Master Class Now Open for Enrollment

Starting at the end of June I’ll be running the New Librarianship Master Class (June 30-July 27). For those who are familiar with the MOOC I did last summer, this is a repeat of that course. For those unfamiliar, here is a description:

About the Class

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?

The vision for a new librarianship must go beyond finding library-related uses for information technology and the Internet; it must provide a durable foundation for the field. New Librarianship recasts librarianship and library practice using the fundamental concept that knowledge is created though conversation. New librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation; they seek to enrich, capture, store, and disseminate the conversations of their communities.

Join David Lankes for this online course that provides a foundation for practicing librarians and library science students in new librarianship. It builds on The Atlas of New Librarianship, the 2012 ABC CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature and seeks to generate discussion about the future direction of the profession.

Course Introduction

For a brief video introduction see: https://vimeo.com/96621020

For a brief video introduction of New Librarianship see: https://vimeo.com/49680667

Join Others

Thanks to the generosity of the State Library of Illinois, the class will be open to all comers, but is targeting participants in the ILEAD USA project. To enroll, use the following instructions. Note that the class won’t start until June 30, but you can register now and get a sense of the course management system used.

Self Enroll

This course is being taught using CourseSites by Blackboard, an online platform for organizing and securely sharing course materials, online lectures, discussion and other learning activities. To request enrollment into my course, follow the steps below:

1. Launch a browser and enter the following URL to the course home page:

https://www.coursesites.com/s/_ILEADUSA

2. Once at the course home page, click the “Self Enroll” button.

When signing up, take note that you can register using existing account information from popular web services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, Yahoo and Windows Live to make it easier to login.

Questions

If you have any questions please let me know at rdlankes@iis.syr.edu, or use the Discussion board under “Overview and Introduction.”

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

New Librarianship Master Class to be Offered Again

Last summer I offered a MOOC on the basics of New Librarianship. Over 2,300 people enrolled. However, many said they couldn’t participate at the time, or had to drop out for other obligations. Now, thanks to the State Library of Illinois’ ILEAD USA project, I’m offering it again.

Starting June 30th and running through July 27th, I’ll be re-running the MOOC. To be clear, this is the same course as last summer, not a follow-on. Also, unlike last summer, there will be no Continuing Education or College Credit options (though I will send out a delightful certificate of completion for those who want it).

Another important to note, the original site for the Master Class will remain up as an archive. There will be a new URL for this MOOC with fresh new discussion boards and such.

So, more details to come.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Free copies of Lankes book now available to ALA Members, Library Trustees and Friends of Libraries

Thanks to ALA for getting out the word and all of their support:

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/18/2014

Contact:

Mary Ghikas
Senior Associate Executive Director
ALA
312-280-2518
mghikas@ala.org
CHICAGO — The American Library Association has consciously and vigorously embraced the position that libraries of all types are the locus of community engagement. As the facilitator of the first round of Midwinter Conversations, R. David Lankes, professor at Syracuse iSchool, knows first-hand ALA’s commitment to community engagement and to turning outward.

Through Lankes’ generosity, ALA members and United for Libraries members are being given the opportunity to access for free Lankes’ book “Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World.” Download this book for free or read it through Medium by going to the following webpage: http://quartz.syr.edu/blog/?page_id=4598. Also included are brief videos explaining specific concepts and providing practical examples.

R. David Lankes is a professor and Dean’s Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of the Information Institute of Syracuse. Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society. 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, and the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. His book “The Atlas of New Librarianship,” co-published by the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, and MIT Press, won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.

For further information, contact Mary W. Ghikas, Senior Associate Executive Director, ALA, 312-280-2518 or mghikas@ala.org.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Save Big on Expect More

Looking for that last minute gift for your favorite library board member, provost, or principal? Look no further. Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries for Today’s Complex World is now just $12 from Amazon…over a 30% savings for the season.

What are folks saying about the book? From GoodReads:
Fish

“An amazing little book that explicates what libraries should be and what we should all expect from them.”

“The author actually made this an interesting read about the future of libraries and what we should demand for them to be even better.”

“FANTASTIC”

“Library boards need to read it. Superintendents, principals, other administrators, teachers, parents, need to read it. Provosts, deans, faculty, and students need to read it. Community members, mayors, city councils, county decision makers need to read it. Library school faculty need to read it.”

4 out of 5 Stars on Amazon

4.5 out of 5 Stars on LibraryThing

Abstract of the Book:

Libraries have existed for millennia, but today many question their necessity. In an ever more digital and connected world, do we still need places of books in our towns, colleges, or schools? If libraries aren’t about books, what are they about? In Expect More, David Lankes, winner of the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature, walks you through what to expect out of your library. Lankes argues that, to thrive, communities need libraries that go beyond bricks and mortar, and beyond books and literature. We need to expect more out of our libraries. They should be places of learning and advocates for our communities in terms of privacy, intellectual property, and economic development. Expect More is a rallying call to communities to raise the bar, and their expectations, for great libraries.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Engineers of Innovation

“Engineers of Innovation” NCSLMA 2013 Annual Conference. Winston-Salem, NC.

Abstract: Innovation is a term with baggage. To some it is a nebulous concept thrown around to little effect. To others, it is a daunting task reserved for a few visionaries. In this presentation Lankes will talk about how innovation is the job of every librarian. Lankes will also talk about how innovation must be matched to a mission of learning and constant community improvement.

Slides: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2013/NorthCarolina.pdf

Audio: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/pod/2013/NCFlow.mp3



Screencast:

Engineers of Innovation from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Posted in Presentations | Leave a comment

New Librarianship Master Class: MOOC Statistics

“New Librarianship Master Class: MOOC Statistics”
Pushing the Envelope in Education: Roles for Libraries-MOOCs, eLearning & Gamification. Toronto, CA. (via Skype)

Abstract: A quick overview of the New Librarianship MOOC with some conclusions and statistics.

Slides: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2013/MOOCStats.pdf

Audio: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/pod/2013/MoocToronto.mp3



Screencast:

New Librarianship Master Class from R. David Lankes on Vimeo.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MOOC Videos added to Atlas Companion Site

The video introduction to the threads of the Atlas, created and used in the New Librarianship MOOC, have now been added to the Threads sections of the Atlas companion site.

In the coming weeks I hope to make substantial changes to the companion site, creating a more expansive home for new librarianship and ongoing efforts, such as the Salzburg Curriculum. If you have ideas on how to improve the site, please let me know.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After the MOOC

The New Librarianship Master Class/MOOC is its third week, and the question can be asked…whats next? What happens after the August 4th end date for the course? The short answer is, the conversation can continue. What follows is some specific answers, and some longer term plans.

On August 5th, the tests and assessments in the course will disappear. This will allow us to grade the work, and certify folks seeking Continuing Education Units and graduate credit. See the FAQ for more details on receiving credits.

However, the rest of the course will remain open, as will enrollment for anyone wanting to join the course after the 4th. The hope is that two things will happen:

  1. The course will remain available to those who want to learn about new librarianship, and
  2. The conversation about librarianship will continue.

The videos, slides, readings, and structure will remain available. As a reminder, all of these are also available via Creative Commons License, so please use these materials in any way you would like. I need to be clear, that after August 4th, I personally will do my best to monitor the course, but Syracuse University can’t make a formal commitment to support instructors. Jill Hurst-Wahl, Megan Oakleaf, and Jian Qin have done a tremendous job in engaging in conversation, but alas, they have lives outside of new librarianship (unlike me). So it will become more self-service.

What I am really hoping is that after the crush of completing the course, and folks have time to catch up on the discussion boards, the conversation can continue as well. I have been very impressed by the sharing and thoughts on the future of the field. I know there are a lot of forums that the profession uses to talk, and if the MOOC can continue to be one, I am happy.

We’ll also be sharing what we’ve learned. I’m working on a behind the scenes screencast that highlights the technologies used in the course. I’ll share data as it becomes available.

As for future offerings? We’ll see. One idea that has been floated is building out week 3 of the MOOC for an offering aimed at “overseers” of libraries such as board members, principals, faculty, provosts and so on. If you have ideas on that, please share. We’re also working on creating a resource list of readings, videos, and resources brought up in the MOOC dialogs.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beyond the Bullet Points: Power and Empowerment

I have been engaged in a discussion of librarians and power with Steve Matthews over on the BeerBrarian Blog:

http://beerbrarian.blogspot.com/2013/07/thoughts-on-new-librarianship-week-one.html?showComment=1373647786790#c3322455378238735629 (great post, but this is happening in the comments).

It would have stayed there, but my latest response is simply too big, and I’d rather be complete than terse. Also, I think these ideas on the role of libraries and librarians is of general importance I wanted to share. So here is the setup that kicked off this response inflatable tent:

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 8.44.46 AM

Now, my response cheap christmas inflatables for sale:

Steve I can honestly say your reply left me speechless. It was, for me, a moment of clarity as to why we disagree so fundamentally when reading your blog I see so much similarity. I see now your objection to my views on power, and I also see we are never going to agree upon them. So let this be my final comment.

I agree that as with learning, no one can force someone to accept power, or a service, or make a decision that one party defines as beneficial. In essence just because a librarian seeks to empower an individual or community does not mean that individual has to accept it. This is why education has been turned on its head from teacher-centric to learner-centric. Ultimately taking power, like learning, is a choice.

However, where I fundamentally disagree is that all individuals are given the same choices. That in essence all individuals and communities have the same opportunity to say yes to empowerment and therefore are never presented choices for power at all.

This is obviously a larger issue of social equity or social justice to use a more loaded term. If you live in Detroit today, you do not have access to the choices as someone who lives in Ann Arbor. The police and emergency units will show up in no less than an hour. You will have access to fewer libraries, your urban schools will underperform. Can someone in this setting overcome these obstacles on their own? Some can. The media is replete with stories of those they have, though often integral to these stories are mentors and heroes that made it happen.

I will simply mention other things that for long has robbed people of their choices of empowerment: race, gender, sexual orientation, poverty, and religion among other things. If we as a society subscribe that all people are created equal, and all people deserve an equal chance at success (note not an equal guarantee of it) then we endeavor to establish a level playing field of empowerment – literally social mechanisms of empowerment. This combination of private agencies (foundations), public agencies (like schools and libraries), marketplace agencies (training and internships), and religious agencies (charity and services) seek to establish bases of power (access to opportunities, skill sets, money, a regulatory context) that can be shared with the citizenry – though often in radically different ways and at times for conflicting different reasons. These agencies all are active in their impact and outreach – an outreach that represents a worldview (the role of government, the prioritization of a given group, the best means of empowerment) full of biases and points of view.

So these services and individuals seek to empower in a context of values and means. Often they conflict. And in these conflicts, gaps of opportunity either arise or are created. So that an individual may be deprived of opportunities and choices. Therefore he or she can be left without power not by the choices they make, but by the circumstances he or she finds themselves in.

If we believe, as I do, that librarians and libraries support the importance of things like equal access to knowledge, and prepared access to the democratic process we must first seek the power to do that. In the civic sector that comes in the form of charters and tax dollars. In essence a social compact with a community. We then use this power to offer it back to these communities, adhering to our values as agreed upon in that negotiation with the community (through boards, and budget votes).

Will all members of the community then accept or even agree with the power being offered (literacy, confidential access to the net, proxy battles against censorship, etc)? No, but they offer it so more members of society can choose empowerment.

To say the world works by people choosing either to empower themselves or not as if they all have the same choices to make ignores not only the reality of ongoing discussions on the role of government, but massive changes in societal opportunities brought about through the civil rights movement, women’s liberation, and child labor laws to only mention a few.

Now one may say that these movements didn’t come directly from the work of librarians. I would, again, disagree. Librarians and libraries did play a role, even if indirectly. Greater democratic participation and civic transparency was very much a goal of Carnegie’s library building. The advent of fiction collections and youth services was a proactive change in library service to meet the growing wealth of the middle class and a renewed emphasis on education. Open stacks still stand as a testament to open inquiry against the counter examples in repressive regimes.

In the first Arab Spring during protests in Alexandria all the prisons were opened and rapist and murders and thugs were put on the street to creat looting mobs to intimidate and invalidate the protests. The mobs went from government building to government building burning and vandalizing them.

These mobs then turned to the New Library of Alexandria. A structure built by the corrupt regime and whose board included the wife of the president. Protestors, men woman and children, gathered hand in hand to surround the building to protect it. By the end of the uprising, not one window was broken and not one rock thrown against its walls. The protestors even draped a flag across the stairs of the library, and every morning protester would touch and kiss the flag as they went out to march – in essence retaking the library for the community.

Why protect it? Because of the less than 10 year history of the library, the librarians and the staff did their jobs. The provided opportunity to learn, and engage in dialog with the local and global community. By embracing a belief that their work empowered people to learn, not just a party line, but whatever the learner wanted, they gave voice to those who had none. You could say they were being unbiased, but I would say in the pressure to tow the party line, they showed a strong bias toward open inquiry and serving the needs of the people over the government.

The world we live in is too complex to simply say people chose to be illiterate, or poor, or powerless. Certainly some do. But for those who choose to read they need a teacher willing to share their power of reading. For those who choose to fight to get out of poverty they need those who choose to provide access to online business sites that now require an online application even to be a janitor. And for those guaranteed the right to vote, they need access to documentation and voter registration be they democrat, republican, or independent. Without this empowering assistance they have no real choices. Only the illusion of it. And the illusion of choice and power may make the powerful sleep well at night, but it ultimately allows them to continually deprive power.

And so we come full circle to librarians and libraries. Do librarians seek out power, yes. They do so in order to serve. They do so in order to make powerful the individuals and communities and institutions they serve. But they do so in accordance with a set of professional values. Is the power they acquire neutral? No power is neutral – all power comes from some inequity. You are powerful on the playing field because you are faster or stronger. You are powerful in business because you have bigger profits, or better products. In government because of the size of your constituency. And you are powerful as a librarian because of your skills, and your credibility (that comes from performance and being intellectually honest about biases in an attempt toward unbiased).

This power of the librarian is also a large part of the power of a library. By sharing this power with the community through providing services, individuals and groups gain power. Some will chose not to accept it. But for far too many this will be their only opportunity to make decisions to lead to their own empowerment. Did the individual make the choice? Sure, but the library and librarian made the choice possible. And, they must continuously fight for the resources to do that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Librarianship Master Class Now Available

Thank you for registering for the iSchool at Syracuse University’s New Librarianship Master Class open online course! The class will begin on July 8th (noon EDT) and run through August 4th.

Below are the steps you’ll need to complete to access the course. As a reminder, you can review the New Librarianship Master Class FAQ’s here.

  1. Go to https://www.coursesites.com/s/_New_Librarianship Please note that you will not be able to access this course until Monday, July 8th at 12:00pm EDT. If you attempt to enter prior to this date and time, it will indicate page not found.
  2. Choose the course New Librarianship.
  3. Choose the option “Self-Enroll in this course” as seen here:
  4. Next there will be two options. Click on the link that applies to you.
    1. I have a CourseSites Account.
      1. Enter your information and log in to the site. This will bring you directly to the course. Now you are able to begin exploring the site!
    1. I Need a CourseSites Account.
      1. Fill out the information to create an account with CourseSites.
      2. Click Save/Submit.
      3. Click the button to go directly to the course. Now you are able to begin exploring the course!

Participation in the course is free. However, students interested in taking the course for graduate credit ($3,105.60 for the 3 credit course) must complete an additional registration step and should contact Blythe Bennett directly for instructions. Students interested in taking the course for CEU credit ($150 fee for 2.0 CEUs) will have the option to do so in early August upon completion of the course.

Please contact iMOOC@syr.edu with any questions. We look forward to having you be part of the course!

iSchool at Syracuse University
iMOOC@syr.edu
http://ischool.syr.edu/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment