R David Lankes


213 Hinds Hall
(315) 443-1707
R David Lankes - Curriculum Vitae

R. David Lankes, PhD, is a Professor and Dean's Scholar for the New Librarianship at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, the Director of the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS), as well as director of the school’s library science program. Lankes received his BFA (Multimedia Design), MS in Telecommunications, and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.

Lankes co-created the AskERIC project with Michael Eisenberg and Nancy Preston. This work began a long collaboration with Eisenberg, the ERIC system, and the U.S. Department of Education. In his work as Researcher (1992-1994), Head of AskERIC R&D (1994-1995), Associate Director (1996-1998) and later Director (1998-2003) of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology Lankes explored the growth of the Internet. Within his ERIC work Lankes would create one of the first 100 web sites, the first web presence for CNN, the Discovery Channel, and the U.S. Department of Education.

As the work of the ERIC Clearinghouse expanded beyond Department of Education, Eisenberg and Lankes founded the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS) in 1996 to house the ERIC work (including the Virtual Reference Desk and the Gateway to Educational Materials), as well as projects for AT&T, MCI/WorldCom, and Sun Microsystems. The IIS, under Lankes' leadership would go on to house several high profile research efforts for the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the MacArthur Foundation.

In 1998, while Director of the IIS, Lankes joined the faculty of Syracuse University's School of Information Studies as an assistant professor. In his dual role as professor and director, Lankes spearheaded the development of the virtual reference movement through his Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) project. VRD helped coalesce the virtual reference movement through research (such as the Digital Reference Research Agenda), projects (AskERIC and the Virtual Reference Desk Consortium answered thousands of education questions), and events (seven international conferences, a research symposium and several White House sponsored briefings). These activities lead to a visiting scholar position at Harvard's School of Education, a visiting fellow position at the National Library of Canada, and being named as the first fellow at the American Library Association's Office of Information Technology Policy.

More recently Lankes has helped transform the IIS from a production-oriented organization to a library think tank. Recent Institute activities with organizations such as the American Library Association, the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the MacArthur Foundation have focused on credibility, gaming, and participatory networks. His current focus is on reconceptualizing the library field through the lens of "New Librarianship." Simply put new librarianship recasts library and library practice using the fundamental concept that knowledge is created through conversation. Libraries are in the knowledge business; therefore libraries are in the conversation business. New librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation. Be it in practice, policies, programs and/or tools, participatory librarians seek to enrich, capture, store and disseminate the conversations of their communities.

Lankes has authored, co-authored or edited fifteen books, written over 30 book chapters and journal articles and numerous pieces for the professional audience. He has been principle investigator on over $13 million of competitively awarded research as well as serving as a researcher on numerous projects. He has been a keynote speaker around the globe, and given over 187 presentations at national and international conferences.


Research Interests

My research investigates concepts of librarianship, credibility, and innovation in the information age.

Teaching Interests

I teach introduction to librarianship, reference, innovation in libraries, and research in the LIS arena.

Professional Interests

My interest is transforming librarianship around the mission of improving society through facilitating knowledge creation in communities. This broad approach of new librarianship is grounded in theory, and realized in action and activism.

Personal Interests

Raising my sons and gadgets.

Teaching History

Spring 2015IST667M800Info Tech/Libraries & Info Ctr
Fall 2014IST511M001Intro to Library & Info Prof
Fall 2014IST511M002Intro to Library & Info Prof
Summer 2014IST511M050Intro to Library & Info Prof
Spring 2014IST667M800Info Tech/Libraries & Info Ctr
Fall 2013IST511M001Intro to Library & Info Prof
Fall 2013IST601M050Info. & Info Environments
Summer 2013IST511M050Intro to Library & Info Prof
Summer 2013IST601M030Info. & Info Environments
Summer 2013IST690M001Independent Study
Spring 2013IST444M003Info Reporting & Presentation
Spring 2013IST600M805LIS Skills and Trends
Fall 2012IST511M001Intro to Library & Info Prof
Fall 2012IST601M050Info. & Info Environments
Fall 2012IST600M002LIS Skills & Tech Trends
Summer 2012IST511M050Intro to Library & Info Prof
Summer 2012IST601M030Info. & Info Environments
Spring 2012IST800M004Proseminar: Library and Inform
Fall 2011IST511M001Intro to Library & Info Prof
Summer 2011IST511M050Intro to Library & Info Prof
Summer 2011IST880M540Intensive Seminar
Spring 2011IST800M004Proseminar: Library and Inform
Fall 2010IST511M001Intro to Library & Info Prof
Fall 2010IST601M001Info. & Info Environments
Summer 2010IST511M050Intro to Library & Info Prof
Summer 2010IST880M540Intensive Seminar
Spring 2010IST613M001Library Plan., Mrktng, Assess
Fall 2009IST600M003Participatory Librarianship
Summer 2009IST601M001Info. & Info Environments
Summer 2009IST759M001Planning Digital Library
Spring 2009IST759M001Planning Digital Library
no photo