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Hyperlink management is critical to website functionality because a site with dead links is not fully operable for the end user. In libraries, links used for marketing, course materials, electronic resources, social media, and other uses are laborious to maintain. Often, these links are long, unreadable, and unmemorable. In order to streamline link maintenance, improve link usability, and promote resources, an open source, short link manager called Your Own URL Shortener (YOURLS), was implemented at an academic library. This primer describes this process. Not only does YOURLS shorten links, it also acts as a database link manager. Long URLs are then shortened into compact readable formats on a hosted domain. With YOURLS, updating URLs for existing resources can be done in one place. This negates the need to update all instances of a URL on different platforms.


This article was originally published in The Emerging Learning Design Journal, available at

This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND) 4.0 International License



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