Expect More: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World

Announcing the Future of Expect More: The Expect More Collaboratory

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Final Full CoverLibraries 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: Demanding Better Libraries For Today’s Complex World, 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.

Why Free?

In the two years since Expect More has been published, it has sold thousands of copies and been used by librarians and those working with libraries. By making the digital version of the book freely available it is hoped that more librarians can use the book to engage their boards, principals, and provosts in a constructive conversation about the future of their libraries.

In addition to making the book available, it is hoped that the library community can engage in a conversation on how to improve the book and its impact. All we ask is that if you use the book, please use the form at the bottom of this page to tell us how you are using it.

Please read the Expect More Press Release for more details

This effort supported by:


Book in PDF Format: Expect More PDF

Book in MOBI format: Expect More MOBI (for Kindle)

Book in ePub format: Expect More ePub (for Nook and Sony Readers)

Book in iBooks format: Expect More iBook (for iPads and Macs)

Original Manuscript available in Microsoft Word Format upon request. Use the form at the bottom of this page to outline how you will use it.


M_72_blackWant to do more than read the book? Want to continue the conversation? Engage with the text (annotate, discuss it) over at an experimental “Medium” site. Read the text, and read the notes by the author and others (including you).

Other Ways to Expect More

stereofish.jpgExpect More is available as a Paperback book (via Amazon), and as an Audio Book (via Audible and iTunes).


The following video illustrate some of the ideas in the book. Please feel free to use them in your community.

Introductory Video for the Book:

Videos from the New Librarianship Master Class

The Mission of Libraries: Expect More Than Books

Introduction to the Justification of Libraries

Library as Collective Buying Agent

Library as Economic Stimulus

Library as Center of Learning

Library as Safety Net

Library as Steward of Cultural Heritage

Library as Cradle of Democracy

Library as Symbol of Community Aspirations


“This was a concise version of the ideas I found in Lankes’ Atlas of New Librarianship. It a book that all librarians who are too busy to read the entire Atlas need to read. 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 decisionmakers need to read it. Library school faculty need to read it. Library consultants and continuing ed and support staff need to read it. And anyone involved in strategic planning in libraries need to read it.

This book will provide a new way to look at how the library fits into the community more than ever before and speaks to many ways to expect more out of your library and why you should.

It’s short, simple, and to the point, yet has many practical examples. Coming from the innovative Kansas library community, myself, I see many of our libraries implementing the ideas found in this book, but they can do even more!”

– Heather Braum on GoodReads

“Yet another magnificent title from Mr Lankes. He discusses some of the same issues that are raised in the Atlas, but he’s coming from a different viewpoint with this book. It’s an excellent read if you want to know how libraries need to change, develop and evolve into the future. His vision is both fascinating and compelling – my own gripe is that I would be happier if it was at least twice as long! To be fair though, it’s intended as a quick read.

This should be read by anyone with an interest in libraries, librarians and librarianship, who has an open mind and is prepared to consider challenging and exciting concepts.”

– Phil Bradley on GoodReads

“Lankes provides a cogent view of the best libraries of today and how they will move into the future. He focuses both on the librarians and their role in their communities (and less on their role as keepers of books or their surrogates) and on libraries as places for learning (and less on their function as book museums). It’s a brief, inspirational and breezy read and a great introduction to his larger work The Atlas of New Librarianship (MIT, 2011)”

– Ned Quist, AUL for Research and Outreach, Brown University Library

Tell Us How You Use the Book

Please take a moment to tell us how you use or plan to use the book in your library or situation. We’d like to share ideas and may post your input.

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