R. David Lankes is the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science, a Visiting Researcher at the French National Library School ENSSIB, and recipient of the American Library Association’s 2021 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship and the 2016 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. His book, The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. Lankes is a passionate advocate for librarians and their essential role in today’s society.
R. David Lankes is a professor and the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science. Lankes has always been interested in combining theory and practice to create active research projects that make a difference. His work has been funded by organizations such as The MacArthur Foundation, The Institute for Library and Museum Services, NASA, The U.S. Department of Education, The U.S. Department of Defense, The National Science Foundation, The U.S. State Department, and The American Library Association.
Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society earning him the American Library Association’s Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship in 2021 and the Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship in 2016. He also seeks to understand how information approaches and technologies can be used to transform industries. In this capacity he has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation including at the National Academies. He has been a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, The Harvard School of Education, the French national library school Enssib, and was the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. His book,The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.
R. David Lankes is a professor and the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science, a Visiting Researcher at the French national library school Enssib, and was the 2016-2017 Follett Chair at Dominican University’s School of Information Studies. Lankes has authored, co-authored or edited 20 books, written over 40 book chapters and journal articles and numerous pieces for the professional audience. He has been principle investigator on over $13 million of competitively awarded research as well as serving as a researcher on numerous projects. He has been a keynote speaker around the globe, and given over 200 presentations at national and international conferences. In 2012 his book, The Atlas of New Librarianship, won the ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. In 2012 Lankes received the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship and in 2016 the American Library Association’s Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship.
Lankes began his scholarly career co-creating the AskERIC project with Michael Eisenberg and Nancy Preston in 1992. This work began a long collaboration with Eisenberg, the ERIC system, and the U.S. Department of Education. In his work as Researcher (1992-1994), Head of AskERIC R&D (1994-1995), Associate Director (1996-1998) and later Director (1998-2003) of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology Lankes explored the growth of the Internet. Within this ERIC work Lankes would create one of the first 100 web sites, the first web presence for CNN, the Discovery Channel, and the U.S. Department of Education.
As the work of the ERIC Clearinghouse expanded beyond Department of Education, Eisenberg and Lankes founded the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS) in 1996 to house ERIC projects such as the Virtual Reference Desk and the Gateway to Educational Materials, as well as projects for the telecommunications and technology industries. The IIS, under Lankes’ leadership would go on to house several high profile research efforts for the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the MacArthur Foundation.
In 1998, while Director of the IIS, Lankes joined the faculty of Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. In his dual role as professor and director, Lankes spearheaded the development of the virtual reference movement through his Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) project. VRD helped coalesce the virtual reference movement through research, projects, and events including seven international conferences, a research symposium and several White House sponsored briefings. These activities lead to a visiting scholar position at Harvard’s School of Education, a visiting fellow position at the National Library of Canada, and being named as the first fellow at the American Library Association’s Office of Information Technology Policy.
More recently Lankes has developed initiatives with organizations such as the American Library Association, the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the MacArthur Foundation that have focused on credibility, and participatory networks. His current focus is on reconceptualizing the library field through the lens of “New Librarianship.” New librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation. Be it in practice, policies, programs and/or tools, participatory librarians seek to enrich, capture, store and disseminate the conversations of their communities.
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|R. David Lankes
Professor and Director
School of Information Science
University of South Carolina
1501 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208