Libraries have existed for millennia, but today the library field is searching for solid footing in an increasingly fragmented (and increasingly digital) information environment. What is librarianship when it is unmoored from cataloging, books, buildings, and committees? In The Atlas of New Librarianship, R. David Lankes offers a guide to this new landscape for practitioners. He describes a new librarianship based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning; and he suggests a new mission for librarians: to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.
“Expecting More: School Librarians & Change” Saskatchewan School Library Association. Webinar. This presentation will be based around the book Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World (now available as a free digital download). David Lankes will share his argument that in order to thrive, communities need libraries that go beyond bricks, mortar, books and literature and, specifically, how we can use this vision to transform school libraries into vital places of learning.
“The Librarian, The Closet, & The Empty Room” School Library Systems Conference. White Plains, NY. 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.
“ Expecting More From Our Libraries and Communities” Libraries are more important now than ever – but not the same libraries we have always had. Our patrons need to expect more of us, and we, in turn, should expect more of them. We must form a partnership based on aspirations and shared goals, not deficits, and collected materials. This session seeks to highlight the importance of librarianship and librarians in building stronger communities beyond a desk, a building, or a collection.
“Radical Librarians” 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.
“Everything You Learned in Library School is Wrong” We all know that Libraries are Good and Necessary Things and Libraries Collect, Organize, and Provide Access to Information. That’s what we were taught in library school right? Except of course, they don’t. Libraries don’t do anything except exert gravity and shield you from the rain. It is librarians and the people in the library that makes the world a better place. Collections are just tools, like buildings, and books, and databases, and 3D printers. This keynote will focus on how librarians are radical positive change agents that make communities better.Also available on YouTube.
“Libraries as Platforms of World Domination”Integrating the community into the collection is not a gimmick or a fad. Making community expertise a direct part of what the library offers – what the library is is not only possible, but essential. This session wraps in 9 states to work on the issue. Special thanks to Cheryl Gould for sharing her facilitation methods.
“The Changing Role of Librarians in Learning”As our understanding of learning has changed, so too must librarianship. As we have moved from teaching an act done to people to learning as an act controlled by the individuals, librarianship shifts from passive transmission of information to active facilitation of the learning process.
“Expect More: What’s In It For the Information Professional?”Librarians have a chance to fundamentally change the profession at the local, national and international level. This presentation covers why the profession is ready, our members are ready, and the crises that demand more of librarianship.
“Day 45,626”This year NYLA celebrates its 125th anniversary (45,625 days). 45,625 days ago Melvil Dewey, one of NYLA’s founders, saw the future of libraries in standardization, efficiency, and industrialization. 45,625 days ago the future of libraries was in shared structures, shared methods, and librarians devoted to the maintenance of institutional libraries. On day 45,626 this is the formula for disaster. On day 45,626 the future of libraries is in librarians building libraries around the unique communities they serve. The success of the next 125 years is intimately tied to the success of the counties, cities, towns, and villages of New York. Our next 125 years is in the dreams and aspirations of New York’s citizens, students, and scholars not our stacks.
The Obligation of InnovationLibrarians must lead their communities in innovation by example. If our libraries are to be incubators of new ideas, librarians must model creativity, adaptability, continuous learning, and leading change that makes a difference. This isn’t about apps, or looking like Silicon Valley, it is about weaving together new ideas and expertise locally. Lankes will make the case for innovation as a core attribute of librarians.