Tuesday March 9, 2021
R. David Lankes, Redefining Librarianship
1:15 to 2:30 p.m.
Zoom link will be provided via email (iSchool listserv)

This research presentation will present a long-term and large-scale action research study into the nature of librarianship. It will break down the practice-based shift of librarianship from collections and institutions to services and true community engagement, guided by theories of knowledge and social action. The presentation will briefly present the context of the study (how the rise of social media challenged traditional definitions of libraries and librarianship) and the guiding research question (What is the definition of librarianship outside the context of an institution). A multi-method qualitative approach grounded in action research will be reviewed. Finally, the significance of the study findings will be discussed with a focus on an emerging post-neutrality librarianship.


Short Bio: R. David Lankes is a professor and the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Information Science. Lankes has always been interested in combining theory and practice to create active research projects that make a difference. His work has been funded by organizations such as The MacArthur Foundation, The Institute for Library and Museum Services, NASA, The U.S. Department of Education, The U.S. Department of Defense, The National Science Foundation, The U.S. State Department, and The American Library Association.


Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society earning him the American Library Association’s Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship in 2016. He also seeks to understand how information approaches and technologies can be used to transform industries. In this capacity he has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation including at the National Academies. He has been a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, The Harvard School of Education, the French national library school ENSSIB, and was the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. His book, The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.


*Zoom link will be provided via email to iSchool listserv