When I signed up for this class, I thought I understood what the content would be. Like I’m sure many others did, I inferred that based on the title, “The Hyperlinked Library,” that it would focus on library services via a virtual model. But this class was about so much more than that. In fact, if I were to describe this class to colleagues or my students, while I would include it, technology wouldn’t be in the top three descriptors I would use. When preparing my symposium assignment, I decided to veer away from my comfort zone of the written word and experiment with a more visual medium. I chose to create an infographic that described the ingredients—baker that I am—of the #hyperlib as a way to explain it to others. In reviewing my blog entries, the course readings, and the work of my peers, I chose the top five components that distinguish the hyperlinked library from other virtual models: connection, curiosity, joy, reflection, and heart. I wrote one-sentence definitions and chose visual elements that embodied each aspect.
In looking back on this semester, I feel like I have learned so much about how to use the hyperlinked library model as a teacher librarian. With this being my last semester in the MLIS program, my last class of the program, and this post the last assignment I will complete as part of my studies, I can’t help but be a little sad at the thought of being done. One of my former professors from my English program warned me that completing a graduate program was the process of becoming a new person, and that I should only undertake it if I was ready to change into someone different from who I was. That it would be hard, that I would doubt myself, and that there would be times when I wished I had made a different choice. And while it was hard, and I did doubt myself, at no point have I wished that I chose differently. I will say that I am a different person, though, from who I was when I started. This process has helped me to become a more authentic version of myself—more closely aligned with my child-self who loved nothing more than to lose myself in the library for hours on end. And while I am sad at the thought of my formal studies being over, I am excited at the prospect of being able to share what I have learned with my students: to model for them what it means to follow one’s dreams, to help them become the best versions of themselves, and in turn for them to leave their mark on the world, too.