Cool Atlas News

Two cool Atlas related pieces of news:

1. MIT Press has decided to do a second print run of the Atlas of New Librarianship. Note this is not a second edition (seeing as it was just released last month) so no new matieral.

2. But, speaking of new content for the Atlas, I’ll be adding some new Agreement Supplements to the Atlas Website (and the iPad app in a little bit). These were produced by some amazing doctoral students here at Syracuse. They will be going live over the next week or so, please check back. Agreements include:

  • Innovation
  • Web 2.0
  • User-Centered Design
  • Issues of Institutional Repositories
  • Community as Collection
  • Hybrid Environments

These supplements provide additional resources and perspectives (sometimes differing) of topics discussed in the Atlas. For faculty out there, they also make a great assignment and I’d love to work with you to get them on the site. As always, they are really points to start conversations about the profession.

I’ll mark them as “proposed” supplements – meaning they are open for discussion and consideration for any future editions of the Atlas.

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The Heart of Teaching and Learning Into the Future

“The Heart of Teaching and Learning Into the Future” SUNY Oswego Library, Oswego, NY.



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The Post Recession Library

“The Post Recession Library” PLA Virtual Spring Symposium 2011, Online.

Abstract: They say a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. How can libraries and librarians use the economic downturn to reintroduce themselves to their community? How can we restructure libraries and the work of librarians for the future? What entrepreneurial services can a post-recession library offer to their communities suffering from unemployment? This session will talk about conceptual approaches and concrete examples of emerging from the downturn.
Audio: (Sorry for the clicking…I’ll see if PLA has a better audio source)


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The Atlas of New Librarianship

Lankes, R. David (2011). The Atlas of New Librarianship. Cambridge, Ma: MIT Press.

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Journalism and Librarianship

Here is an interview I did with Bill Densmore, organizer of the upcoming “Beyond Books” event on librarianship and journalism. A good primer for the Atlas of New Librarianship book launch event Thursday.

David Lankes: The participatory, assertive, subversive, radically positive librarian? from Bill Densmore on Vimeo.

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iPad Atlas App Walkthrough

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So to coincide with the launch of the Atlas of New Librarianship next week at the ACRL conference, I will be releasing a companion iPad app (and website too). The purpose of this app is two-fold: to give you something of use in engaging with the Atlas of New Librarianship, and to show you what one person can do with $400 worth of software and no ability to program in C.
I do all of this to show that you can too. Librarians don’t have to become computer scientists to take advantage of the new mobile tools. To be sure, talented and dedicated programmers can make better apps – and to be equally sure there are librarians out there that already are. You need to be there too: able to rapidly prototype, specify and meet short-term needs online.

Libraries are places of conversation and learning. They are places to create knowledge, and increasingly that means building software and apps. Whereas 100 years ago we helped scholars write books, today we can help scholars, housewives, small businesses, and students create apps.

This is my app. It is not perfect. It is not the future of ebooks I have talked about in the past. It is instead an example. Join me in making it better.

While the app won’t be available until next week, I am posting a walkthrough of it here.

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ALA Press Release on the Atlas

Ala News

New from ACRL and MIT Press: The Atlas of New Librarianship

The Atlas of New Librarianship cover.

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/22/2011 – 13:33

Contact: David Free

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and MIT Press announce the co-publication of a new title, “The Atlas of New Librarianship” by R. David Lankes of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. 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 Atlas of New Librarianship” offers a guide to this new landscape for practitioners. Lankes describes a new librarianship based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning and suggests a new mission for librarians: to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. To help librarians navigate this new terrain, Lankes offers a map, a visual representation of the discipline.

The book contains more than 140 Agreements, statements about librarianship that range from relevant theories to examples of practice; and Threads, arrangements of Agreements to explain key ideas, covering such topics as conceptual foundations and skills and values. Agreement Supplements at the end of the book offer expanded discussions. Although it touches on theory as well as practice, the work is meant to be a tool: textbook, conversation guide, platform for social networking and call to action.

This exciting new work will debut with a launch event at the ACRL 2011 conference in Philadelphia. Lankes will speak and sign copies of the book at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 31, 2011, in Room 103 of the Philadelphia Convention Center.

“The Atlas of New Librarianship” will be available for purchase at the launch event in Philadelphia and is also available through the MIT Press online store.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

Posted in New/Participatory Librarianship, Publications News | 3 Comments