the Human Link

Technology is useless without people making the vital connections between the pieces of information. By definition, the hyperlinked library requires Internet access as an integral component. As I was thinking about the ways in which technology is used in libraries and the realistic belief that we are moving “forward into an unknown future (Stephens, 2010),” I realized that I was thinking about the future almost exclusively in terms of technological change.  This caused me to sit back and think about what we are doing with the technology. It keeps coming back to the fact that people are the ultimate link. I was a bit surprised to see the slide that contained the following text: “Television was a solitary activity that crowded out other forms of social connection. But the very nature of these new technologies foster social connection—creating, contributing, sharing.” Indeed, television was consumed, then could discussed at a different time and place. But, it was not necessarily a solitary activity. Family and friends would gather to watch television together, not always, but oftentimes. There were not always options to tape, record, or stream programs and view them at another time. The audience had to be present during the time the program was being broadcast or be left out.  Big events were and still are reasons for social gatherings – think of parties to view Super Bowl XLVII last week. The human need to interact with other humans can and will motivate people to seek ways to connect. Technology and the human need to socialize with other humans are the constants.

The form may change, but the goal remains the same. People want to send and receive information whether it happens verbally standing at the village well, getting a drink at the office water cooler, or sipping from their BPA free reusable water bottle while tweeting on smart phones. Libraries must remain acutely focused on the goal of connecting people with the information they desire.  People will find ways to share information, libraries must adapt to changing forms of communication to remain vital links in the chain. (2012) 7Search official web log [Image]. Retrieved from

Research Digest: Blogging on brain and behavior. (2012). Link feast [Web log image]. Retrieved from

Buckland, M. (1992) Redesigning library services: a manifesto. Retrieved from

Casey, M. E. & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007) Library 2.0: a guide to participatory library service. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Stephens, M. (2011). The hyperlinked library. Retrieved from



One thought on “Linked

  1. “The form may change, but the goal remains the same.” Yes! The foundations are there but the channels we navigate may change!

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