Lankes to join the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science as Director

SLISI am very pleased to announce that I will be joining the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science as director and associate dean in the College of Information and Communications. My appointment will take effect July 1, 2016 subject to the university’s approval process.

I make this move with a great deal of excitement, and a healthy dose of sadness. I have been affiliated with SU for nearly 28 years in one capacity or another but now is the time for me to apply what I have learned in a new environment.

While there will be more details to follow, I did want to say that it has been the greatest honor and privilege to be part of the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. I also want to extend my thanks to the faculty, staff, and students at SLIS and the College of Information and Communications who have been so welcoming and supportive.

Expect More 2nd Edition Now Available

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The Second Edition of Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World is now available for purchase (Expect More Collaboratory Members receive free copies).

You can purchase it from:


CreateSpace Online Store (preferred) and Amazon



If you are interested in bulk discounts please contact me at

Thanks to all the Collaboratory partners for their help. Keep an eye out for Greater Expectations, the Expect More Workbook for engaging your community in conversations.


Here is a brief Changelog to highlight major changes:

  • Changed the acknowledgements to recognize Expect More Collaboratory partners
Chapter 1
  • Revised estimated expenditures of libraries in North America and Globally. First edition grossly underestimated them.
  • Added OCLC examples of library usage.
  • Added Ferguson, Calgary, an NYC examples
Chapter 2
  • Added “Third Space” as a core argument for libraries.
    • Included examples like Toronto’s study pods and Fairfield’s treehouse themed children’s library.
  • Updated journal and database figures
  • Added Canadian statistics for literacy
  • Added StoryCorp and DPLA examples for Cultural Heritage
  • Added Toronto, Cuyahoga, and DC examples of supporting entrepreneurs
Chapter 3
  • Updated a lot of URL’s and mission statements.
Chapter 4
  • Added more examples in the training section
  • Added the Lebanon, NH Tor case as an example of protecting intellectual safety.
Chapter 5
  • Added discussion of how communities must share limited resources and how that can lead to conflict.
  • Added a discussion of hot spot lending
Chapter 6
  • Updated examples
  • Incorporated Aspen Report’s People, Platform, Place
  • Added section on the Community as Collection

Communities in Crisis

“Communities in Crisis” Association des bibliothécaires français. Strasbourg, FR (via video).

Abstract: How do libraries respond in times of crisis? They dive deeper into their communities. Is this an act of politics? Yes.




This video has French captioning. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathalie CLOT, Directrice Bibliothèque universitaire d’Angers and Raphaelle Bats for the translation and opportunity.

Below is the timecoded translation:

Continue reading “Communities in Crisis”

Join the Expect More Collaboratory

Four Years ago I wrote Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World to start a conversation between librarians and the communities they serve. Since that time thousands have used the book to start conversations, teach students, do board development, and even shape director and dean searches. The time has come to take Expect More to the next step: The Expect More Collaboratory.

This is a call to join partners in expanding Expect More into a comprehensive and expanding set of community building resources. These resources will include online learning events for library decision makers, a physical and digital workbook, and an ongoing series of engagements to advocate for greater community focus and involvement in libraries. The Expect More Collaboratory will deliver a multimedia web-based curriculum for use by librarians with boards, principals, provosts, and communities.

So consider this a call for crowd sourcing. Please help in preparing our communities for better libraries. I’ve put together a site for more information and a brief video call for participation.

Expect More Collaboratory (*


*Please note this used to point to the Expect More World Tour, and you may need to refresh your browser. The direct link is


Radical’s Guide to New Librarianship Update

Greetings all. There was a great deal of activity around my new book, a librarian-oriented follow-up to the Atlas of New Librarianship, at the beginning of the year. Well, it is 4 months later and there has been a lot of progress. Of course most of that progress is between me and my word processor, so I thought it would be useful to bring folks up to speed.

The first update is that the working title of the book has changed. The Radical’s Guide to New Librarianship is now The New Librarianship Field Guide. Folks made it very clear in my call for input they were looking for a book that was more linear, filled with more actionable examples, and was at it’s core about implementation. So the Field Guide now includes lots of examples, discussion questions, and field observations on implementing and teaching these ideas. To be clear I still talk about librarians as radical positive change agents.

I’m changing the pages on my site to reflect the new working title over the next few days. All the “Radical Conversations” will remain.

The other reason for the change is that Field Guide is being designed for use on the go. Not only will it be a highly portable paperback, but it will be available from the get go as an ebook. So the hope is that you can use it on the front lines with librarians and other library staff.

The big update is that the first really rough draft is now out for comments from the New Librarianship Collaborative (Wendy Newman, Kim Silk, and Lauren Britton). I’m including the current table of contents below and I need your help.

You’ll see that Chapter 19 is titled “FAQs (Frequently Argued Questions).” I’m looking for your questions or the issues that pop up when you are trying to implement the community-centric, community as collection idea. I can’t promise to include them all, but I would like to provide responses to as many as possible. You’ll see a few examples already under that chapter (and a special thanks to Lane Wilkinson for letting me use his blog post to get the ball rolling).

So email me, or use the comments below.

Here’s the current Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: Librarianship Full Stop
    • The New Language of Librarianship
      • “Radical”
      • “New Librarianship”
      • “Member”
    • Acknowledging the Atlas in the Room
    • Structure of the Guide


  • Chapter 2: They Named the Building After Us
  • Chapter 3: The Mission of Librarians
    • A Very Brief History of Libraries
    • A Two Part Mission
    • Your Mission is Not Unique
    • Stand for Something or Fall for Everything
  • Chapter 4: Knowledge Creation
    • Information is a Lie
    • Knowledge, Knowing, and Pragmatism
    • Recorded Knowledge is a Lie Too
    • So What is Knowledge?
    • 1+1=Climate Change?!
    • I’ll Have the Dialect Theory with a Side of Constructivism Please
      • Conversants
        • Trust Me, I’m a Librarian
      • Language
      • Agreements
      • Memory
    • The Practicalities of Being in the Conversation Business
  • Chapter 5: Facilitation
    • Access
    • Knowledge
    • Environment
    • Motivation
    • All Together Now
  • Chapter 6: Participatory Systems
    • Pressure for participation
      • The Pressure to Converse
      • The Pressure for Change
      • The Pressure for Social Interaction
      • The Pressure of Limited Resource
      • The Pressure at the Boundaries
    • What Should Be
      • Go to the Conversation
      • Focus on Aspirations not Problems
  • Chapter 7: Improve Society
    • Service
    • Learning
    • Openness
    • Intellectual Freedom and Safety
    • Intellectual Honesty
    • So What is a Librarian?
  • Chapter 8: Librarians
    • The Salzburg Curriculum
      • Transformative Social Engagement
      • Technology
      • Asset Management
      • Cultural Skills
      • Knowledge, Learning, and Innovation
      • Management for Participation
        • Advocacy and Librarianship by Wendy Newman
        • Assessment
  • Chapter 9: Pragmatic Utopians


  • Chapter 10: What is a Library
    • A Library is a Funded Mandate
    • Facilitated Space
    • Stewards
  • Chapter 11: Saving Money and the World
    • Collective Buying Agent
    • Economic Stimulus
    • Center of Learning
    • Safety Net
      • An Assured Path to Irrelevance or An Outright Impeachment of Our Basic Principles
    • Steward of Cultural Heritage
    • Third Space
    • Cradle of Democracy
      • Democracy and Transparency
      • Democracy and Access
      • Democracy and Education
      • Democracy and Higher Expectations
    • Symbol of Community Aspirations
  • Chapter 12: A Platform for Knowledge Development
    • A System of Systems
    • From Lending to Sharing
    • What’s Your Passion
    • Components of the Library Platform
      • Access Provision
      • Knowledge Creation
      • Environment
      • Motivation
  • Chapter 13: Fitting Knowledge in a Box
    • Daedalus’ Maze
    • Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, But What About Academic Libraries
  • Chapter 14: Academic Libraries
    • A Library with an Integrated Research and Development Agenda
    • Integrating Students Across the Campus in Library Service
    • The Library Serves as a Hub for New Forms of Instruction
    • Reinventing the Academic Press to be a Publisher of the Community
    • Making the Most Important Decision a Faculty Makes More Informed
    • Academic Library Conclusion
  • Chapter 15: School Libraries
    • iTeams by Sue Kowalski
    • iTeams Take-Aways
  • Chapter 16: Public Libraries
    • Community Reference
    • Public Library Summary
  • Chapter 17: Engines of Advancement

From Mission to Missionary

  • Chapter 18: Battle Plan for the Faithful
    • Continuing Education
      • Expect More World Tour
        • Lack of Staff
        • Fear of Failure
      • ILEAD USA
      • New Librarianship Master Class
    • Key Success Factors
      • Emphasize Teachable Skills
      • Link to Longstanding Concepts
      • Build Cohorts
      • Use Projects and Inquiry When Possible
      • Cross Boundaries
      • Demonstrate Comfort with Ambiguity
      • Build Communities Not Websites
      • Provide Opportunities for Introspection and Inspiration
  • Chapter 19: FAQs (Frequently Argued Questions)
    • Open question #1: What about fiction?
    • Open question #2: What about librarians who don’t work in public services?
    • Open question #3: What about the autodidacts?
    • Open question #4: What about non-institutional libraries?
    • This Approach Doesn’t Work for Small Libraries
    • New Librarianship is Just for Public Libraries
    • Your Turn
  • Chapter 20: Coda



Stories and Fiction: Join the Radical Conversation

Today we start the second in our series of radical conversations, this time about the role of fiction and storytelling in knowledge creation. What is the role of narratives in the work of librarians, and what is the work of libraries in creating the stories of our communities?

How can librarians serve their communities in terms of fiction beyond a collection? Come join us, and make sure you give a listen to a conversation with the New Librarianship Collaborative and Jennifer Ilardi on lessons from Ferguson, MO.

Join the conversation via Twitter using the hashtag #NewLibFiction or at the conversation’s page:

Also, we’ll be pulling all of these discussions together for an event at ALA MidWinter in Chicago. Let us know if you can make it February 2, 2015.

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