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.
Continue reading “Forget the Future: Our Time is Now”

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.

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:

Field Guide Related Links by Chapter

As people are starting to get their hands on the New Librarianship Field Guide I have put up a few items to make it more useful. Check out the Field Guide Related Links by Chapter. It gives you a “tweet able” core concept for each chapter and links to videos and presentations related to the topic. My hope is to keep this as a growing resource, and feel free to send me links and additional resource to add.

I’ve also put up a landing page for the book with quick access to new blog posts and materials around the guide.

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.

Customer, Consumer, Users, and Other Mistakes

“Customer, Consumer, Users, and Other Mistakes” LIANZA Annual Conference 2015. Wellington, New Zealand.

Abstract: Librarians and the libraries they build are turning towards the communities they serve. Librarians have found renewed relevance and purpose in unleashing the knowledge and aspirations of the world’s towns, schools, universities, and businesses. However, this realignment can go too far – to a place where the values and unique contributions of librarianship get lost in a rush to meet every demand and fad. This talk will focus on the new compact libraries and their communities must forge for the benefit of both.

Slides: https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.174.113/61c.5b7.myftpupload.com/rdlankes/Presentations/2015/Lianza.pdf

Video: http://webcast.gigtv.com.au/Mediasite/Play/4d8a688879144bc49d19e6f3330d74f41d?catalog=69ebd641-e877-4b28-a35e-cc8efe83e3c1&playFrom=6614&autoStart=true