Introduction to the Hyperlinked Library

Dr. Michael Stevens, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University, is an advocate and educator of what he refers to as the Hyperlinked Library.

Stevens explains that libraries have always served the core values of what he promotes as integral aspects of the library’s place within the community. Simply put, he states that “…the library is (and always has been) in the business of helping others make sense of the world.”

Yet, Stevens argues that hyperlinked libraries are what libraries must become if they are to avoid becoming anachronisms of the twenty-first century. Hyperlinked libraries make use of technology in order to fit in with today’s world. Hyperlinked libraries make learning ubiquitous, participatory, creative, collaborative, and connected.

In a 2012 lecture, The Transformative Power of Hyperlinked Libraries, Stevens shares some trend-spotting efforts that reveal some examples of libraries that are using technology to transform their communities into participatory, creative, collaborative, and connected ones. This lecture can be found at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGBxYF55zV4 .  Some exciting examples of hyperlinked public libraries that are mentioned include

  •  Fountaindale Public Library, Bollinbrook, Illinois, which has added 6 sound recording studios, a video recording studio, and a space reserved for group collaboration. Their site can be found at http://www.fountaindale.org/ .
  • Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Illinois, which has a digital media lab where patrons can record small videos of knowledge they wish to share. One patron, for example, did a video about beekeeping, another about quilt making. The SPL site can be found at http://www.skokielibrary.info/ .
  • Chicago Library’s Youmedia, which is a 5,500-square-foot space devoted to encouraging teens to become creative producers of digital output. You can read more about this service at http://youmediachicago.org/10-philosophy/pages/56-philosophy .

You can read much more about what Dr. Stevens has to teach us by visiting his blog at http://tametheweb.com . It is well worth the trip.

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