided by team leaders, twice per week for 3-4 weeks planned for February 2021.
  • Initial roll out of the program to begin March 2021.
  • Evaluation of program throughout for the first 6 months.
  • Monthly meetings to assess any specific needs or adjustment to the program with library staff and volunteers.
  • Full assessment of the program’s progress in September 2021. Determine if the program is of benefit if additional adjustments need to be made or if the project can be expanded.  

Note: Due to issues with inclement weather and rural road conditions, this program may need to be pushed back 1-2 months.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

While library staff will be responsible for the books and tablets themselves (check out through the library), the home delivery of the items will be provided through the Friends of the Idyllwild Library volunteers, student volunteers will take on the individual tech support and tutorial process. The bulk of the additional time required by the program will be fulfilled by volunteer staffing, but initially, the library staff will be required to ensure that the program operates within library guidelines.

Training for this Technology or Service:

Building on what the County of Riverside already has in place for its e-book training, the program would provide.

Riverside County e-book training


Primary training would be established between the team leads (library staff, volunteers) to prior to training. This would include process for the check out of books and arranging for delivery, any training that would be needed, FAQ for set up of e-books and or the service, and timeline for reevaluation of FAQ or updating of the service needs. This would also include knowledge to make needs-based referrals and how to assist with helping a patron set up Wi-Fi for service within their home.



Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service: 

Promotion for this service would fall primarily on the library’s social media presence, local social media notice boards for the area and they can be continually updated as timeline adjust. Since this service is specifically for those without access to outside electronic data, there will be postings in the local paper as well as the library will implement a bookmark campaign to make sure the word is getting out to those who may need it most. Additional postings in local church and religious board notice flyers/websites may also be utilized.  


Evaluation of the program will be conducted throughout using a combination of paper and online form surveys. Requesting a survey from every patron who utilizes the service or who is a caretaker for a user will assist in making timely adjustments to the program and see where essential elements of the program are going smoothly or need help.

Future expansion:

Ultimately, this program will be initiated on those who do not have access or mobility to enjoy the benefits of the physical library space. While many elderly today are not always that tech savvy, the baby boomer generation is more so than the generation before them. In order to keep a service like this relevant and interesting, other program (either training or tutorial) may be designed and implemented with more computer literate users in mind. YouTube tutorials for expanded services and “how to” videos for the e-readers or other tech related topics could be developed. I could be a wonderful way to keep both older and teen patrons engaged in the library while offering real value to the community as a whole.

Zeman, M. (2014). Baby boomers aren’t called “seniors” anymore-next level programing for older adults. Public Libraries Online. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2014/10/baby-boomers-arent-called-seniors-anymore-next-level-programming-for-older-adults/

Marcotte, A. (2019). Tech trends: Library tech leaders recommend their favorite tips and tools. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/03/01/tech-trends-libraries/


American Libraries. (2016). An aging population reshapes library services. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/05/31/aging-population-reshapes-library-services/

American Library Association. (2014). Aging Advances. http://www.ala.org/tools/future/trends/aging. Document ID: bccd262c-bc67-ecf4-556c-10fa98012046

American Library Association. (2010). The Challenges and Opportunities of Serving America’s Elders. http://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/olos/olosprograms/jeanecoleman/index2. Document ID: 64263c61-8fdd-9184-dd95-f4a2db68d212

California State Library. (n.d.) Library services and technology act. https://www.library.ca.gov/grants/library-services-technology-act/

Fields, J. (2019). We are leaving older adults out of the digital world. Techcrunch. https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/05/we-are-leaving-older-adults-out-of-the-digital-world/?guccounter=1

Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLSfunded programs and services for older adults. https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/older_adults_imls_funded_projects_and_services_14apr2014.pdf

Marcotte, A. (2019). Tech trends: Library tech leaders recommend their favorite tips and tools. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/03/01/tech-trends-libraries/

Pew Research Center. (2017). Rise in portion of adults turning to mobile devices for news. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/12/growth-in-mobile-news-use-driven-by-older-adults/ft_17-06-07_mobilenews_rise/

Riverside County Libraries – Audio and ebooks


Riverside County e-book access


Riverside County e-book training


Seifert, A., Cotton, S., Xie, B. (2020) A Double Burden of Exclusion? Digital and Social Exclusion of Older Adults in Times of COVID-19. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, gbaa098. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa098

Stephens, M. (2015).Serving users when and where they are: Hyperlinked libraries.https://tametheweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Stephens_ServingtheUser_HyperlinkedLibraries.pdf

Zeman, M. (2014). Baby boomers aren’t called “seniors” anymore-next level programing for older adults. Public Libraries Online. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2014/10/baby-boomers-arent-called-seniors-anymore-next-level-programming-for-older-adults/

Picture & embed credits

Public Library: Flicker, by Daniel Mennerich

Couple: Flicker, by ferratum creative

Teen and Grandfather: Flicker, by homecaregiverstore.com

Florida Library Webinars.org Podcast: https://youtu.be/Bu89Tx-7JHY

Libraries in a Changing World: Libraries in the time of COVID (Environments Reflection)

Not to be confused with Love in the Time of Cholera, this time of pandemic that we are navigating is not so romantic and new for all of us. While it is new to us, it is not unprecedented. I was listening to an interview with Simon Sinek and he said that it was making him crazy how people kept saying in “our uncertain times…” because this is not unique (Asprey, 2020). Pandemics have hit often over human history. It is just new to many of us in our lifetimes. We are having to come to terms with a new normal. As I was reading some of the articles about how libraries are changing in the age of COVID, what I was struck most by was the creativity and flexibility in which libraries are continuing to serve their communities with compassion and humor.

Some of the more collaborative examples included DC libraries that continue to make their printing services available for patrons. So important in the current unemployment climate and especially crucial for those seeing public, state or federal services. The Seattle libraries keeping much needed handwashing and hygiene stations open for the homeless populations (Wilburn, 2020).

Outside the US many countries have become highly creative in their efforts to provide excellent service in a limited physical space. Ulsan Metropolitan City Library in South Korea has created an after-hours locker pick-up outreach to be able to get materials to their patrons who are not available during regular set hours. The Shanghai Public Library set their service to coordinate with the library’s WeChat account to reserve a time to borrow materials. The Bremen Public Library in Germany has joined with a local theater company to build plexiglass protected workspaces for staff. This allows for the library to pay for the cost of the materials only while the theater puts up the labor portion of the process. A collaboration that works for both compromised organizations and allows them to continue providing services and value to their community (Bibliotheca, 2020). 

Perhaps my favorite profile of so many creative library systems was that of the Johnson County Library. In their Library Update (2020), they made sure that their patrons knew that they are still there for them and all the ways that they could still utilize library service. They also did not let the fact that they may not be open for normal operations stop or limit the way in which they contribute to their community. From traditional library services like reference desk and story times, they worked to stay connected. Creating online workshops, reading programs and using the makerspaces to created masks and face shields for front line workers showed their commitment to Johnson County. They even had some workers delivering for Meals on Wheels to address the needs of homebound residents.

In a time of unrest, division and strife, on so many levels, seeing libraries working so hard to create and continue to find ways to serve in their communities is inspiring. Yes, there are stories too of libraries having to tackle obstacles like patrons not wanting to comply with health regulations, endless book returns, not enough staffing and new health protocols that have resulted in scaling back of services or closing of library doors outright (Kenney, 2020). The digital divide has been made even more apparent with the closing of library doors, which for many is the only way to gain internet access. But I prefer to see this transition as a time of hope, compassion and innovation. The new and creative ways that libraries are leading communities to rethink about how to better serve each other will continue well into “normal” times. I hope.


Asprey, D. (2020) (Podcast) These are not uncertain times: Ways to pivot, lead and thrive. https://blog.daveasprey.com/simon-sinek-740/

Bibliotheca. (2020). Libraries around the world prepare for a new normal.

García Márquez, Grossman, & Grossman, Edith. (1988). Love in the time of cholera (1st American ed.). Alfred A. Knopf.

Johnson County (KS) Library. (2020). Libraries Update. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEFspQiE-oA&fbclid=IwAR0wjNAM1jftWrp5bW93GVqlsARE3dTksuBgbzjvGUL-YBleFkOqPy1NFIk

Kenney, B. (2020).   The library is open (sort of…).


Wilburn, T. (2020). Libraries are dealing with new demand for books and services during the pandemic. https://www.npr.org/2020/06/16/877651001/libraries-are-dealing-with-new-demand-for-books-and-services-during-the-pandemic

Picture credit:

Picture 1: From: https://ideas.demco.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/how_libraries_adapting_to_covid-1024×683.jpg

Picture 2: From: The library of the University of Leuven, Belgium from https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2016/11/10/how-wrong-is-greta-van-susteren-about-libraries/

Picture 3: From: Miller Branch of the Howard County Library System. https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/cng-ho-libraries-coronavirus-20200601-rgif5a3jvrdctc6zm7bdnj2jkq-story.html

Hyperlinked Communities Reflection

Description from the Oak Park Public Library Calendar

So much of this week’s readings spoke to me. So much of it honest and heartwarming. Oak Park Public Library’s Idea Box (Michael also featured this in his lecture) and the wonderful programing that they are still providing in these challenging times. In looking through their calendar, they have a wonderful program called Virtual Living History Project. This project, facilitated by social justice and human rights activist Billy Brooks, “seeks to provide a space to help cultivate social and critical thinking skills, develop research skills, and gain public speaking experience.” This is a group led by youth for youth. I love this idea that young adults are taking the reins and leading each other through conversations and community presentations about some of the difficulties and challenges we are facing today through respectful dialogue. And that they are continuing to do it virtually in the new landscape of COVID.

Continuing in this vein of creating communities through dialogue and inclusion, Jennifer Dixon’s story, Convening Community Conversation/Programing had so many beautiful examples of what libraries are doing to create and fuel discussions and understanding within their communities. Creating dedicated spaces to explore these conversations, some of my favorites were Nashville Public Library (NPL) Civil Rights Room, Columbus Public Library (CPL) “root for Columbus” tree and the Austin Public Library (APL film screenings to support and initiate meaningful conversation. The APL program reminded me of what Michael Casey and Gwinnett County PL are doing currently. Carrie Smith’s story for American Libraries about Madison Public Library (MPL), Library Takeover project. Who would have thought that this kind of constructive and intentional outsourcing could work so well for the represented groups, the library and the community as a whole?

Perhaps the article that spoke to me most was Christian Lauersen’s keynote speech at the UX in Library conferences. What a powerfully conversation about diversity, inclusion and their distinct definitions. Having the ability to have these discussions and look honestly at our own biases (we all have them) to address the social inequities in our world for the purpose of creating a kinder, more just community is essential to our continuing existence as a society. Lauersen’s example of using the Implicit Association Test (https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/) as an example of his own hidden biases was interesting (I took the test as well). Some of his examples of communities that were making great strides in area of bridging bias gaps were wonderful as well. The Human Library (https://humanlibrary.org/) is nothing short of awesome and a wonderful illustration of Lauersen’s call to action to combat bias in all forms. He stated in his address “I do believe that inclusive communities is crucial for creating a better world but…is it not enough to believe, inclusion demands action, awareness, responsibility.”

I loved so many of the articles and stories this week, it was hard to pick a few examples. To quote Michael in his article from Library Journal, speaking of our library patrons, “…we should consider our users through a lens of compassion and empathy.” I think this is excellent advice for all human interactions as we continue to navigate our ambiguous and changing world. Community, belonging, safe, inclusion, understanding, dialogue…these are all words that I saw in the readings over and over again that demonstrate a beautiful movement to further understanding of one another and our world. Great and small.


Oak Park Public Library. (n.d.). Idea Box. https://oppl.org/use-your-library/idea-box/

Dixon, J. A. (2017) Convening community conversations/programing. Library Journal.  https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=convening-community-conversations-programming#_

Lauersen, C. (2018). Do you want to dance? Inclusion and belonging in libraries and beyond. The Library Lab. https://christianlauersen.net/2018/06/07/inclusion-and-belonging-in-libraries-and-beyond/

Smith, C. (2017). Madison’s library takeover: Blending outreach with adult programing to increase community investment. American Libraries.https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/madisons-library-takeover/?utm_content=buffer8a08c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Stephens, M. (2017). Libraries in balance/Office hours. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=libraries-in-balance-office-hours

Biblio TECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey

In the age of digital technology, do we still need physical library spaces? The answer from author John Palfrey is a resounding yes! In his book, Biblio TECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google, Palfrey explores what the digital age means for the brick and mortar library, how this evolution to a virtual space may proceed and what the outcomes should be from this marriage between analog to digital mediums.

Palfrey outlines his case for libraries using individual aspects of the argument why libraries should still mater in a technological age, discussing first the issues facing modern libraries. The cost of physical space, the lack of funding resources and now having to provide digital resources has libraries scrambling to find a happy medium to both meet the needs of their patrons while competing with digital handheld devices that are ever present. Where is the value to be found in a public service that can be duplicated on an iPhone? This is the question Palfrey endeavors to answer.

Each chapter, Palfrey tackles a different aspect of the digital impact on libraries. From the library space to the platforms and networks serving libraries, the future of preservation in a digital space, the law and copyright, education and the library patrons themselves, Palfrey explores the challenges facing contemporary libraries and offers insight into the potential solutions. Palfrey also offers a relevant historical perspective to assist in understanding the many complex points he makes from the Library of Alexandria (Palfrey, p. 24) to the initiation of “first sale doctrine” (Palfrey, p. 185); their relevance to current library processes and how libraries and library policies need to evolve to be effective in the 21st century.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

In his conclusion, Palfrey qualifies his overview and suggestions on library evolution with detailed steps for how he thinks libraries, and all stakeholders, can effectively move forward. Included in these steps are recommendations for digital focus, adaptation of physical space and transitional and ongoing funding of libraries and programs. Palfrey also speaks liberally about the need for ongoing collaboration during this “process of reinvention” (Palfrey, p. 127). Collaboration between library staffs, for-profit partners and governmental or public stakeholders is a great focus in this work, particularly in the area of preservation where it will be up to not only libraries but publisher, federal and local agencies and universities to pave the way to finding consistent and innovative ways to preserve both the materials of the past while allowing for the new formats of materials of the future.

An overriding theme of this book is that of restraint and broad participation in this process of evolution. While there are many changes that face today’s libraries, moving too fast could complicate existing problems as well as create new ones. Primarily in the areas of preservation and operational technologies within libraries. As libraries scramble to advance and keep up with the ever-changing technology scene, it is important to recognize that these technologies change rapidly and often without future adaptability. Taking the time to collaborate with other libraries and stakeholder, including the library patrons, entities ensure that not only that items are chose appropriately for preservation, preserve in such a way that the medium chose will not become quickly obsolete and programs and services will continue to provide for the communities they serve.

Personally, I enjoyed reading this book. Libraries and the people that support them have a lot of work to do. Libraries need to be more creative in their solutions for both overall networks, programs and funding. Lots of funding, from both private and governmental entities to be made current and avoid obsolescence. I do not come from a library background but I found that Palfrey’s combination of contemporary outlining of issues while providing brief historical relevance to the topic, allowed for an easy to read yet thorough overview of what libraries and archives face today. Mostly, I found this book hopeful. In his conclusion, Palfrey states: “A library’s functions may be different in nature than they once were, but the core elements of the library mission from past centuries, providing broad access and consistent preservation, remain deeply important today.” (Palfrey, p. 224). I think that this offers a promising outlook for my future in libraries and this book speaks well of librarian to adapt and evolve with the challenges ahead.


Palfrey, J. (2015). BiblioTech: Why libraries matter more than ever in the age of google. Basic Books.

For this project, I did a little bit of research on John Palfrey. He is a Harvard trained law professor, former head of school for Phillips Academy in Andover, MA and currently serves as the President of MacArthur Foundation who’s mission is to support “creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world” (https://www.macfound.org/). Palfrey is also a founding chairman for the Digital Public Library of America (https://dp.la/) which works with “organizations throughout the country that provide digital materials for the public and services to other libraries an are seeking to digitize their holding and make them broadly available.” (Palfrey, 2015, p. 98).

The Hyperlinked Library Model Reflection

These last few months have been a remarkably interesting time in our human history. As I took classes in both Spring and Summer, my perspective of what our world will look like and how we will navigate it has changed drastically. And it continues to evolve just about daily. What I have pulled from our readings and videos this week is part of this evolution. An evolution that may now be accelerated due to the pandemic. So many of us have now had to work, school and live in our homes so much more than ever before. I can only speculate on the impact that it will have libraries in the future.

One of the many take-away’s that I read was that of is that of the library as a place and also being limitless. Additionally, the idea of libraries being spaces not just being a location (physical or virtual) but also as a place where people gather, connect and grow. Saskia Leferink (2018) stated that “Although we live in a technology-driven, digital world, physical space remains core to the human experience. People long for community and places to go for solace, comfort, reflection, and joy.” I have always thought of the library as a community as well as serving, sometimes many, communities.

I do not currently work in a library, although, many of you do. What I appreciate about all of the information provided through this course, blogs and other video communications is that we are all so similar and are working through the same issues through our work spaces. Having just left a job where the immediate communication and decision making was very collaborative, but overall structure of the organization very rigid and hierarchical. I understand the value of cooperative management and I can see how it can be beneficial in libraries to include all stakeholders in the conversation about its development. As I listened to the “social time” video and heard the now common stories of my fellow students, it is clear that there will be a drastic upheaval of what we know and how we go about our daily lives. To take the approach of embracing changes as they come and to know that with every change that comes, the constancy that libraries are will still be with us. Finding balance of the physical space, while still embracing the future (and present) of innovation is an exciting time to be in libraries.


Leferink, S. (2018). To keep people happy … keep some books. OCLC-NEXT. https://blog.oclc.org/next/to-keep-people-happy-keep-some-books/

INFO 287 Hyperlinked Library- Introduction

Kim Hamilton Mueller

Greetings everyone! I am Kim and this will (hopefully) be my last year here at SJSU. I live in Idyllwild, California in the beautiful San Bernardino mountains with my husband, three kids (20, 18, 15), two dogs and one cat.  All are home due to COVID and while it has been a little crazy with everyone home working and schooling, I am grateful for the time with my family. Especially my oldest who goes to school in Rhode Island and my middle who will be starting at UC Davis in September. Until June, I worked for a boarding arts high school in development (fundraising). It is my goal to work in a public library setting in youth services.

My family at Lunar New Year

Four-legged children

I am really looking forward to this class as I hope that I will be able to build new skills that I can use in a future position. It has been a while since I have blogged, so I am really looking forward to brushing up this skill set and focusing on the future of libraries and their hyperlinked potential.

It is going to be a great semester and I look forward to getting to know all of you better.

Tahquitz Rock