Projects and Research

Funded Research Projects

2017-Present Library Scholars, Various. PI.
Built school library cohort programs with South Carolina School districts to transition classroom teachers to school librarians. $500,000
2014-2016 Design for Learning: 21st Century Online Teaching and Learning Skills for Library Workers, IMLS. Principle for Syracuse University Sub-Contract. 

The monies will enable development of a program to guide transfer of in-person teaching skills and pedagogy to the online environment; help librarian-trainers evaluate and gain experience with various online delivery platforms; and teach library workers how people learn effectively in online education situations. $336,665

2014-2015 ILEAD USA, IMLS. Consultant 

2009-2013 ILEAD U, IMLS. Head of Instructor Corps.
A three-year continuing education initiative that directly addresses the need to expand librarians’ leadership abilities to use participatory technology to effectively engage their libraries’ constituents. The primary goals of this project are 1) to help library staff understand and respond to user needs through the application of participatory technology tools, and 2) the creation of an easy-to-replicate model program. $418,658
2010-2013 DACS – Digital Library Research, U.S. Department of Defense. Principal Investigator for Digital Library Portion.

Assist Quanterion, as it operates the DACS, in identifying, recommending, and applying technologies and techniques, particularly automated techniques, for efficiently identifying, collecting, cataloging, and aggregating electronic information resources in targeted focal software related technology areas. $646,844

2010-2011 Refernce Extract, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator.
First phase of development for Reference Extract, a credibility engine, allowing users to embed the credibility judgments of librarians worldwide into their applications. $350,000
2008-2009 Reference Extract Planning Grant, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator.
Investigated and developed a business plan and technical architecture for a general-purpose search engine built around credible communities (initially reference librarians). $97,428
2008 Future of Libraries, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Consultant.
Prepared a report on the area of libraries and their future evolution. $2,500
2008-Present CI-Facilitators: Accelerating Knowledge Development and Collaboration across the STEM Disciplines, NSF. Co-Principal Investigator.
Developing a curriculum to train cyber-infrastructure facilitators to aid in the adoption of technologies to further e-science. $239,945
2007-Present A Virtual Learning Laboratory for Digital Reference: Transforming the Internet Public Library, IMLS. Consultant.
Enhancing the Internet Public Library to make digital reference learning objects available to faculty in all ALA-accredited LIS programs, provide a laboratory with access to new technologies used to offer digital reference and digital library services and create a collaborative learning community for faculty, students and working librarians. $613,478
2006-Present Exploring the Social Internet, American Library Association. Principal Investigator.
Research and write a detailed technology brief on the topic of the social Internet. The brief will put an emphasis on interactive and social web applications such as blogs, social networks, and include a survey of the general “Web 2.0” and “Library 2.0 ” development world. $12,000
2006-Present Credibility Commons, MacArthur Foundation. Co-Principal Investigator.
The Credibility Commons is an experimental environment enabling individuals the opportunity to try out different approaches to improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web. Tools will be provided to researchers as well as the public, allowing them to try out search strategies, collections and other approaches to improving access to credible information. The Commons can be viewed as a collaborative space in which to share ideas, data sets, results and innovations. This project is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation who is deeply invested in improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web. $250,000
2004-2006 National Research Study on the Future of Librarians in the Workforce, IMLS. Co-Principal Investigator.
Joined with the University of North Caroline (lead) to identify the nature of anticipated labor shortages in the library and information science (LIS) field over the next decade; assess the number and types of library and information science jobs that will become available in the U.S. either through retirement or new job creation; determine the skills that will be required to fill such vacancies; and recommend effective approaches to recruiting and retaining workers to fill them. $1,000,000
2003-2006 Digital Reference Education Initiative, IMLS. Co-Principal Investigator.
Implemented an international effort to define core competencies in reference and build web-based resources to advance and educate the reference community. $250,000
2002-2006 National Science Digital Library: Core Integration, NSF. Principal Investigator for Virtual Reference Desk Portion.
Implement, maintain and improve a distributed expert/support component of the NSDL. With Cornell University, UCAR, Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Amherst. $1,200,000 (Syracuse University Portion)
2002-2004 Question Triage for Experts and Documents: Expanding the Information Retrieval Function of the NSDL, NSF. Co-Principal Investigator.
Merge digital triage system with NSDL information retrieval system. With Bruce Croft, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Matt Koll, Wondir Foundation. $350,000
2002-2005 Education Digital Library Initiative, U.S. Department of Education. Principal Investigator.
Operate and Improve the Virtual Reference Desk project and the Gateway to Educational Materials projects. $5,000,000
2002 Digital Reference Research Symposium, National Library of Canada, ACRL, Harvard, Library of Congress, OCLC. Principal Investigator and Organizer.
Organized a research symposium to develop an international research agenda in digital reference. $35,000
2001-2003 Integrating Expertise into the NSDL: Putting a Human Face on the Digital Library, NSF. Principal Investigator.
Created a distributed virtual reference desk for the NSF’s NSDL program. $350,000
2001-2002 Assessing Quality in Digital Reference Services, OCLC. Co-Principal Investigator with Charles McClure
Develop quality assessment techniques and standards. $150,000
2000-2001 Agile Collaboration Environments (ACE) for Systems Synthesis in Engineering Education, NASA.
Contributor to a proposal to NASA for an advanced training environment for engineers and K-12 students. Partners include School of Engineering and Cornell University. $1,000,000
2000-2003 Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology. Consultant.
Worked with the Syracuse University School of Education on implementing projects to increase technology use of School of Education faculty. $500,000
2000 Department of Education Referral Tool, U.S. Department of Education. Principal Investigator.
Worked with the Department of Education to develop specifications and policies for a department-wide referral tool to improve customer service. $60,000
1999-2000 MCI/WorldCom MarcoPolo Search Engine. Principle Investigator.
A contract with MCIWorldCom to create a cross-site search system for the MarcoPolo project. Includes cataloging nearly 7,000 records as well as systems development, network discovery and information retrieval, and interface research. $250,000
1998-2003 ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology. Principal Investigator and director of ERIC/IT.
A U.S. Department of Education sponsored clearinghouse that collects, indexes, abstracts and distributes information related to library and information science and educational technology. $5,000,000
1997-2002 Virtual Reference Desk, National Library of Education. Principal Investigator
A study to improve Internet reference services. [Later Education Digital Library Initiative] $1,200,000
1996-2002 Gateway to Educational Materials, Federal Dept. of Education.
Participated in a standards and cataloging project for Internet-based lesson plans. [Later Education Digital Library Initiative] $5,000,000
1996-1999 KidsConnect, AASL.
Assisted in ongoing work with the K-12 digital reference project. $200,000
1996-1998 AskLN, AT&T. Co-Principal Investigator
A planning grant for AT&T’s Learning Network mentoring service. $250,000
1992-2003 AskERIC, U.S. Department of Education.
Co-created an Internet service that sought to provide high quality education information to front-line educators through electronic networks. AskERIC related projects include:


  • AskERIC: Research and Development, U.S. Department of Education. This project has involved setting a research agenda, project management, and placing AskERIC’s R&D effort nationally. This work includes building relationships with Discovery/Learning Channels, CNN, Newton’s Apple, the Northeast Parallel Architecture Center, and NASA.
  • Syracuse University SunSITE, Sun Microsystems. Responsible for establishing Syracuse University and AskERIC as a worldwide SunSITE, a project of Sun that supports Universities with equipment in their efforts to advance the dissemination of high-technology and software throughout the Internet community. (Part of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology


2 Replies to “Projects and Research”

  1. Hi Dr. Lankes,

    Your April 30, 2020 you had a presentation (outline, actually) on “The New Normal Agenda for Librarianship” at Librarian.SUPPORT . I was emailed an attachment with this outline…it ended with: “Thanks to all who took the time to add comments. they are extremely helpful. I’ve turned off commenting for now so I can incorporate them into a version 2.”
    I would love to read your update. Version 2, when you put it out for all of us to consider.
    Claudia Cuca

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