Announcing (and seeking help on) my next book, Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World. At the beginning of the year I said my focus for the year would be on expecting more. That’s what this book is all about. Taking what we know works for great libraries (a commitment to learning, a focus beyond functions, co-owning the library with the community) and explaining that to non-librarians.
While I wrote this book to be read by people outside of the profession, the reason I wrote it was to help fantastic librarians make their case to those who oversee the library. I feel we need to do a better job advocating the power of libraries to our communities, and bringing those communities into the conversation of our future.
First an overview, then the details, then the request.
Here’s the blurb for 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.
Unlike my Atlas of New Librarianship this one is written to be short (about 130 pages) and small (6×9 paperback) emphasizing examples and geared towards the general reader. It is based on conversations I have with public library boards, provosts, school administrators, and the general public.
The manuscript is done and is just about to go into final edits. I’m hoping to have the book out early summer in time for ALA.
I will be publishing this one as both a paperback and an ebook (and by popular request, with an index). I’m also looking for a low price point.
I’ve decided to self-publish the book. I have had a great relationship with great publishers in the past, but I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth was in terms of self-creation and exploring the realities of libraries becoming publishers. Right now my plans are to use CreateSpace for the print version, and an ePub solution for the ebook version. I’m interested if folks have gone this route and have any advice.