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

Join MidWinter Radical Conversation Virtually

By popular demand we’re going to try adding virtual access to the MidWinter conversation shaping the next new librarianship book The Radical’s Guide to New Librarianship. First the basics, then the disclaimer.

The Basics

When: 10:30-11:30 Central Time, Monday February 2, 2015 (this coming Monday)

Where: https://webconference.syr.edu/radical/

What: We’re using Adobe Connect

The Disclaimer

This is still primarily an in person event, so no virtual access was planned. That means it will be my laptop looking at the crowd and the conference center’s WiFi. It should of course work wonderfully, but please approach this as more of an experiment. Also know that these conversations are ongoing at https://davidlankes.org/?page_id=6461 and your input is always welcome there, on Twitter, or email.

Even More Disclaimer

This is intended as an interactive session where we are looking for input and discussion.

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.

Re-Envisioning the MLS: Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians

Join us as the iSchool and the Information Policy & Access Center Re-Envision the MLS with our thought leader speakers series. We are pleased to present Dr. R. David (Dave) Lankes as our first speaker on November 6, 2014. Please join us in-person or online! Details are below.

Burn the Libraries and Free the Librarians
Dr. R. David Lankes discusses: The days when there was a single model for a library, if they ever existed, are gone. The idea that the library is a storehouse of books and materials is gone. The notion that a library can serve off to the side of the mission of a community is gone. What’s left: the centrality of librarians in meeting the needs and aspirations of the community. This presentation presents a librarianship unencumbered by buildings or a fealty to traditions. It talks about librarians as facilitators of knowledge creation in libraries, and offices, and schools, and classrooms, and the wide reaches of the Internet.

When: Thursday, November 6, 4:30-5:30pm (EST; reception to follow)
Where: McKeldin Special Events Room, 6137 or online via Adobe Connect at http://umdischool.adobeconnect.com/lankes/
RSVP: Please RSVP at http://ter.ps/rsvpNov6

Nerd Absurd’s 100th Podcast

I’m a big fan of the Nerd Absurd podcast and had a blast talking to Virginia, Nick, Leland, and Andrew. We talked libraries, maker spaces, MOOCs, tenure and academia. Perhaps that’s why I have such a good time….they let me ramble.

Take a listen and check out their other great episodes at: http://nerdabsurd.com

No More Speaking Engagements for the Year…and Cancer

The short version: I am not accepting new speaking engagements for the next year.

The longer version: I am accepting no new speaking engagements beyond those I have already committed to, unless they can be pre-recorded.

The long version: On Friday I am having surgery to find out if a recent “suspicious” scan indicates remaining cancer. Hopefully, it is nothing. It could, however, indicate the need for additional treatment. In any case, it has become clear in the past month that I cannot simply return to life as usual following my chemo. To remove some uncertainty, and to prevent leaving folks in a lurch, I’m not taking any new engagements.

For now, the plan is to keep those few dates that I have accepted (assuming a negative biopsy). I will only accept new engagements that I can videoconference into, and where a recorded version of my remarks is acceptable as a back-up.

Last year I had to cancel too many engagements. I have organized conferences, and I know how hard a last minute cancelation is. Even if this biopsy is negative, I know that for the next few months (years really) it will be a wait and see situation.

I still hope to be involved in the field, and hope to travel to conferences. However, my focus is on my family and recovery first. I will let you all know how I am doing as well.

I will also never write an “all clear” blog post again…they appeared to be cursed.