Collective Individuality

“Collective Individuality: How libraries can support individual action” State Library Victoria Public Library Planning Meeting.

Abstract: Library networks need to change from platforms supporting similar services across libraries, to platforms that allow libraries to better look like and serve their unique communities.

Script below video

Below is the script I used for the video…typos and all.

So, you are meeting to discuss the next 3 year plan for the public library network. As we’ve just seen, a lot can happen in three years. Our phones get smaller, our computers get faster, oh and global pandemics and the first land war in Europe since the 1940s happen. 

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Less; Better

“Less; Better.” State Librarian’s Program, New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference 2022. Atlantic City, NJ.

Abstract: Librarians are service oriented. All too often that translates into trying to be all things for all people. When you put diverse communities at the core of a library, the pressure for doing more increases. However, trying to be all things to all people is a sure way to pleasing no one, and burning out library workers in the process. In the shadow of the pandemic, our communities need us more than ever, and they need us to find the balance between serving a community, and saving it.

Slides

Serving & Saving Communities

“Serving & Saving Communities.” Tennessee Library Association Annual Conference 2022. Knoxville, TN.

Abstract: With COVID, Insurrection, war in Europe, inflation, an increasing ideological gap, our communities need libraries to do more than be ready to serve, they need a proactive librarianship dedicated to saving communities. Libraries remain the last standing public service that is local, serves the whole community, and is dedicated to the aspirations and knowledge of a community. How do they feed the souls of the nation?

Video Sharing & So Much More: New N2L2 Episode

Episode 17: Video Sharing & So Much More

Beth Patin, Dave Lankes, & Mike Eisenberg

YouTube has more than 2 billion active users collectively viewing over 5 billion videos totaling a combined 1 billion hours of video viewing every day!! Tik Tok is the new kid on the block, just 4 years old worldwide, and already with over 1 billion active users watching 167 million videos every minute! These two entities wield tremendous influence across every demographic. Clearly more than benign video sharing platforms, they are mass media publishers, social media exchanges, and content creation streaming services. What’s the scoop? Are they valuable and helpful services or is there a darker side? Let’s find out.

Click here for episode page and previous episodes.

The Battle for the Soul of the Library: A Response

The following is a letter I sent the New York Times in response to the editorial written by Stanley Kurtz on February 24, 2022.

To the Editor,

I write in response to Stanley Kurtz’s The Battle for the Soul of the Library published in February 24th. I appreciate Dr. Kurtz’s concern for libraries and very much appreciate his identification of librarians as crucial players in the ongoing debates about challenged materials and ideological debates in our school and public libraries. I do, however, disagree with both his assertion that librarians can be neutral, his attribution of the current raft of challenges to librarians, and his assertion that trust in the profession is founded on neutrality.

Librarians are not, and have never been neutral. They are human, and human beings are driven by conscious and unconscious bias. But rather than debate the point, let me posit we don’t want librarians to be neutral. We want librarians to work to make our communities better. We want our libraries to help communities make smarter decisions and to help community members find meaning.

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Help: Connecting Great Students to Great Libraries

The Too Long; Didn’t Read version of this message is that as part of my work as the Bowden Professor I would like to connect library science students to the real work of great libraries. To that end I am looking for projects that teams can work on in a Community Engagement course and more in-depth capstone projects that I will fund. Interested? fill out the form below.

In August of this year, I started as the Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the past two months I’ve been developing a plan to strengthen the ties between Austin’s iSchool and the library community. I’m writing you today about two of those efforts. Two efforts that will give our library students opportunities to get real experience in libraries.

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An Invitation to the New Librarianship Symposia

Hi, my name is David Lankes. When I wrote the Atlas of New Librarianship 11 years ago my goal was to start a conversation about librarians, libraries, and their role in helping communities of all sorts make better decisions and help community members find meaning in their lives. Over the past decade that conversation has spread across the globe. It has also grown deeper with passionate new voices adding new perspectives, expertise, and challenges.

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