The Future is Now! Creatively Reaching and Teaching in Academic Libraries

Academic Librarians 2012
The Future is Now! Creatively Reaching and Teaching in Academic Libraries

June 12 & 13, 2012, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Value. Learning. Technology. Librarianship.  As with all libraries and organizations, we must constantly demonstrate our value to our stakeholders amidst the changes brought on us at an increasing rate by the technology that we and our students use.  Technology shapes our interactions with others, our learning techniques and styles, and our pedagogy; it can affect the way our value is perceived. This year’s conference explores value, community, collaboration, social awareness, and applications that enhance learning. How do we demonstrate the value of the academic library in this changing information environment? How do we reach and teach our students? How is information literacy being transformed? Is it possible to game to learn or learn to game? What is the new librarianship? We invite you to explore these issues with us!

Academic Librarians 2012 is brought to you by the NY 3Rs Association and the Academic and Special Libraries Section of the New York Library Association; in cooperation with the New York State Higher Education Initiative.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
Roy Tennant, a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. The Once and Future Academic Library. The academic library has for many years been considered the very heart of the university. Today that centrality is challenged by a new set of digital players and the rapidly changing needs of the organizations we serve. What are the challenges and opportunities we face today in remaining the heart of the university? How are some libraries reconfiguring their spaces, their services, and their staff to better serve the needs of the 21st century university?

Dr. David Lankes, Associate Professor, Syracuse University. The Bad, The Good, and The Great. Bad libraries build collections; good libraries build services (after all a collection is only one type of service); great libraries build communities. In a time of great change and challenges to the very model of higher education, libraries must move beyond a focus on collections to a focus on communities. As new models of instruction (flipped classrooms, inquiry based instruction, etc.) and research emerge (interdisciplinary, large scale, collaborative, data driven), libraries find themselves well positioned – but only if they see their strongest assets as the librarians, not the materials librarians have organized. This talk will look to a new librarianship that moves past artifacts to knowledge and sets a new path.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Demonstrating Value and Building Relationships.

Lisa Hinchliffe, Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). On Providing and Documenting Value: Dual Imperatives for Academic Libraries. Academic librarians face a multitude of challenges in responding to user needs as well as economic, technological, and accountability demands. The dual imperatives of providing value to our users and then documenting that value can serve as touchstones we embrace today’s possibilities and create tomorrow’s realities.
Dr. Nancy Fried Foster, Anthropologist, Director of Anthropological Research, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester. Finding Information: A Relationship Thing. In studies of how undergraduates use the libraries at the University of Rochester (UR), we have come to see the central importance of relationships among students, their instructors, their friends and relatives, and librarians and other university staff. This talk will give a brief overview of the use of ethnographic methods at the UR libraries. It will then review results of recent projects on how students “learn the ropes” and what faculty expect of them, emphasizing changing relationships and the development of academic interests and competence.

21st Century Literacies.

Camille Andrews, Learning Technologies and Assessment Librarian, Cornell University. Integrating 21st Century Literacies into the Curriculum. Information literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, visual literacy-what does it all mean and how do they relate? Camille will examine the intersection of current theories of information and other literacies and emerging work in digital media and learning and present some current and possible examples of integration of these 21st century literacies into the curriculum and beyond.
Trudi Jacobson, Distinguished Librarian and Head of the Information Literacy Department at the University Libraries, University at Albany. How Metaliteracy Changed My Life, My Teaching, and My Students’ Experiences. It has never been easy to attempt to teach students core information literacy competencies, but in the past there seemed to be a fairly stable information environment to grapple with. Today’s information world is amorphous and changing at the speed of light. How do we even keep up, let alone teach students? Might we rely on our students themselves to help bridge the gap? Hear how a teaching method, changing technology, and a revised conception of what constitutes information literacy came together to address the evolving needs of today’s students.
Kaila Bussert, Visual Resources Outreach Librarian, Olin & Uris Libraries, Cornell University; co-author of ACRL’s Visual Literacy Standards. Visual Literacy in Higher Education: New Standards for 21st Century Learners. Visual literacy is essential for 21st century learners. While today’s college students live in a visually-rich, screen-based world, they are not necessarily prepared to critically engage and communicate with images and visual media in their academic work. To provide guidance for librarians and educators, ACRL developed Visual Literacy Competency Standards for a higher education and interdisciplinary environment. This presentation will describe the new standards, cover the connections between information and visual literacies, and provide examples of ways that the standards can be implemented in library instruction.

Gaming to Learn.

Chris Leeder, Doctoral Candidate in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Game-based learning for information literacy. Game-based learning has been the subject of much research, however its application to learning information literacy skills has been barely addressed. The BiblioBouts project explores this possibility through an online information literacy game that engages students in learning research and evaluation skills by competing against their peers to earn points and badges to win the game, while at the same time participating in a learning community through collaborative rating and peer review of the quality of sources. BiblioBouts enlists social gaming to teach information literacy skills to undergraduates while making learning relevant, motivating and fun.
John Lester, Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid. Intersections of the Future: Gaming Technology, Virtual Worlds and the Web. John will share his experiences using gaming technology and virtual world platforms to augment education.  He will discuss future trends in specific gaming technologies such as Unity3d along with his work with ReactionGrid on web and mobile-based virtual world platforms. John will also explain common pitfalls when exploring virtual world technologies and highlight the unique affordances of virtual worlds when they are interwoven with existing social media and web-based educational content.
Dr. Jeremy N. Friedberg, Partner & Lead Developer, Spongelab Interactive. Educating through simulations, game-based learning and the gamification of education. Over the past 40 years we’ve seen the enormous potential game-based learning offers  in professional communities from pilots to surgeons – specifically the ability to teach and assess critical thinking and creativity.  But making them work in classrooms in the main-stream education system is a huge challenge.  Aside from issues with hardware, network security, curriculum, and available time, the effective use of these tools is bound by traditional assessment techniques and the appropriate motivation and rewards to inspire learners.  This talk will focus on the design challenges of building educational games, the gamification of simulation, rewards and drivers, and benefits of game-based learning.  We’ll also look at the Spongelab Platform as an example of community-driven design and collaborative learning approaches.
RECEPTION
Syracuse University’s iSchool will host a late afternoon reception in Hinds Hall on  June 12th.  Refreshments and a Tech Sandbox will be available!

Registration packets will also be available for those of you not staying in the dorms.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Academic Librarians 2012 is being held consecutively with the New York State Higher Education Initiative (NYSHEI) annual meeting, In with the New. The first 30 people to register and attend the free NYSHEI annual meeting will receive a $20 rebate off the price of the Academic Librarians 2012 conference! Two Conferences, One Trip!
Rates (new, lower rates for this conference!):

Early Bird Registration (now through April 15):    $80   NYLA, NY3Rs,  or NYSHEI members*?Regular Registration  (April 16 and after):            $100  NYLA, NY 3Rs, or NYSHEI members*?Non-Members Rates:                                            $125?MLS/MLIS Students:                                              $25

*Most libraries in New York State are members of a NY 3Rs Council, either directly or through their library system. Your library need only be a member of one of the Councils for you to qualify for member rates. Contact any of the conference planners listed below or visit www.ny3rs.org if you have any questions. To see if your library belongs to NYSHEI, visit www.nyshei.org.

TO REGISTER: 
Visit http://www.scrlc.org/AcadLib2012 (South Central Regional Library Council [NY 3Rs] is handling this year’s registration.)

Registration Deadline:  June 1, 2012 4:00 p.m.Website:   http://www.nyla-asls.org/AcademicLibrariansConference/
Twitter  @ ALConf2012
ACCOMMODATIONS
The Sheraton Inn has reserved a block of rooms at the rate of $125+ tax  per room/single or $135/double.  (Be sure to bring your tax-exempt form if this applies to you.) To register with the Sheraton, call 315-475-3000 or 800-395-2105 and reference “Academic Libraries 2012.”  Deadline for room reservations at this rate: May 13th.
Dorm Rooms: Dorm rooms are available at a cost of $48.75 for Tuesday night June 12th (price includes linens).

If you will be reserving a dorm room, please pay when you complete the conference registration form.  If you will be staying at the Sheraton, you will pay separately for the hotel room.

NOTE: All of the conference activities except for the reception and the tech sandbox on the 12th will be taking place in the Schine Student Center, which is a short walk from the iSchool.

TRAVELING TO SYRACUSE
Syracuse is easy to reach and beautiful in June!  The American Automobile Association of Western & Central New York features Syracuse in its Member Connection Spring 2012 issue. See the digital version at http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=99756. Syracuse can be reached by plane, train, bus, or car.

PARKING
$10 per day for those staying on the dorms or commuting to campus; the Sheraton Inn charges $13 per night– $25 up front and they refund $15 upon checkout.

SPONSORS
Thanks to our generous sponsors: EBSCO, Busca, EBL–Ebook Library, LYRASIS, NYLA’s Academic & Special Libraries Section, NY 3Rs Association, Inc.,  Spongelab, WALDO, and the Syracuse University’s iSchool! It is through their generous donations that we could reduce the cost of this year’s conference.
If you are interested in being a sponsor, it is not too late–please contact Mary-Carol Lindbloom @ (
mclindbloom@sclrc.org).
Need more information? Contact any members of the planning team:  Mary-Carol Lindbloom, Debby Emerson (
demerson@clrc.org), Regan Brumagen (BrumagenER@cmog.org),  Marcy Strong (mstrong@library.rochester.edu), or Justin Kani (jekani@bryantstratton.edu).

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SU for School Librairans

Here is a short video on the importance of school librarians Ruth Small, Barbara Stripling (vote Barb for ALA President), and I put together to support the lobby for school librarian in down state NY.

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Anna Maria Tammaro interviews R. David Lankes

A nice short interview for an Italian conference (but it is in English). For me the most interesting question was at the end about why aren’t we all just information scientists.

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Beyond the Bullet Points: Bad Libraries Build Collections, Good Libraries Build Services, Great Libraries Build Communities

Here is the tweet that led to this post:

“Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services (of which a collection is only one). Great libraries build Communities”

Due to character limits it was often re-tweed without the parenthetical:

“Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services. Great libraries build Communities”

Let’s face it, this is snappier, but it is also apparently more controversial. There were a number of responses along the line that good and great libraries must build collections too. I thought it was worth more than 140 characters to add some nuance and depth to the tweet, so here we are.

Before I jump all the way in here…if you are an auditory or visual type, I made a lot fo these points in this screencast:

http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/blog/?p=1406

Now, back to the tweet.

First, there is nothing that says that good and great libraries don’t or can’t build collections. It is a matter of focus. If librarians focus solely or disproportionately on the collection, that is bad. This shows up in a couple of ways. The first is obvious: acquisitions with little or no input from members of the community. Are you adding to a collection because of what is on the New York Times bestsellers, or that’s what the jobber sends? Bad. If you aren’t looking at circulations data, having conversations with the community, or looking at ILL data: bad.

I am reminded of this in the current debate around ebooks. There is a lot of talk about whether libraries should be buying ebooks at all. Someone asked me what I thought and I said that tactically librarians should build their own ebook platform that brings a lot of value to authors, and; two, ask your community. If you are planning on boycotting or simply staying out of ebooks, have you had that conversation with the communities? Does the community think it is a bad deal what the publishers are proposing? Are they ok with not having that as a library service? Note this is not simply asking meekly, but truly having a conversation where you are presenting an argument and showing the community the big picture and then listening.

If we are talking focus, what is the difference between bad libraries and good ones? Good libraries focus on users. That is they evaluate the utility of the collection is relation to user needs. What do people want and need in terms of the collection, and how does that balance with all the other things the library does (reference, programming, digital resources, instruction, etc.). Here not only do we look at user data such as circulation and such, but the whole user experience.

There was once a debate among the faculty here at Syracuse about where we should teach collection development. It was (and is) part of a class title “Library Planning, Marketing, and Assessment.” The instructor at the time didn’t like it there. How do weeding and marketing go together? Well, it turns out the questions you ask about the collection are like any other service: what are the objectives? How is it used? Is it easy to access (and assess)? The collection is a service like any other – it needs budgeting, planning, and a reason to exist.

Good libraries understand that any time you add value to a user experience you are proving a service. Shelving? Service. Cataloging? Service. Weeding? Service (to save the user time and eliminate rapid access to out of date information). I know all of these things are wrapped up as “collection,” but by breaking them apart you can better evaluate them, and better accomplish them.

I pick the term “user” carefully in this part of the discussion, because I believe it is what separates good from great. You see a good library sees the collection as a service and therefore monitors and plans for its use. A great library sees the collection as only a tool to push a community forward, and more than that, they see the library itself as a platform for the community to produce as well as consume. The library member co-owns the collection and all the other services offered by the librarians. The library services are part of a larger knowledge “eco-system” where members are consuming information yes (a user), but also producing, working, dreaming, and playing. That is the focus of a great library. They understand that the materials a library houses and acquires is not the true collection of a library – the community is.

So, do good, bad, great, and ugly libraries have collections? Yes. But great libraries realize that the collection is not what sits on the stacks, but the members and their worlds. The focus is on connection development, not collection development. Will there be collections developed? Probably, but that collection may be of links, digital scans, books, building materials, video production equipment, performance time on a stage, and/or experts.

This is clear in the discussion around school libraries. As districts around the country are eliminating school librarians they often cite that the hours of the library won’t go down. “We can keep the doors open with library aids, or existing staff in the building.” They ignore the data that shows that it is certified school librarians, not open hours, or the collection, that improves test scores and student retention. Librarians not libraries make the difference.

Once again, does the school librarian use a collection? Certainly, but great school librarians have a collections of lessons they teach, student teams that assist teachers with technology, and collections of good pedagogy. Want to save money in a school? Close the library and hire more school librarians.

This tweet is not a call to throw out collections of materials – there is great value there – but to change focus and realize that that value comes not from the artifacts, but the community’s ability to improve. That value may come from licensed databases in academia. It may come from shipping containers full of paper books in rural Africa. It may come from genealogy materials in the public library, or special collections in the Ivy League. But for some communities it may come from the rich array of open resources accessible via any smartphone, or, increasingly, artifacts, ideas, and services created by the community itself.

Great libraries can have great buildings, or lousy buildings, or no buildings at all. Great libraries can have millions of volumes, or none. But great libraries always have great librarians who engage the community and seek to identify and help fulfill the aspirations of that community.

Posted in Beyond the Bullet Points, New/Participatory Librarianship | 10 Comments

Expect More

“Expect More” Hunters and Gatherers: Reshaping College Libraries for the 21st Century, Syracuse, NY.

Slides: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Presentations/2012/OCC.pdf
Audio: http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/pod/2012/OCC.mp3

Screencast:

Posted in 2012, New/Participatory Librarianship, Presentation | 1 Comment

Duct Tape, 3D Printing, and Libraries of the Future

A few weeks back I took my sons to the Fayetteville Free Library to learn more about their new Fab Lab and see the 3D MakerBot printer in action. While we were busy printing out a robot and ring on the 3D printer, the librarian (Lauren) mentioned an upcoming open house for the Fab Lab that would include the 3D printer, making jewelry, and making things in Duct Tape…if she could find someone who made things with Duct Tape. Riley, my 11 year old said “I make stuff with Duct Tape,” and before Lauren knew what was happening he was flipping though pictures of his creations on his phone.

“Great” said Lauren without missing a beat “you could teach it.” And he did.

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You should have seen him beam when Sue Considine, the amazing director of Fayetteville Free, personally thanked him for helping out.

A week later my youngest son said he had a great idea for this year’s science fair. “I’m going to design the library of the future!” he declared. Within 10 minutes he had sketched it out on paper.

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20 minutes after that he and his brother were building the library in Minecraft, a popular game akin to SecondLife, or SimCity. Sure they could build it in Legos (Andrew later did), but Legos don’t have working roller-coasters and you can’t invite your friends from around the world to walk through it (there are as I write this over 23 million registered Minecraft users).

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The next Saturday we took the “library” on a disk back to Fayetteville and printed it out.

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Now you might think this is the point when I to talk about millennials, or the power of Fab Labs (I don’t buy the millennial argument and I hope you know I LOVE the Maker Space in the library concept). But that’s not what sticks out to me about this story. What sticks out to me is the motivations my sons had, and how that was encouraged by the librarian. Sure the 3D printing was cool, but that’s not what hooked Riley. What hooked him was when Lauren asked him to teach the duct tape class. What got him hooked was when he came into the Fab Lab two weeks later and saw that the librarians had hung his duct tape Fab Lab sign on the door. What got Andrew hooked was sitting in front of the maker bot while it printed during the open house and got to explain how it worked, and what it was printing.

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Recently – as our LIS students are hearing about participation, reading the Atlas of New Librarianship, following the Library of the People as part of Occupy Wall Street – they have been stopping by faculty offices and asking why we teach what we do, and forming their own lecture series to fill in the gaps they perceive in their preparations. They have reached out to the Hack Library School blog, and have been doing a pretty good job of usurping the school-wide tech blog. They want to know when we talk about the value and power of librarians regardless of institution, why they are being taught to only work in one type of institution. They want to know why curriculum only gets overhauled every 10 years. They are holding the faculty to account in ways as never before. To paraphrase the famous line – the students are revolting…and I think I like it.

And in the midst of this, the faculty are looking for new models. One that is of frequent conversation is the “flipped classroom.” The one where “students do homework in class and classwork at home.” The one where students do project based work in the class and listen to the lectures online. So in the middle of this discussion – in the middle of 3D printing – in the middle of student run symposia – it hits me. I apologize to all who find this obvious, and I could probably have said these words before, but it really hit home for me:

While we sit here and debate when we deliver our lectures, or how long they are, or in what channels; the real flip is already occurring. The lecture? The long form or short form, oratory? That is not the point of this. They all have a place. No, the real flip is faculty are losing control. The real flip is from us – LIS faculty – thinking we have the content and we are just debating the delivery to the truth that we need to relearn the content continuously right along side our students.

That last bit, the relearning bit, that is crucial. This is not simply ceding control, or turning education into one long do it yourself project. There is value in a good teacher and a good researcher – they will always have a strong ability to guide. No, it is about realizing that truly co-owning a curriculum, or library program, requires constant reinvention if for nothing else than applying it to new contexts. It is why the university model of researcher/teacher has worked so well for so long…it is in the disconnection of these two things that we run into breakdowns.

The same is true of our libraries. The Maker Space concept does not work unless all are involved – librarians, members, experts, children, parents – understand that they are all learning at the same time. If a kid shows up and is trained and treated as a consumer, the Maker Space will fail. No $2,000 MakerBot can match the quality of a store bought lego or toy. No, the trick is to show the child, or parent, or member, that they are part of a learning process and discovering something new – if only it is new to them. They have to be in on the truth that we are all just figuring this out as we go. And if we have it all figured out? Time to try something new.

I know there are long discussions to be had about the role of experts, the value of experience, and pedagogy of well known and new areas. I get that. I know I am oversimplifying here, but that is kind of the point. Those discussion of expertise and pedagogy need to be just that – discussions – conversations. They are messy, and there is a huge amount of ego riding on them. And yet, if we don’t open those conversations up beyond the faculty – beyond the librarians, then we have shut down a most remarkable opportunity for motivation and student/member involvement. And if we shut down conversation we have failed in our mission.

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Atlas Acknowledgements

As I announced, the Atlas of New Librarianship has received the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. While I have been extremely grateful for the notes of congratulations, I cannot take all the credit. While the Atlas has my name on the front cover, it would not have been possible without the contributions and support of a lot of remarkable people. I put this list in the book, but it is always worth repeating (and augmenting a bit):

Atlas Research Team

This is the crew that did the heavy lifting on the Atlas manuscript through editing, reviewing, arguing, and generally getting it done. Todd Marshall, Angela Usha Ramnarine-Rieks, Heather Margaret Highfield, Jessica R. O’Toole, and Xiaoou Cheng. Special thanks to Julie Strong for her help.

Agreement Researchers

One of the advantages of being in an innovative school like Syracuse University’s iSchool is that every so often I get to make classes up. So I did. The students did a fantastic job of slogging through rough drafts of the threads and doing a lot of really amazing work on the agreements and discussion questions.

Jocelyn Clark, Amy Edick, Elizabeth Gall, Nancy Lara-Grimaldi, Michael Luther, Kelly Menzel, Andrea Phelps, Jennifer Recht, Sarah Schmidt, and William Zayac.

Participatory Networks White Paper

The work in this Atlas really began with the formation of participatory librarianship. That happened because Rick Weingarten and Carrie McGuire of the American Library Association’s Office for Information and Technology Policy (OITP) commissioned a white paper on social networking in libraries. Much of the foundational work on these concepts came from long hours of conversation between my co-authors, Joanne Silverstein and Scott Nicholson.

From the white paper on, OITP has been a great support in the work. I thank them and all the folks at ALA’s Washington Office: Emily Sheketoff, Rick Weingarten, Carrie McGuire, and Alan Inouye.

Starter Kit Sites

Most of the examples and experiments throughout the Atlas come from a wide variety of library and information settings. The following folks were gracious enough to open their doors for me and share their insights.

Blane Dessy and the librarians of the Department of Justice Law Libraries.

Linda Johnson and Sandra Horrocks of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation, and Elliot Shelkrot, Joe McPeak, Kyle Smith, and all of the great librarians (past and present) of the Free Library.

Jeff Penka, Susan McGlamery, Paula Rumbaugh, and Tam Dalrymple of OCLC’s QuestionPoint service.

Robert Johnston and the librarians of LeMoyne College.

Elizabeth Stephens of the Glendale Library.

Participatory Librarianship Research Group

After the white paper was out, a group of talented faculty and doctoral and master’s students worked with me to further refine the ideas now in this Atlas: Todd Marshall, Angela Usha Ramnarine-Rieks, Joanne Silverstein, Jaime Snyder, Keisuke Inoue, David Pimentel, Gabrielle Gosselin, Agnes Imecs, and Sarah Webb.

Special thanks to Meg Backus for her ideas on innovation.

MIT Press

Marguerite Avery, Senior Acquisitions Editor, for giving the book a chance.

ACRL

Kathryn Deiss, for insisting that I had to publish with ACRL, and Mary Ellen Davis, who told me I was allowed to piss off anyone I needed to.

The ILEADU Team, the State Library of Illinois, and IMLS

Thanks to Anne Craig, Gwen Harrison, and all the folks involved with the ILEADU Project for giving me a chance to try out some of these ideas.

A special thank you to Mary Chute of IMLS for her reaction and support. Her leadership has pushed the field forward.

The John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation

Thanks to Kathy Im and Elspeth Revere for supporting a study on the future of libraries and the development of the Reference Extract Idea. It is a rare treat to find funders who are great collaborators and ask the best questions. Also thanks to Connie Yowell for support on my credibility work.

Reference Extract is very much a product of brilliant collaborators like Jeff Penka, Mike Eisenberg, Eric Miller, and Uche Ogbuji.

Ideas and Reactions

I do practice what I preach. Most of my learning happens in conversations over lunch, coffee, and in hallways. What I love about the field of librarianship is that you are never at a loss for interesting company. I am going to miss a lot of people in making this list, but I wanted to give a shout out to some of the folks who had patience with me droning on about new librarianship.

Scott Nicholson, Joanne Silverstein, Meg Backus for the brilliant concepts on innovation versus entrepreneurship, Joe Janes, Eli Neiburger, Jill Hurst-Wahl, Mary Ghikas, George Needham, Chuck McClure, Michael Eisenberg, Joe Ryan, Megan Oakleaf, Blythe Bennett (who cemented the name for the Atlas), and Buffy Hamilton.

An apology to those I forgot.

General Acknowledgments

Thanks to my family, who had to see a lot of my back while I was typing in my office. Riley, I marvel every day at the man you are becoming. Andrew, you are the epitome of infectious joy. Anna Maria, my wife and love of my life, you make me a better man and the world a better place.

Thanks to all of the audiences of my presentations. Your questions, comments, and challenges honed these ideas. What’s more, they demonstrated that the best days of librarianship are ahead of us.

Thanks to the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, for the time to write this book.

Thanks to the Free Library of Fayetteville for the place to write. I can’t tell you the number of tough fixes I worked through on the Stickley furniture.

To Ray von Dran, who taught me true mentorship. He gave me my first real job, his trust, and faith. His time on Earth was too short, but his impact was great.

To my dad, who taught me that everything is retail. Whether you’re selling ink or ideas, you still have to sell. I miss him every day.

To my mom, who has every one of my books and may well be the only one to have read them all (including me).

To Michael Eisenberg, my one-time advisor, but always mentor and friend.

To Chuck McClure, who has shown me that staying on the top of your game throughout your career is possible.

To Joan Laskowski, my real boss.

To Lisa Pawlewicz for all her hard work in helping me play with technology.

To Marie Radford, who covered for my Atlas obsession on that other book.

To Liz Liddy who is the queen of encouragement and for her addiction to innovation.

Thanks to the creators of Galcon who gave me the perfect activity to think things through (well technically, take a break from thinking things through). And damn you Plants vs. Zombies for that lost week!

Librarians Who Have and Continue to Inspire Me

Abby Kaswowitz-Schear, Blythe Bennett, Joann Wasik, Pauline Shostack, Holly Sammons, Rivkah Sass, Sari Feldman, Stewart Bodner, Stephen Bell, Stephen Francoeur, Donna Dinberg (who is no doubt whipping Heaven’s reference desk into shape as we speak), Franceen Gaudet, Joe Janes, Nicolette Sosulski (a one-woman reference SWAT team), Jenny Levine, Karen Schneider, Joan Stahl, John Collins, Linda Arret, Nancy Morgan, Melanie Gardner, Joe Thompson, Buff Hirko, Caleb Tucker-Raymond, Nancy Huling, Jane Janis, Joyce Ray, Bob Martin, Tasha Cooper, Mary Chute, Keith Stubbs (although you may not have the degree, you have the brain, heart, and soul of a librarian), Joe Ryan (the first and second), Linda Smith, Pauline Nicholas, Kathleen Kerns, Meg Backus, Mary Fran Floreck, Kate McCaffrey, and Lorri Mon.

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