Radical Librarians

“Radical Librarians” Bertha Bassam Lecture University of Toronto Faculty of Information. Toronto, Canada.

Abstract: For too long librarians have seen their role as being unbiased agents standing ready to serve. Librarians must be agents of transformative social engagement — actively working to better their communities. From the riots in Ferguson, to the Arab Spring, we see the value of librarians throwing off the mask of objective curator and adopting the role of change agent. This lecture examines the value of librarians dedicated to improving communities, not simply informing them.

Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2015/Bass.pdf

Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2015/UoT.mp3


Apologies, when first posted on March 12 before 4pm I had linked to the wrong video. This one is correct.

Radical Librarians from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

The Librarian, The Closet, & The Empty Room

“The Librarian, The Closet, & The Empty Room” School Library Systems Conference. White Plains, NY.

Abstract: Librarianship needs a radical change – a focus from libraries as places and institutions to librarians as radical positive change agents. This presentation talks about defining the profession and places by the people who make a difference – librarians.

Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2015/BOCES.pdf

Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2015/BOCES.mp3


BOCES from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

50th Anniversary Bertha Bassam Lecture “Radical Librarians”

10982356_10155213899370615_4558293193833343587_nThe University of Toronto, Faculty of Information (iSchool) and Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA) invite you to the 50th Anniversary of the Bertha Bassam Lecture, this year delivered by a passionate advocate for libraries, R. David Lankes, who will discuss Radical Librarianship. Prof. Lankes is author of an upcoming book, The Radical’s Guide to New Librarianship.

REGISTER now at: https://berthabassam.eventbrite.ca

For too long librarians have seen their role as being unbiased agents standing ready to serve. Librarians must be agents of transformative social engagement — actively working to better their communities. From the riots in Ferguson, to the Arab Spring, we see the value of librarians throwing off the mask of objective curator and adopting the role of change agent. This lecture examines the value of librarians dedicated to improving communities, not simply informing them.

Doors open at 6:00 pm, Lecture starts at 6:15 pm
Cocktail reception to follow 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Lecture and reception are complimentary, but registration is required. Everyone is welcome.
REGISTER: https://berthabassam.eventbrite.ca
2 Sussex Avenue, Innis Town Hall (newly renovated lecture hall!), University of Toronto

R. David Lankes is a professor and Dean’s Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse. Lankes has always been interested in combining theory and practice to create active research projects that make a difference. Past projects include the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, the Gateway to Education Materials, AskERIC and the Virtual Reference Desk. Lankes’ more recent work involves how participatory concepts can reshape libraries and credibility.

Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society. He also seeks to understand how information approaches and technologies can be used to transform industries. In this capacity he has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation including at the National Academies. He has been a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, the Harvard School of Education, and the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. His book,The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.

The Bertha Bassam Lecture in Librarianship was established by the Faculty’s Alumni Association to honour Dr. Bertha Bassam, Director of the Library School from 1951 to 1964. The lectures, which are open to the profession and members of the public, are delivered every three to four years by an outstanding individual, whose topic and experience are relevant to librarians and librarianship.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 – 18:00 to 21:00
2 Sussex Avenue, Innis Town Hall (newly renovated lecture hall!), University of Toronto

Announcing the Expect More Library Scholarship!

The Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) is excited to announce the Expect More Library Scholarship, a new scholarship program for students interested in pursuing their MS in Library and Information Science (LIS) or MS in Library and Information Science: School Media (LISSM).

The Expect More Library Scholarship is for students who want an intense but highly rewarding academic graduate program experience at the iSchool. We are able to offer this scholarship due to a generous donation from our library alumna, Estelle Wilhelm.

Expect More Library Scholars receive:

  • A 50% tuition award
  • Pairing with a specific faculty mentor, who is carefully matched to the student’s career field of interest, for the two years of the graduate education program
  • A paid faculty assistant position working directly with their faculty mentor on projects in the Expect More Library Scholar’s field of interest. The position is 20 hours per week during the academic year, for the two years of the program
  • A $1,000 travel fund for library conferences, industry networking events, and professional development activities

How to Apply for the Expect More Library Scholarship Program

To be considered for the Expect More Library Scholarship Program:

  1. You must first apply to either our LIS or LISSM program. This generates your Syracuse University ID number, which you will need in order to apply to the Expect More Library Scholarship. Be sure to leave yourself time!
  2. Once you receive your confirmation of application email from Syracuse University, complete the Expect More Library Scholarship application by March 1, 2015.

Apply to the LIS program >> | Apply to the LISSM program >>

About our Library Programs

At the Syracuse University iSchool we offer two master’s programs focused on library science, available both on campus and online:

The MS in Library and Information Science (LIS) is a comprehensive, American Library Association-accredited, 36-credit degree program that prepares you for a career in a broad range of organizations, including: an academic institution, public library, corporation, government agency or cultural institution.

The MS in Library and Information Science: School Media (LISSM) program focuses on teaching Library and Information Science (LIS) students the skills to instruct children in grades pre-K through 12 in all areas of literacy and technology fluency. LISSM students do not need to take additional education courses, as the New York State Department of Education requirements are infused into our curriculum.

ILEAD USA Joins the World Tour

projects BannerI’ve mentioned ILEAD USA (born ILEAD U) several times in this blog, and for good reason. Put simply I think this is the best intensive continuing education for library professionals out there. I don’t say this because I am part of it. Rather I am part of it because I believe in the project so much.

Teams of librarians from across 10 states gather for three intensive residencies and multiple inter-session activities over a year (can I get an hallelujah for 10 state libraries working together on professional development). In that year these library professionals work in teams on projects and learn about leadership, technology, and what library service focused on communities looks like.

Not only do these teams of librarians learn, but the whole project is about building state-wide networks of awesome librarians. ILEAD USA has produced incredible projects like developing entrepreneurs in rural Illinois, region-wide digital repository systems, public/school librarian collaborations, life transition services for the unemployed, a law school library collaborative, circulating tablet training kits, evaluation systems for youth services, and much, much more. ILEAD USA and IMLS helped fund the development of The Atlas of New Librarianship.

It’s not too late to be a part. Either as a team member, a mentor, or an instructor. Check with your state library if you live in DelawareIllinois (more info http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/libraries/ileadusa.html), Maine (more info http://www.maine.gov/msl/libs/ce/ilead_usa/index.shtml), North Dakota (more info http://ileadusanorthdakota.wordpress.com), New YorkOhioPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaUtah, or Wisconsin.

If you’re not in one of those states, check out the keynotes and material the project provides: https://www.youtube.com/user/ILEADUIllinois

A VERY big thank you to IMLS for their continued support of this project and the continued development of awesome librarians.

Announcing the Expect More World Tour

WorldTour2This year I’m taking the message of how powerful librarians can lead to better communities through better libraries on the road. With keynotes in the UK, New Zealand, and speaking engagements in the US and Canada, I’m hoping to have a conversation about where libraries are going, and how important good librarianship is to good communities (schools, universities, businesses, governments, localities).

You can check out the confirmed dates here. I’m also working to nail down additional dates including in Italy (please let me know if you can help) for this summer.

Special thanks to the Syracuse University iSchool, Tech Logic, CILIP, LIANZA, the Toronto Public Library, and MIT Press for making this a reality. Please follow the World Tour Sites for new dates, and more details.

iSchool Announces MLIS “Expect More” Scholarship Program

From the iSchool press release:

By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

A new initiative at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) offers an enriched graduate education experience to students who want to become leaders in librarianship and to develop skills that are applicable to a wide range of 21st-century careers that are redefining what it means to be a librarian.

“The Expect More Scholarship program is designed to provide promising students with all the graduate education experiences that will lead directly to career success,” said Jeff Stanton, Interim Dean at the iSchool.

The program offers one-on-one pairing of students with iSchool library faculty, experts who are some of the profession’s most compelling and innovative educators; two years of applied, pertinent work/research experience; industry networking and professional development opportunities; and significant scholarship and financial support.

A select group of students in the entering class of Summer/Fall 2015 Master’s in Library and Information Science degree program will become the inaugural Expect More Library Scholars.

Shaping Innovation

This program is designed “to provide students with the opportunity to work with expert library educators who are leading and shaping innovations that are refocusing libraries – and librarians – in the 21st century,” said R. David Lankes, Professor and Dean’s Scholar for New Librarianship at the iSchool, and one of the library profession’s leading thinkers, noted speakers, and innovative voices in the field today.

He noted how the program’s structure comprises a unique educational experience that goes well beyond classroom learning alone. “What we’re talking about is involvement with active faculty who are creating the future of the field, and we’re inviting our students to join us,” Lankes explained. “This is a way of building a really close relationship with people who are changing the field, and students are going to be part of that change from day one. It follows a similar strategy to a doctoral program, very much the idea of really building a network of outstanding librarians and library educators with people who are out there changing the field. We have people here doing brilliant work in many areas, and our faculty are preparing better librarians for better libraries.”

The program features:

  • Pairing of each “Expect More” Library Scholar to a specific faculty member, a mentor who is carefully matched to the student’s career field of interest, for the two years of the graduate education program;
  • A 50% tuition scholarship award, funded by a generous bequest from the late Estelle Wilhelm, herself a librarian and MLS alumna of the school;
  •  A paid faculty assistant position – a job working directly with the paired faculty member, on projects in the student’s field of interest, for 20 hours per week during the academic year, over the two years of the program;
  •  A fund of $1,000 for student travel to library conferences, industry networking events, and professional development activities.

“The ‘Expect More’ program is intended for students from a wide range of interests and who are interested in a wide range of careers in business, government, communities, and academia,” said Lankes. In addition to the library degree itself, the iSchool offers a diverse set of graduate certificates – such as the Certificate of Advanced Study in Data Science – that can help library professional address the professional challenges they will face in the field.

World Tour

The iSchool’s “Expect More” initiative also includes efforts to raise awareness of the paradigm shift underway in library education, the librarian profession, the in-library environment, and the way libraries fit into their communities today through an “Expect More” World Tour, featuring Lankes as a keynote speaker.

As a noted author of three books that describe the “new librarianship” model, Lankes will address how libraries will become models of innovation for their communities and how librarians can lead that charge. The 2015 speaking tour will include events both in the United States and around the world.

Lankes’ “Expect More World Tour” begins at the Mid-Winter meeting of the American Library Association in Chicago on February 2, where he will speak on the topic, “Radical Conversations.” Other dates include the Tech Logic Showcase (Miami, March 20); the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Conference (July 2, in Liverpool, England); then will travel to Italy; New Zealand (November 7-11, at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand); then on to Australia.

The focus of these talks will be on how libraries and the field of librarianship are shifting focus from collections and buildings to communities and civic empowerment, and with this shift comes more hopeful and confident narratives around libraries and librarians. “In our cities, our schools, our universities, our hospitals, and our businesses, libraries are essential and can be so much more than what communities expect of them,” says Lankes. “Where once we looked to libraries to warehouse materials, we now look to them to help forward community aspirations through knowledge and learning.”

A Year to Expect More

CalenPrepare yourself for a year of greater expectations!

This year I’m teaming up with some amazing partners to get out the message of Expect More. Namely that our communities should expect outstanding libraries, and we need to continue to prepare outstanding librarians to lead them.

Today you can read about Syracuse University’s iSchool launching an Expect More|Librarians Scholarship to help outstanding students work directly with cutting edge faculty at the school. Expect More Library Scholarships provide significant tuition support along with weekly stipends and a travel grant to work directly with a faculty member on areas like library advocacy, library assessment, gaming, and, of course, community engagement. Study advocacy right with former ALA president Barbara Stripling, or library assessment with Megan Oakleaf, school libraries with Ruth Small….or come work with me!

But wait, there’s more. Tech Logic is creating an Expect More Speaker Series. The series will be a set of regional events highlighting the future of libraries through community engagement, and freeing up librarians to work on the community as the collection. The series starts off at an invite-only event at ALA MidWinter and is coming to South Florida, California, Boston, and Texas. Keep an eye out for more details. I am thrilled to be working with Tech Logic and Lori Ayre, Galecia Group; Cheryl Gould, Fully Engaged Libraries; Juliane Morian, Associate Director at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library

The Tech Logic speaker series is also part of a larger Expect More World Tour. Over the next year I’ll be bringing the message of librarians engaged in radical positive change to Toronto, New Zealand, the UK, and Australia among others.

This year will also see the publication of The Radical’s Guide to New Librarianship, a follow on to The Atlas of New Librarianship we’ve been working on. You can already join in conversations and help shape the book through our Radical Conversations. Also, I’m going to use this year as input to creating a new edition of Expect More with hands on activities and planning guides for those who support libraries.

It’s going to be a very exciting and busy year. Stay tuned for more details, new dates on the World Tour (I’m looking at you Italy), and lots of support for librarians and communities demanding more from libraries in this complex world!

Want to get a head start? You can get your copy of Expect More right now.