“The atlas of new librarianship” by R. David Lankes

The atlas of new librarianshipFor the past four months I have had this book on my desk. It is a promising title and I have been looking forward to looking inside.

“The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their comminities” (p. 13)

Starting with this as a basis, Lankes goes on to explain how this mission is connected to the importance of a worldview, creating a new social impact and theory concepts like learning theory, motivation theory and sense-making (to mention some). Participation and conversation are key concepts that are discussed in length. The book is divided into so-called “threads”, meaning key concepts organised into flow charts that tries to explain how key concepts are related and intertwined. This is a very good idea – but it also makes it a little harder to browse, I think.

The book is full of real examples, illustrations and well-presented ideas on what new librarianship encompasses. I would definately recommend having a look at it. For my part, I am afraid that the superficial look I could afford (time-wise) to have at it left me not much the wiser, but only because I could not get around to really study it. It is not a book that one can understand in an hour. It is very comprehensive (the word “atlas” gave it away) and I look forward to listening to the author in London this fall when he will be keynote speaker at Internet Librarian International. I hope that he`ll present some of the ideas there and thatI`ll have time to study the atlas more carefully later.