Library Issues Personal Technology

Connections are Everything

After being tagged by Amanda, and looking back at the Michael Stephens post that tagged her, I decided to take her up on it. The meme:

Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about and give your picture a short title.

It was terrifically hard to come up with any one thing that I am passionate for kids to learn about, simply because there are so many AND because both Michael and Amanda hit solid homeruns with theirs. But here’s my attempt (and here’s a link to the original photo).

Connections are Everything. This isn’t just personal connections, although as you go through school, read online, join groups and such, the personal connections you make are central to your success in life. My connectivity to individuals in libraries around the world have made me better at what I do and enabled me to build a rich understanding of practices different than just those I am surrounded with on a day-to-day basis. Maintaining these connections are incredibly important, and the social capital gained from them (both bridging and bonding) is a key to being successful in the modern age.

Read another way, connections are everything in the very technical sense that understanding and interacting with modern information technology can be seen as the management of connections. How do you connect two disparate pieces of IT these days? An API, RSS, JSON, or some other standard. TCP/IP is the connection that runs the world. Building better technological connections make for richer and deeper options for our users, in ways that we may not entirely predict or understand.

If you focus on maintaining and understanding connections, you’ll be a better librarian.

EDIT: The lovely Jenica and Dorothea chime in as well with their take. These are all amazing, and if I taught at a Library School I would seriously think about designing a syllabus around them.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

6 replies on “Connections are Everything”

Am wondering where that picture of the bridge is? Great picture – wonderful metaphor for making connections!

Wondering if you would approve this picture with the words connnections are everything as I saw it posted to use in a YouTube instructional video?
I can be reached by email. Love it! Great job!
Thank you for your consideration!

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