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


Here’s the actual video of the presentation:

The Future of Libraries: Predicting Through Invention

“The Future of Libraries: Predicting Through Invention” LACONI Workshop. Schaumburg, IL.

Abstract: Alan Kaye once said “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” The quote exemplifies the opportunities available to libraries today. In the face of technological and even political uncertainty it is important for librarians to forge and promote a vision of future library service. Noted speaker, author, and library advocate, R. David Lankes, will explore what we can begin to do today to create a preferred future where the communities we serve make better decisions.

Slides: PDF of Slides

Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2016/LACONI.mp3

LANCONI from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Expect More: Creating Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World

“Expect More: Creating Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World” Cuyahoga County Public Library Staff Development Day. Parma, OH.

[Please note this is the first of three times this talk was presented, so if it doesn’t sound familiar you may have been in a different session.]

Slides: CCPL-Staff

CCPL from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Expect More at ALA Annual

We’re putting together a working session for folks interested in crafting messages, materials, and projects to promote librarians to the general public. We are doing an increasingly good job getting the word out about libraries growing relevancy and community focus, but folks need to know this is a result of librarians and library staff.

Please consider joining us in Orlando and sharing your ideas. Information below:




Field Guide, Atlas, Expect More? Which When Why?!

[tl;dr version: How does my new book The New Librarianship Field Guide fit into my other books on new librarianship? Librarian or teaching librarians – read the Field Guide. Scholar or librarian looking deeper – The Atlas of new Librarianship is for you. Board member and non-librarians curious about libraries – Expect More.]

While there have been numerous articles and presentations concerning new librarianship, the core of the concept is found in three books:

  • The Atlas of New Librarianship
  • Expect More
  • The New Librarianship Field Guide

The three represent stages of thinking and an evolution of the concepts in librarianship, but each remains relevant and each is targeted toward a specific audience.

The Atlas of New Librarianship

Published in 2011 the Atlas seeks to present a holistic view of librarianship and is focused on answering the question, “what is a librarian?” It dives deep and wide into concepts such as knowledge and facilitation. It seeks to link the what and how of librarianship to a why founded around a mission: to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in communities.

Expect More

Published in 2012 Expect More is written for non-librarians about the field and how libraries as institutions are moving from collection-centered to community centered.

The New Librarianship Field Guide

Just released in 2016 the Field Guide is written for front-line librarians and library science students. It is intentionally linear (unlike the Atlas) and accessible by a broad audience. It is loosely modeled as a text book with resources for teaching and discussing the field. It incorporates updated concepts of librarianship from the Atlas and libraries as institutions from Expect More without simply being a digest version of both.

To be clear each represents an evolution of thinking from the previous work. These seek to both promote and document the learning of the field through conversation. As always these works seek to be of value, but don’t seek to be definitive. Any active and vital field will continue to evolve as the world evolves. The goal of any of these books is not to have everyone agree, but to provide a foundation for dialog and healthy argument.

I end with a request to the field. I know that there are aspects of my work and views that people disagree with; that is how it should be in scholarly discourse. From the treatment of knowledge, to the focus on communities, to the political implications of the work there is great room for debate and experimentation. These conversations have and should continue to happen on social media and in conferences. I ask that these conversations be constructive.

Let us all use social media and journals and other forums to debate and argue on the ideas. In the pages of these works you will find an evolution of my thinking that has come from engagement. Librarianship (new, old, or other) is ultimately about society making smarter decisions. I get smarter from engagement with those who disagree often more than a discussion with those who agree. Please share your thoughts in journals, books, and practice. And let us never dismiss useful ideas for failures of the messenger.

Librarianship: Saving The World One Community At A Time

“Librarianship: Saving The World One Community At A Time” VALA 2016. Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract: We live in uncertain times of war, protest, terrorism, economic austerity, ecological disasters, and mass surveillance. What can librarians do to help communities in such turbulent times? Lankes will discuss how a proactive librarianship can build an alternative path to the growing “security versus freedom” narrative. Librarianship can shine in times of crisis, but it requires a focus on improving society over informing customers.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2016/VALA.pdf
Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2016/VALA.mp3

There is a video of the talk for VALA members.

Dominican’s GSLIS Joins Collaboratory

DomSeal_300Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science has joined the Expect More Collaboratory. GSLIS will be at the center of next year’s focus on applying the ideas of Expect More in the Chicago area. I look forward to working with Dominican and our other partners to make a real difference in how communities see libraries and librarians.