“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.
“A Carolina School of Librarianship” Metrolina Annual Conference. Charlotte, SC.
Abstract: In academic and disciplinary circles there is a rare occurrence when a school, an organizational unit, transforms into a school of thought. This kind of school of thought galvanizes thinking between scholars and practitioners to change how we think about something. Classic examples include the Chicago School of Architecture where new building technologies lead to a way of designing city buildings that eventually defined modernism, the modern skyscraper, and changed the look of cities forever. There was also the Chicago school of economics and social science. These influential communities of thinkers and doers can change the whole world.
I think we are ripe for a Carolina School of Librarianship. In North and South Carolina we have a concentration of outstanding scholars and libraries. We have library leaders in public, academic, school, and special libraries. If we can come together to think together, to develop common impacts, to share we can forge an agenda and way of thinking about the field that would have global influence. In this talk I would like to outline some aspects of that school that I think can serve as a foundation for this and talk about the outsized influence the people in the room can have across the globe.
Slides: Slides in PDF
[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
[This is not an actual transcript of my talk, but rather speaking notes I used to prepare and captures the main points. Excuse the typos and lack of copy edits]
I believe that we have an amazing opportunity before us. An opportunity not only to increase the impact and reputation of the school, not only to advance the cause of school librarianship within the state, but to set the agenda for library and information science nationally and globally.
“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.
“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.
“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.