Access and Impact

[Originally posted to Facebook]

Ok I’m feeling preachy.

Repeat after “me access does not equal impact or knowledge or improvement”…Unless you are also talking about access to education, economic opportunity, good schools, good nutrition, transportation, and resources.
Yes libraries are part of a whole network where we meet Maslow’s needs, but we can’t simply assume all these needs are met. We must be part of a proactive system that seeks to ensure them. We are not simply doing collection development with books and databases, but with schools, faith communities, philanthropies, social services, government. We must seek to connect the vast and diverse players toward equitable access across our communities.
School librarians working with teachers, and nurses, and counselors is access.
Academic librarians working with student services, career services, teaching centers, and crisis centers is access.
Public librarians working with homeless shelters, prisons, and churches is access.
Medical librarians working with patients, doctors, care givers is access.
Librarians working across library type to ensure a student transitions to undergraduate to worker is access.
Here ends the

Eulogy for the Information Age: The Future is Impact Not Access

“Eulogy for the Information Age: The Future is Impact Not Access” ALIA New Librarians Symposium 8. Canberra, Australia (via Skype).

Slides: Slides in PDF
Speech Text: Read Speaker Script
Audio:

[This is an edited version of the script I used for my talk. However, it is not a word for word transcript.]
I realize the New Librarianshipin the event’s title refers to new to the profession, but I’d like to think of it for my talk as a reference to a new view of the profession. I would also like to let you know that many of the ideas in this talk were strongly shaped by ongoing conversations with Darin Freeburg at the University of South Carolina. The good stuff is his, the bad stuff are my fault.
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Forget the Future: Our Time is Now

“Forget the Future: Our Time is Now” RUSA President’s Program, American Library Association Annual Conference. Chicago, IL.

Slides: Slides in PDF
Speech Text: Read Speaker Script
Abstract: Our communities-our colleges, our towns, our schools, our businesses-need us. As those we serve face growing tensions of nationalism, xenophobia, racism, extremist politics, and social media sites that seems better at building filter bubbles than societies there is a need for a community of professional dedicated to the common good and founded on knowledge. However, our communities don’t need us to gate keep a collection, offer up workshops, or staff a building. They need us adding value to their lives with them in their homes, classrooms, offices, and devices. This talk will explore how reference and user services not only remain relevant, but mobilize to addresses the real challenges of today’s community.
Audio:

[This is an edited version of the script I used for my talk. However, it is not a word for word transcript.]

Every year the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science have a hooding ceremony for graduating librarians in Rutledge Chapel on the historic Horseshoe of campus.

The chapel is in Rutledge College, the first building built for the South Carolina College – now the University of South Carolina – in 1805. It was built, in part, with slave labor.
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A Carolina School of Librarianship

“A Carolina School of Librarianship” Metrolina Annual Conference. Charlotte, SC.

Abstract: In academic and disciplinary circles there is a rare occurrence when a school, an organizational unit, transforms into a school of thought. This kind of school of thought galvanizes thinking between scholars and practitioners to change how we think about something. Classic examples include the Chicago School of Architecture where new building technologies lead to a way of designing city buildings that eventually defined modernism, the modern skyscraper, and changed the look of cities forever. There was also the Chicago school of economics and social science. These influential communities of thinkers and doers can change the whole world.

I think we are ripe for a Carolina School of Librarianship. In North and South Carolina we have a concentration of outstanding scholars and libraries. We have library leaders in public, academic, school, and special libraries. If we can come together to think together, to develop common impacts, to share we can forge an agenda and way of thinking about the field that would have global influence. In this talk I would like to outline some aspects of that school that I think can serve as a foundation for this and talk about the outsized influence the people in the room can have across the globe.
Slides: Slides in PDF
Audio:

Metro from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Librarianship is a Technical Profession…That is All About People

[This is an edited version of the script I used for my talk. However, it is not a word for word transcript. Aside from added comments during the talk, I have edited and expanded the notes here to make them more readable. You can see a screencast of the actual presentation here.]

When I was invited to give this talk, Kim Tallerås told me that I could address:

  • What technological expertise should librarians have?
  • What should we leave to other professions?
  • Generalist vs specialist?
  • What does knowledge organization mean in 2017?

A simple list, right? I particularly like the “etc” just in case I might have some extra time.

So where to begin? I could start with my opinion. I could start with the curriculum that we are developing at the University of South Carolina. I could, of course, pretend to answer the questions by “framing the debate,” where I list some international competencies, throw in a bit of criticism, but really leave the questions unresolved.

Instead, let me start with a question that isn’t on this list: are there right and wrong answers to these to begin with? Is there some foundation that we can test our opinions? Because it turns out what looks like topics for debate, are in fact answerable, but only if we start from a firm foundation.
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The Social Responsibility of the Library and the Librarian in a Post-Factual World

[Please note that this presentation is only half of the full session. The second half included a discussion with Nicole Cooke of the University of Illinois, Miguel Figueroa of ALA’s Center for the Future, and Scott Walter the University Librarian of DePaul University. Unfortunately I was not set up to record their insightful remarks.]

“The Social Responsibility of the Library and the Librarian in a Post-Factual World” Dominican University School of Information Studies Annual Follett Lecture. Chicago, IL.

Abstract: Introduction to a panel discussion on neutrality and objectivity in librarianship.
Slides: Slides in PDF
Audio:

The Social Responsibility of the Library and the Librarian in a Post-Factual World from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

The Social Responsibility of the Library and the Librarian in a Post-Factual World

Follett Lecture Featuring David Lankes

Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 – 6:00pm

Location: Martin Recital Hall

Dr. R. David Lankes, 2016-17 Follett Chair, associate dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Information and Communications and director of the School of Library and Information Science there, will present the 2017 Follett Lecture, titled “The Social Responsibility of the Library and the Librarian in a Post-Factual World.” The author of The Atlas of New Librarianship and Expect More, he is a strong advocate for innovation and excellence in twenty-first century libraries.

Respondent panelists include Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences and faculty affiliate of the Center for Digital Inclusion at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries; and Scott Walter, university librarian at DePaul University.

The lecture will take place at 6 p.m., followed by a reception; it is free and open to the public, with registration required. The Follett Lecture is generously supported by the Follett Corporation. For more information, please contact SOIS Assistant Dean Diane Foote at dfoote@dom.edu, 708-524-6054.

A Knowledge Organization in an Age of Alternative Facts

“A Knowledge Organization in an Age of Alternative Facts” Sarasota County Public Library Staff Development Day. Sarasota, FL.

Abstract: Communities need the public library now more than ever. In an era when neighbors are more divided than ever, and even the nature of truth and facts are in question, ho do librarians best serve their community? This presentation makes the argument that our communities do not need more information literacy, a greater emphasis on quality information, or a neutral institution. Rather our communities need trusted partners helping weave together common understandings of events and priorities.

Slides: Slides in PDF

Audio:

Here’s the actual video of the presentation: