Reflection: Hyperlinked Communities & History

Photo from E. Mcgraw article, “Horse-Riding librarians were the Great Depression’s bookmobiles

A lot of what I have done for the first part of my week for school has revolved around doing the reading for “Module 5: Hyperlinked Community” and starting to do research for my final research paper topic for my “INFO285-Historical Research Methods” class. My tentative topic is The WPA Pack Horse Library Project which took place during the Great Depression. The Pack Horse Library Project was started to give access to books to people living in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky. Most of these places were only reachable by horseback and so this program began to connect this isolated community to the rest of the world and each other (Pack Horse Library Project, 2024)!

Scrapbook with recipes
Photo from J. Vance Article “Librarians as authors, editors, and self-publishers: The information culture of the Kentucky Pack Horse Library scrapbooks”

The librarians would bring books, but they also created scrapbooks that included things like sewing patterns and recipes. The items for these scrapbooks would sometimes be contributed by members of the community or from findings by the librarian. People would then check these scrapbooks out. This was just a small portion of what the Pack Horse Librarian did (Vance, 2012).

The reason I brought this up was the connection I could see between this time in history and what is being delved into by this class. The Pack Horse Librarian was creating her own “Hyperlinked Community.” Before technology, communities found alternate ways to connect and interact. Throughout history, the library and the librarian have adapted to their communities needs and gave connection to people that might not have had it otherwise. That is a pretty amazing thing…



McGraw, E. (2017, June 21). Horse-Riding librarians were the Great Depression’s bookmobiles. Smithsonian Magazine.

Pack Horse Library Project. (2024, January 12). Wikipedia. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from

Vance, J. (2012). Librarians as authors, editors, and self-publishers: The information culture of the Kentucky Pack Horse Library scrapbooks (1936–1943). Library & Information History, 28(4), 289–308.

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