Expect More the Audio Book Now Available


[TL;DR version: You can now buy the full audio book version of Expect More from Audible, iTunes, or Amazon…or continue to listen to it one chapter at a time from Circulating Ideas or Nerd Absurd]

{Cue Infomercial Voice} Tired of having to wait two weeks for a chapter of Expect More the audio book? Want the whole thing now with your Audible account? Itching to try audio books on iTunes? Tired of having to not pay for the audio version? Well go buy the Expect More Audio book right now!

That’s right, the full audio book version of Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World is now available via Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. Hear the dulcet tones of a seasoned professor lay out the case for better libraries. Treat your provost, principle, board member, and/or taxpayer to the finest insights on librarianship collected from places such as Egypt, Columbia, Kenya, and Syracuse…New York!

You’ll have to pull to the side of the road as Lankes recites the importance of community, and rasps all philosophical like on fixing libraries trapped in their buildings. “Hey Dave,” you’ll ask your favorite audio device, “exactly how much did libraries return for every dollar invested in Florida libraries?” And you’ll find out…$6.54.

Sure you could buy an iPhone 6, or wait for your Apple Watch; or you can do what the cool kids do and BUY THE EXPECT MORE AUDIO BOOK!

So grab your Expect More the audio book…or listen to it on Circulating Ideas or Nerd Absurd…or download it for free…or buy the paper version. But whatever you do Expect More!

Posted in Expect More, Publications News | Leave a comment

Chapter 1 of Expect More Audio Book Available

stereofish The first installment of the Expect More audio book is now available via the Circulating Ideas and Nerd Absurd podcasts!

Get started on the book for free. Chapter 2 in two weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Expect More…Audio

StereoFish[TL;DR version: Working with Circulating Ideas and the NerdAbsurb podcasts I'm making an Expect More Audio book.]

There are some great reasons for doing books with publishers. You get great editorial and design assistance. There is no way I could have done the Atlas of New Librarianship without MIT Press and ACRL. However, there also a lot of benefits to self-publishing. One of them is complete control of your intellectual property. So I can decide to make Expect More free to download: prioritizing reach over income (it also helps to have a day job). I can also use something like Expect More to try new things which brings me to today’s post.

I want to try and make an audio book. I want to learn about the whole recording/editing/publishing thing. I thought some of you might want to come along for the ride. So, I am recoding Expect More as an audio book. Based on suggestions from you folks, starting next week I’ll be releasing the book as a set of podcasts a chapter every two weeks.

Rather than starting a new podcast, I am lucky enough to partner with some fantastic sites. Circulating Ideas and the NerdAbsurd podcasts will be publishing the chapters throughout the fall. I also plan to compile all the recordings and sell it as an audio book through Audible.

Here’s the anticipated schedule:

Sept 9: Introduction and Chapter 1. The Arab Spring: Expect the Exceptional
Sept 23: Chapter 2. The Argument for Better Libraries: Expect Impact
Oct 7: Chapter 3. The Mission of Libraries: Expect More Than Books
Oct 21: Chapter 4. Facilitating Knowledge Creation: Expect to Create
Nov 4: Chapter 5. Improve Society: Expect Grander
Nov 18: Chapter 6. Communities: Expect a Platform
Dec 2: Chapter 7. Librarians: Expect Brilliance
Dec 16: Chapter 8. Action Plan: Expect More

Along the way I plan on posting some information on what I’m learning in the process.

Here is some more information on the Circulating Ideas and NerdAbsurd podcasts:

Circulating Ideas is the librarian interview podcast hosted by Steve Thomas. Since 2011, it has facilitated conversations about the innovative people and ideas moving libraries through the 21st century and beyond. Find the show online at www.circulatingideas.com and on Twitter @circideas.

NerdAbsurd started in September 2012 with some friends who met at the Dallas Makerspace. The podcast began with four members and was based on science, technology, and cultural topics from the standpoint of semi-hip 20-somethings.   Now, two years later, half of us are in our 30?s, and we still stand by our motto: Not in enough for the in crowd, not out enough for the out crowd.  We are NerdAbsurd.

Have other ideas or advice on an audio book, please share.

Posted in Expect More, New/Participatory Librarianship, News, Publications News | 2 Comments

Light The Night Walk – Join My Team!

LTN_300x250We’re forming a team for Light The Night Walk on September 18th and we hope you’ll join us. Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s evening walk and fundraising event. It is the nation’s night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of people battling blood cancers and to commemorate loved ones lost.

By joining our team and raising funds for this important cause, you’ll be making a real impact on the fight against cancer. On Walk night, you’ll join us with other teams and individuals from all over our community in the culmination of our efforts to find cures. Walk night is a family-oriented evening in which participants carry illuminated balloons, raise awareness of blood cancers and come together as a caring community.

Every walker who raises $100 or more* will be a Champion For Cures and will be recognized on Walk night with:

  • A Light The Night t-shirt.
  • An illuminated Light The Night balloon in red (supporters), white (survivors) or gold (in memory of a loved one)
  • A wristband which entitles the wearer to an array of food and refreshments.

* Patients and survivors will receive these items regardless of fundraising levels.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. Please join the team and “walk the talk.”

Click here to JOIN MY TEAM!

If you can’t join or simply want to donate I’m asking you to help by making a tax-deductible contribution! Please use the link below to donate online quickly & securely. You will receive an email confirmation of your donation as soon as it is made. I thank you in advance for your support which will make a difference in the lives of thousands of patients battling blood cancers.

I really appreciate your generosity!!


Thank you!

Posted in Biography, Cancer | Leave a comment


“Continuous Learning” Opening Keynote for The Library OnConference. Online.

Abstract: Librarians must build a system of continuous learning to better to engage their communities. From Alexandria to Ferguson to your back yard, librarians can make an amazing difference.

Slides: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2014/LibOnCon.pdf


Posted in 2014, Expect More, New/Participatory Librarianship, Presentation | Leave a comment

Radical Librarians in Ferguson and Beyond

A militarized police force – clad in body armor, helmets, and camouflage – shot rubber bullets and tear gas at the protestors. Children huddled in their houses, unable to sleep as their parents took turns watching the front doors for trouble, their father sitting next to a baseball bat just in case. The government called up the State police and National Guard, announced curfews, and closed governmental institutions.

This has been the majority of reporting in Ferguson. It is disturbing to be sure. Disturbing because this is not happening overseas, but in the suburbs of Saint Louis. Issues of justice, race, and economic disadvantage have been taken from an unspoken “issue” to the front of America’s consciousness. Yet in the images of protestors doused in gas, and armored police transports another story has emerged: the children of Ferguson are out of school.

Even though the nights are getting quieter the schools remain closed. This is not just a matter of a delayed school year, but for many of the low-income families this is a matter of food. A large percentage of Ferguson’s youth receive food assistance through the schools. If the schools are closed, these children go hungry. Hungry and trapped in their homes with the sounds of shots and riots outside.

The Florissant Valley Branch of the Saint Louis County Library and the local Ferguson Public Library stepped up to help. Yesterday I wrote about the Ferguson Public Library, but less has been said about The Florissant Valley Branch. Both libraries share coverage of the Ferguson-Florissant School District. Both have shown bravery and both show that librarians can be radical positive change agents.

Jennifer Ilardi, a student of mine, came into the Florissant Valley Branch Wednesday and decided to bring a variety of art supplies into the library’s auditorium so that parents could have some activities, get out of the house, socialize, and create. She also decided to order pizza. During a TV interview, She was prompted with “So you saw a need in the community. You saw a void.” She responded with “This is what libraries do. We supplement our educational system regularly with after school programs and summer programs. We provided free lunches all summer long through a collaboration with Operation Food Search because we recognize that a large portion of our community qualifies for free and reduced price lunches.”

The librarians plan on continuing this program all week long. Operation Food Search has agreed to continue the lunch program even though their original agreement had it ending on August 15th. The Magic House, a local children’s museum, has offered to bring in free interactive educational activities for students. Local artists have volunteered their services, as well, offering free magic shows and performances. Some of this collaboration was the library reaching out and part of it was others wanting to get involved. The important thing if that the library establish these relationships continuously which made easy to organize a response.

When I tweeted out some of this yesterday one librarian responded “a library always makes the difference!” While I love the activist spirit behind the tweet (the active voice that libraries MAKE a difference), I have to disagree with the comment for two reasons. One is a continuous rant of mine. Libraries are organizations or buildings, and can do nothing but exert gravity and shield you from the rain. It is librarians, and more broadly library staff that make the difference. It was a decision that Jennifer and her colleagues made to do something beyond being open. It was a choice to be there and help.

The other comment I have on this tweet is that sadly not all libraries do make a difference. Some librarians see an adherence to policy, or not taking sides, as a reason to step back from issues and outright breakdowns in the social order. Still others limit their views by asking, “how can a collection and reading address a problem of civil unrest?” Librarians and their libraries can make a difference, but to do so, they must hold a radical view of their profession and their communities.

Too many see the idea of a radical librarianship as a sort of extreme political partisanship. That is wrong. Radical librarians see librarianship as a chance to make a positive difference in their community. They see their mission to not simply promote reading, or to inform a community. Instead radical librarians, the kind we need, see their mission as the improvement of society. They see their role and the instruments of their institutions as engaging a community and addressing the issues that have exploded in Ferguson. Addressing these issues not with tear gas and rubber bullets, but through pizza, magic shows, and learning.

Some may see summer programs and juice boxes as distractions, or as weak tools in comparison to body armor, but they are wrong. An engaged community, a library dedicated to learning, and making a difference is a powerful deterrent to violence. The deterrent is not a threat of force, but the promise of opportunity and a better tomorrow.

I ask you to support the work and librarians of both Ferguson Public Library and the Florissant Valley Branch. Help through donating time, money, food, books, but also with your voice. Let them know that this is librarianship.

Posted in Beyond the Bullet Points, Expect More, New/Participatory Librarianship | 4 Comments

Ferguson Library

I have never been to Ferguson. I have never been to the Ferguson Library. I love the Ferguson Library.

Go look at this page:


Now read this:


I read these right after re-reading my book Expect More for an upcoming project that starts with the Arab Spring and the modern Library of Alexandria being protected, and in essence reclaimed by protestors:

After the uprising had subsided, when President Mubarak had stepped down and the protestors were celebrating their victory around the country, not a window of the library had been broken, not a rock thrown against its walls. Why, in the midst of tearing down the regime, did the people of the nation protect the library?

My answer was that over the years the librarians had been a service to the community and become part of the community-not simply a service of a government that was seen as disconnected and corrupt. I go on to say the reason the library was not harmed was not because the librarians inside were exceptional, but rather that they did their job. Let me be clear, they were brave and brilliant, but to call them exceptional is to expect too little of every librarian. This was the bar, I argued, that librarians should strive towards.

When I tell this story to audiences and new students I often see some fear…”would I be expected to support a revolution or function in an uprising?” I make some passing joke and dismiss the problem.

Then the town of Ferguson exploded with a population at odds with a militarized police force. Then the schools were closed down. Then the right of assembly was suspended.

Then, the librarians of Ferguson did their job.

Then, as in Egypt, the librarians proved once again that a library is not a collection or a building, but a vital member of the community. Or, as the librarians of Ferguson put it much more eloquently: a library is family.

Librarians of Ferguson, thank you.

Posted in Beyond the Bullet Points, Expect More, New/Participatory Librarianship | 2 Comments