Question Posters Redux

For several years I’ve been calling for the creation of Question Posters (vs Read Posters). Well, it turns out that I am now in charge of a school with a marketing budget.

So here’s my question (please use the comments below): would you use/hang these posters? They would by 25″x19″

The hope is that these would be the first theme, and we can add other themes.

Please consider these as drafts BTW.

whitehousequestion courtquestion library-of-congress capitalquestion-copy

Data, Information, & Knowledge: The Right Profession For The Right Time

“Data, Information, & Knowledge: The Right Profession For The Right Time” 2016 Maine Library Association Conference. Newry, ME.

Abstract: The 2016 presidential election demonstrates the weaknesses in seeing data and information as substitutes for true knowledge. Librarians by embracing a knowledge and a community approach are perfectly situated for moving the country ahead in the coming years.

Slides: Slides in PDF


Data, Information, & Knowledge: The Right Profession For The Right Time from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Building the Knowledge School

“Building the Knowledge School” 2016 Charleston Conference. Charleston, SC.

Abstract: The rise of the information school movement has been seen as both a positive and negative reality in the preparation of librarians. Have undergraduate programs taken away resources and attention from the masters in library science? Has the growth of faculty with little or no understanding of libraries diluted the field? Lankes will lay out his thoughts for moving past the arguments to defining a knowledge school. A school focused on impact in communities and built upon the values of librarians, but serving the needs of a broader information infrastructure.

Slides: Slides in PDF


Building the Knowledge School from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

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


LANCONI from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

How to Check Out a Teacher in a Non-Creepy Way

“How to Check Out a Teacher in a Non-Creepy Way” South Carolina State Library Collaboration Meeting. Columbia, SC.

Abstract: In an Illinois town librarians from the local schools and public libraries started a monthly dinner club. The librarians would get together in a social setting to meet and eat, and as it turns out, innovate. They began a series of new programs to bring the institutions closer. These projects included included fast check out of public library materials for teachers and extending hours of school libraries to serve the needs of students’ parents. Imagine if this was taken a step further where parents could literally check out a teacher to talk with them about study habits, new approaches to math and so on. Imagine a school library program where students created tutorials on news apps for their parents.

Slides: Slides in PDF


How to Check Out a Teacher in a Non-Creepy Way from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Being Truthful, Not Neutral

[The following is a column I wrote for the College of Information & Communications eNews]

In a recent interview Christiane Amanpour of CNN challenged one of the underlying principles of both journalism and librarianship by calling upon journalists to be “truthful, not neutral.” She talked about how attempting to appear neutral can lead to the creation of false equivalencies, and it is better to be truthful, even if that appears to be taking sides. This idea of intellectual honesty is at the very core of scholarship as well. Scientists seek to apply objective methods in fields they are passionate about. It is not unusual to hear a chemist, a botanist or, indeed, an information scientist recall a story from their childhood that led them to academia and research.

These ideas are very much in the forefront of my thinking upon joining the University of South Carolina. The fact that the university is ranked as a top research institution and noted for community engagement was a major reason I chose to join the faculty. Good scholarship is instrumental in an ongoing effort to improve our communities and society as a whole. When a school, college or, indeed, a university is at its best, it provides an open and diverse platform for exploration. It is a place for undergraduates to learn and question everything. It is a place for professors to explore the reaches of the heavens and the extent of our humanity. It is a place where society can bring its thorniest problems for reflection and examination. A good university, like a good library, is a safe place to explore dangerous ideas.

This is certainly true of the College of Information and Communications. In our labs and classrooms, scholars, practitioners, staff and students all are continually learning to navigate the delicate route between a search for truth and a clarion call for action. A good librarian, a good journalist, a good information scientist are never neutral: they are principled. We prepare ourselves, our students and our communities not into an ideology, but a constant quest to do both well, and good. We prepare people for the job market, but also as citizens in a marketplace of ideas. We arm them not with ideology, but with perspective and healthy skepticism. And it is here that I must ask for your help.

I am convinced that the best learning happens in the richest information environment. Diversity is the key to both validity and social responsibility. As the new director of the School of Library and Information Science I need your help in building a diverse learning space. In the classroom and labs and the halls of Davis College the faculty and I seek to facilitate a rich tapestry of ideas and viewpoints. We need the experiences of alumni and practitioners. The faculty, staff, and students of the school need you to share your passion and your truths. A school, a college, a university, indeed every organization is a conversation. It is a series of voices seeking action and outcome, be it profit, or literacy, or valid study. In the fields of library and information science it is a conversation that started millennia ago with the first libraries in Mesopotamia and that continues today in the work of Google and the Library of Congress alike.

Be a part of that conversation. In the coming months keep an eye on the school website. We will be posting opportunities for speakers and projects. We plan on hosting get-togethers for alumni and partners across the state and the country. But you don’t have to wait to be asked. Find us in Davis College, or on the web, or social media.

Expect More Orlando Workshop on Librarian Advocacy

We had a great turn out for the Expect More workshop on librarian advocacy co-organized with Collaboratory partners EveryLibrary and Tech Logic. Thanks again to all Collaboratory partners for supporting this important work.

Below is a recording of the event, slides, and audio only version.

Orlando Collaboratory Event from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Slides: Orlando Workshop Slides
Handouts: Orlando PowerMapping Handouts
Audio Only:

From Books and Mortar to Community Hubs

“From Books and Mortar to Community Hubs” The Society of Chief Librarians Seminar 2016 – Changing Horizons: challenges, trends and new ways of delivering. Warwick University, England.

Abstract: Libraries have existed for over 4 millennia not by remaining the same, but by evolving, sometimes rapidly, to meet the needs of the communities they serve. This talk will explore the evolution of librarianship and key messaging for building support from communities.

Slides: SCL Slides


SCL from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.