Librarians are often a curious bunch. I became a librarian because I love learning, books, and people (especially teenagers). The hyperlinked library model combines these loves in a wonderful way. The hyperlinked library model boils down to communication and curiosity. How can your library change to better serve your community? If we are open to change and to listen, we will often find that what unfolds not only will strengthen your library but can feel natural given time.
I couldn’t help but think of my own library while going through this module. When I started working in my public library seven years ago, I was the youngest staff member by decades. There was a mentality of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” among the older staff members. For years, I stared at a “No Cell Phones in the Library” sign in our entrance. I was frustrated that instead of utilizing the tiny computer almost everyone carries in their pockets, we were demonizing it. In the last two years my library has been met with a lot of growing pains, our director of 27 years retired as did 4 other staff members. We hired a new director less than a year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. All these things combined to create a perfect time to look at the structure of our library and begin to move into the future.
It is not controversial to say that I wish this pandemic never happened. Our library has been open and closed several times and is in a period of closure now. But the pandemic has forced my library and many others to look at how we serve our community and to create new ways to serve without patrons accessing the building. We have cultivated a library of things with items including bubble machines, telescopes, and hotspots. We have created tutorials to help our patrons lean how to utilize eBooks and eAudiobooks. We started using a shelf check app. I watched my new director tear down that “No Cell Phone” sign and I am delighted to see my library move towards a hyperlinked model with open minds and ears.