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R. David Lankes

Jan 31, 2022

The New Librarianship Field Guide

MIT Press 2016

Can libraries be radical positive change agents in their communities?

R. David Lenkes offers a guide for librarians who see their profession as a chance to make a positive difference in their communities —librarians who recognize that it is no longer enough to stand behind a desk waiting to serve.

Lankes reminds libraries and librarians of their mission: to improve society by facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. In this book, he provides tools, arguments, resources, and ideas for fulfilling this mission. Librarians will be prepared to become radical positive change agents in their communities, and other readers will learn to understand libraries in a new way.

The libraries of Ferguson, Missouri, famously became positive change agents in August 2014 when they opened their doors when schools were closed because of civil unrest after the shooting of an unarmed teen by police. Working with other local organizations, they provided children and their parents a space for learning, lunch, and peace. But other libraries serve other communities—students, faculty, scholars, law firms—in other ways. All libraries are about community.

In The New Librarianship Field Guide (MIT Press, 2016), Lankes addresses the mission of libraries and explains what constitutes a library. He offers practical advice for librarian training; provides teaching notes for each chapter; and answers “Frequently Argued Questions” about the new librarianship.

Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at reneeg@vanleer.org.il

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Renee Garfinkel

Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a psychologist, writer, Middle East television commentator and host of The New Books Network’s Van Leer Jerusalem Series on Ideas. Write her at reneeg@vanleer.org.il

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