Libraries have continued to evolve into centers of community engagement and connection, providing both physical and digital spaces for communities to form, grow, and interact. The important thing to remember is that links can be formed in many ways. Some of those links are in physical spaces, some are emotional links, and some are literal hyperlinks. The key is that the library is facilitating the building of those links, in whatever form they take. As a result it will be vital for libraries to identify new and emerging ways that links are being formed by communities so that they can support those connections holistically and proactively.
I enjoyed Ciara Eastell’s reflection on the importance of library spaces in our current climate when she said that “Libraries are a safe and welcoming place in a world that’s increasingly divided”. Libraries really can become the ‘city on the hill’ that we all need to develop on a personal level as well as a community. What better solution to this divided culture could there be than fostering links between persons of disparate backgrounds and experiences?
Of course technology is also fundamental in how libraries are themselves becoming, and simultaneously encouraging the communites around them to become, hyperlinked. By utilizing every digital method available to them, libraries can reach a far wider audience, and maintain their relevancy in an increasingly online world. Continuing to employ every tool available will help libraries ingrain themselves in individual lives, community consciousnesses, and societal significance.