A New Librarianship for a New Age

“A New Librarianship for a New Age” 57º Congresso nazionale AIB (57th National Congress of the Italian Library Association), Rome, Italy

Abstract (English): A new librarianship is emerging, taking the lessons learned over that nearly 3,000 year history to forge an approach based not on books and artifacts, but on knowledge and community. This librarianship is based upon how people learn, not how they browse. This new approach to librarianship will require a change in the skills and preparation of librarians, new types of services, and ultimately a new relationship with communities. The problems faced by our communities are too important to wait for people to come into our buildings. This presentation will examine the foundations of new services, and a new role for librarians as facilitators of knowledge creation. It will offer examples of librarians engaging their communities, and challenge each librarian to take responsibility for the future of the profession.
Abstract (Italian): Una nuova biblioteconomia sta emergendo, utilizzando quanto appreso in oltre 3.000 anni di storia per forgiare un approccio basato non su libri e manufatti, ma sulla conoscenza e sulla comunità.Questa biblioteconomia si basa su come le persone imparano, non su come navigano. Questo nuovo approccio alla biblioteconomia richiederà un cambiamento nelle competenze e nella preparazione dei bibliotecari, nuove tipologie di servizi, e infine un nuovo rapporto con le comunità. I problemi delle nostre comunità sono troppo importanti per aspettare che la gente venga nei nostri edifici. Questa presentazione prenderà in esame le basi dei nuovi servizi, e un nuovo ruolo per i bibliotecari come facilitatori della creazione di conoscenza. Offrirà esempi di bibliotecari che coinvolgono la propria comunità, e sfiderà ogni bibliotecario ad assumersi la responsabilità del futuro della professione.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/Rome.pdf
Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2011/Rome.mp3
Transcript (English): https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/RomeEN.html
Transcript (Italian): https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/RomeIT.htm


Librarians as Change Agents

“Librarians as Change Agents” Video Webchat, U.S. Embassy in Rome, Rome, Italy.

Abstract: This is more a recorded conversation than a formal presentation. How can librarians promote social change? Join Professor R. David Lankes from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies to discuss how today’s global challenges require a new librarianship based on community engagement. Learn why librarians must adopt a mission of transformative social action to help improve society, not simply document it.


Expect More: Service is Proactive

“Expect More: Service is Proactive” CARLI Virtual Meeting, Webcast.

Abstract: There is an old joke that goes “what do you call three librarians at a bar?” “A consortium.” The library field does have a lot of consortia. This is a testament to the openness and attitude of sharing in the profession. For decades libraries have worked across boundaries to better serve our members. We shared through the postal then dial-up, not the Internet. We built the web of knowledge and resources before the world wide web. Libraries have a long and proud tradition of thinking beyond our own walls to serve our communities. We should be proud of that history, but we need to expect more.

We need our communities to expect more of us – not do more with less, but rather show the community that we are truly about transformation not simply information. We need to expect more from CARLI. The paradox of success is that the work that garnered that success is rarely the work that will ensure future accomplishments. We should expect CARLI will challenge us and innovate. However, ultimately we must expect more of our selves. We must look up from the day to day reality of staff shortages, toner cartridges, and cataloging backlogs and become our own future. We must prove to others and ourselves every day that librarianship is not clerical, nor about materials, or about the building. Librarianship is about improving society.

We must now think about sharing more than just our licenses and loaning our books. We must share authority and responsibility with our communities. We must share our services and expertise with each other. Ultimately we must become a truly open market of ideas. You may have joined CARLI to expand your database offerings – use it now to expand possibilities. You may use CARLI to share materials, now use it to share yourselves and the brilliance of your local communities.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/CARLI.pdf
Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2011/CARLI.mp3

Publisher of the Community: New Librarianship Unencumbered by Our Stacks

“Publisher of the Community: New Librarianship Unencumbered by Our Stacks” PLS President’s Program at the NYLA 2011 Annual Conference. Saratoga Springs, NY.

Abstract: Imagine libraries are places to learn and create, not consume and check out. Imagine the day when every book published is not only available digitally, but at a very low cost……imagine.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/NYLA.pdf
Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2011/NYLA.mp3

Building the Skills of Library and Museum Professionals

“Building the Skills of Library and Museum Professionals” Lecture to the Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture Summit, Salzburg Global Seminar, Salzburg, Austria.

Abstract: This is the world we have asked for, this is the world we have worked for. Why showcase culture if we are not enabling contribution to that culture. Why information if not for informed participation. Why educate if not for advocacy. Why is it when we espouse the values and virtue of empowerment, we are surprised they seek power in shaping our destinies as well?

The time for introspection is done. The time for trivia is done. The time for looking for the future of libraries in catalogs, and strategic plans is done. The needs of our communities is too great, and our promise for improvement too large. Already at this summit we have heard about the need for education, jobs, food, and disaster assistance. Many of us, including myself, are returning to riots and civil unrest. Our appetites for energy are unsustainable, and the very memory of our society is eroding behind walls of commerce, false scarcity, and obsolescence.

For too long have we defined the core of our profession – service – as standing ready to serve. No one ever improved the world by standing ready.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/Salz3.pdf
Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2011/Salzburg.mp3

Killing the Library Quickly

A few weeks ago I did the Keynote at NELA and it was received very well, including a very thoughtful blog post by Agnostic, Maybe. I needed to create shorter more pithy version for the iSchools webpage, and so edited it down from an hour to 25 minutes. I thought it might be useful to others, so here it is:

if you want the longer version with more jokes, ums, and New England references you can find it here. Also, due to popular demand I should be able to post a transcript of the original this week.

Killing Librarianship

“Killing Librarianship” Keynote New England Library Association Annual Conference, Burlington, VT.

Abstract: What might kill our profession is not ebooks, Amazon or Google, but a lack of imagination. We must envision a bright future for librarians and the communities they serve, then fight to make that vision a reality. We need a new activist librarianship focused on solving the grand challenges of our communities. Without action we will kill librarianship.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/NELA.pdf
Audio: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/pod/2011/NELA.mp3
Transcript: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/KillLib.htm


Don’t have an hour? Watch the 25 minute condensed version here.

LIS Grand Challenges and the Death of the User

“LIS Grand Challenges and the Death of the User” iSchool Colloquium Series University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Abstract: Grand challenges are hard problems with solutions that have societal level impacts. They are as much rallying cry as research agenda, and are useful in promoting innovation in the field and building strong cross-disciplinary partnerships. What are the grand challenges in library and information science? This presentation will focus on efforts to define these grand challenges and the implications for research and education in the LIS field. Special emphasis will be put on moving past concepts of users to true participation and past information to knowledge.
Slides: https://davidlankes.org/rdlankes/Presentations/2011/SIS-Pitt.pdf