“Clear, Consistent, Inclusive, and Transparent”

“Clear, Consistent, Inclusive, and Transparent” AISLE 2023 Annual Conference, Champaign, IL.

Abstract: The role of school librarians extends beyond simply helping students achieve success in their studies. School librarians prepare students for life-long inquiry based learning. We foster students passions beyond the curriculum and equip them to thrive in a world of information and misinformation. But how do we plan and build programs around the unique passions of individuals?? What does a makerspace of the mind look like and how do we draw lines, and put together budgets with such diversity? How can we constantly add new services, and tools when we barely can keep up with the current program? This talk will lay out some ideas on how as librarians we can do less, but do it better. It is about focusing the work of the librarian to unleash the potential of students.

To Improve is Not a Neutral Act

“To Improve is Not a Neutral Act” Biblioteche Innovazione Comunita, Bergamo, Italy

Abstract: Values are one of the defining characteristics of a librarian. Yet one value needs a thorough rethinking: neutrality. In this short video Lankes argues that one can’t be neutral, that intellectual honesty is a better concept (active versus passive), and that such a stand is even more important in a time of attacks on intellectual freedom and librarians.


Lankes Named to Inaugural Research Leaders Academy

I’m proud to be part of this new program at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Congratulations to the inaugural cohort of the UT Research Leaders Academy! 15 researchers from 10 colleges were selected to participate. 

The academy is a partnership between OVPR and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost (EVPP) to support UT researchers who aspire to lead, or are already leading, large-scale research initiatives. Participants will work closely with OVPR staff to learn how to scope a large-scale, shared scholarly vision with colleagues, how to secure external support to realize that shared vision, and how to successfully implement and manage their vision. 

We’re excited to partner with the Provost’s Office to help researchers develop their leadership skills! “


The Real AI: Augmented Intelligence

“The Real AI: Augmented Intelligence.” Presentation to the Enssib event 1, 2, 3… IA ! Intelligence Artificielle, Métiers et Compétences. May 11, 2023

Abstract: What are the necessary competencies for librarians in the age of AI? A presentation to the Enssib session on AI librarian competencies. THe whole agenda and video of the sessions can be found here: https://www.enssib.fr/printemps-des-metiers-2023-intelligence-artificielle-metiers-competences


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The Vital Role of Libraries and Democracy Needs Protection

Lankes, R. David (2023). The Vital Role of Libraries and Democracy Needs Protection. Clip de SEDIC, Revista de la Sociedad Española de Documentación e Información Científica. Available: https://doi.org/10.47251/clip.n87.112

ABSTRACT: The current spate of materials challenges in libraries globally calls out for new defenses.Concepts of library neutrality and librarian objectivity fall flat in light of current developments, and against organized challengers not interested in objectivity. New defenses of library services must be based on librarian expertise and activated network of diverse community members. The field needs to strengthen societal protections for librarians in the conduct of their work.

Holy Crap, What Virtual Reference Can Teach AI?

This post was done in about 10 minutes…so consider it a conversation starter that needs input.

I had a very interesting conversation talking about project ideas for AI and academic libraries. It quickly focused on AskA Librarian services and good ‘ol digital reference/virtual reference. Imagine, the conversation went, we could take a person’s question and run it through chatGPT and then prompt librarians to work with the person with the AI prompt.

I jumped back about 30 years to discussions of “sandwich interfaces” that would search against a database of previous questions and answers. Then we could look for different types of questions asked, and which would work better with AI. Could we remake QuestionPoint (now LibAnswers https://springshare.com/libanswers/ ) in a librarians driven augmented intelligence function. One that could drive collection development and interface design? Take the virtual reference work o Conway and Radford and join it with Soo Young Rieh’s work in learning and search interfaces!

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AI and Schools Workshop at Texas Library Association

Friday, April 21, 2023

9:30 am – 11 am

Room 615AB at Hilton Austin

Join us for a workshop where we’ll be delving into the crucial topic of AI literacy. Together, we’ll be designing an educational program for high school students to help them learn about the future of AI and its impact on their lives and careers. Topics include algorithmic bias, generative AI, disinformation, and self-driving cars. School librarians attending the TLA 2023 Conference are invited to join us for an exciting and enriching experience!

RSVP Google Form https://shorturl.at/eirGJ

About the IMLS LADDER Project

This workshop is funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for our project, “Training Future Faculty in Library, AI, and Data Driven Education and Research (LADDER).” The goal of this project is to prepare future LIS faculty who have hybrid expertise in leveraging libraries and AI and data science to benefit libraries.
LADDER Fellows conduct collaborative research with school, academic, and public librarians as well as the principal investigators, Soo Young Rieh, Ken Fleischmann, and David Lankes.

Here is a flyer on the workshop: