The Hyperlinked Library

The Hyperlinked Library (Updated)


Read the TTW White Paper “The Hyperlinked Library” here – or download the PDF here.

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

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.
The hyperlinked library is human. Communication, externally and internally, is in a human voice. The librarians speak to users via open, transparent conversation.
The hyperlinked library provides spaces and places for users to interact, to collaborate and to create content. In an age of digital tools such as video editing stations, podcast studios and multimedia PCs, this library is a place to have access to all manner of new and emerging technologies. To test drive. To make something.
The hyperlinked library has flattened the organizational chart, breaking down the layers of “permission” and “channels” to get things done, and looks for ways to streamline processes, procedures, and dreaded policies.
The hyperlinked library has a plan for succession management and knowledge transfer— wikis, blogs and other tools maintain the knowledgebase and the “history” of how the library works and what procedures have been successful. No one is the keeper of individual knowledge, so if that person departs the knowledge does not leave with them.
The hyperlinked library is simply the Read/Write library, where conversations, connections, and community are born – in the words of Ranganathan, it is still a “living organism.”
Library services and organizational models are changing with the onset of emerging philosophies, Web 2.0 tools and user perceptions of libraries. Users are responding by creating content and may want to do it with library data and in library space. How should the library respond? In this presentation, Michael Stephens explores a range of important questions for the evolving Hyperlinked Library:
  • What makes a library transparent?
  • What do nimble organizations do?
  • What does the Read/Write library look like?
  • What trends are impacting library services
  • How have libraries adopted a 2.0 philosophy?
  • As new technologies and services become available, how do we effectively plan in libraries?
  • How do we plan to optimize staff, money, and time?
  • How do we determine what’s important and what’s not?

About the Hyperlinked Library:

The seeds of this presentation were planted in Into a New World of Librarianship and the work of David Weinberger greatly influenced this thinking, as did many bibliobloggers, such as Jenny Levine, Karen Schneider, Michael Casey, and John Blyberg.

View a short video of themes from the model here:

The Hyperlinked School Library

The evolving Web is an open and social place. The Web has changed everything. Its impact on every facet of our lives — home, work and school — would be difficult to measure but the ‘always on, always available’ Internet is certainly a game changer. Can you recall the first time you realised that the Internet would change your job? Your school? Your students?

A special version of “The Hyperlinked Library” was created for the Dr Laurel Anne Clyde Memorial Keynote Address at the Australian School Library Association XXI Biennial Conference, held in Perth, Western Australia, from 29 September to 2 October 2009.

Links & Citations:

Information & Slide Downloads:

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The Hyperlinked Library by Michael Stephens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens