The Hyperlinked Library–Emerging Trends, Emerging Tech – Updated for Fall 2012

Course Overview

“The new tools provide powerful options for working with data, text, sound, and images. …. There is, predictably, an increasing departure in information handling from the simple pattern of read, think, then write. Computers are used for so much more than the traditional notion of “computing.’”

–Michael Buckland, Redesigning Library Services, 1992

What emerging trends are changing library services? What does a connected world of “continuous computing” mean for 21st Century libraries. This course provides a roadmap toward becoming theHyperlinked Library: transparent, participatory, playful, user-centered and human, while still grounded in our foundations and values.

Library scholars have noted the ongoing impact of technology on libraries and have called for a redesign of services to meet the evolving needs of users. Virtual communities have thrived online since the early 1980s. New media and social sites are part of the next incarnation of the World Wide Web, where digital tools allow users to create, change, and publish dynamic content of all kinds.  The evolving Web and related emerging technologies are signifiers of a broader cultural shift: toward an open, collaborative and participatory society. This course examines emerging technologies within a framework of participatory, hyperlinked library service: a model of creating, extending, updating and evaluating libraries via a user-centered approach.

The Hyperlinked Library is an open, participatory institution that welcomes user input and creativity. It is built on human connections and conversations. The organizational chart is flatter and team-based. The collections grow and thrive via user and staff involvement. Librarians are tapped in to user spaces and places online to interact, have presence and point the way.

Casey & Savastinuk describe the participatory service model: “It is a model for library service that encourages constant and purposeful change, inviting user participation in the creation of both the physical and the virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating services. It also attempts to reach new users and better serve current ones through improved customer-driven offerings.”

This course will examine various theories of library service, the advent of social networking tools, the creation of online collaboration and communities via those tools and their adoption by libraries as well as the rise of Library 2.0 thinking, a service philosophy born out of discussions of Web 2.0 and participatory library services. Students will experience an immersive learning environment via a wide range of tools. We will discuss the definition of participatory service, explore some key trends that impact the model, and examine what this shift means for libraries and information work in the 21stCentury.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200 required. Other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Course Requirements


  • All assignments support Learning Outcome #1 in addition to other SLOs.
  • Context BookStudents will read one book selected from a list provided, and write a 500 word reflection or create a media-based presentation relating the topic and focus of the book to libraries, technology and participatory service. 20 points
  • Reflection BloggingTen 200 word minimum blog posts will serve as a reflection journal for the modules include in our course content. 20 points
  • Emerging Technology/Social Media Plan:  A clearly articulated policy for the use of emerging technologies/social media within a library or information environment can guide the development of participatory services. Students will draft a sample emerging technology/social media plan for the library or environment of their choice. 20 points
  • Director’s BriefStudents will draft a “director’s brief” highlighting and exploring an emerging technology in libraries with emphasis on origins, terminologies and uses in libraries or information environments.  20 points
  • Participation & Seminar EngagementStudents will interact weekly via the course learning community, various social tools as directed, and via optional online meetings. Students will be actively reading and commenting on others’ blog posts. Students will share their work via blogs and other media in a virtual symposium held in the last two weeks of class.  A final reflection post will allow students to self-evaluate their participation and engagement. 20 points

Course Calendar
Dates subject to change 

  • Week 1 – Course Introduction & Foundational Reading
  • Week 2 – Foundational Reading Continued
  • Week 3 – The Hyperlinked Library Model
  • Week 4 – Participatory Service
  • Week 5 – Reaching All Users
  • Week 6 – Transparency
  • Week 7 – Planning for Emerging Technologies 1
  • Week 8 – Planning for Emerging Technologies 2
  • Week 9 – User Experience
  • Week 10 – Learning & New Literacies
  • Week 11 – Mobile & Geo-Social Information Environments
  • Week 12 – The Commons & Digital Curation
  • Week 13 – Reflective Practice & Participatory Service
  • Week 14 – Virtual Symposium (asyncronous)
  • Week 15 – Course Reflections & Wrap Up

Course Grading
Grading will be based on 100 possible points. More information to come as assignments are finalized.

  • Late assignments will lose 10% of point value per day late.
  • If life circumstances require students to request an extension, please do so several days before the assignment is due.

Textbooks and Readings

Foundational readings inlude:

  • Buckland, Michael. Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto at
  • Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0 : a Guide to Participatory Library Service.
  • Lankes, R. D., Silverstein, J., & Nicholson, S. (January 01, 2007). Participatory Networks: The Library As Conversation. Information Technology and Libraries, 26,4, 17. (avaliable online)

Each student will read a recent book related to course content and report on it. A list will be provided.

Readings for each course concept will be  posted on the course site. Students are encouraged to share articles, blog posts and sites they find with the class via their blogs.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200Other prerequisites may be added depending on content.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles, concepts, and ideas of participatory library service.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of emerging technologies and how they relate to information services and environments.
  3. Articulate a planning strategy for services built within the framework of the participatory service model.
  4. Synthesize current thinking about cultural and technological change within a framework of libraries and information work.
  5. Articulate and synthesize current use of and an overview of an emerging technology in the form of a report intended for current awareness and planning.
  6. Use various online tools to experience, discuss, and evaluate course concepts as they relate to library services.

Core Competencies

LIBR 287 supports the following core competencies:

  • C Recognize and describe cultural and economic diversity in the clientele of libraries or information organizations.
  • F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  • H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.

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