The New Librarianship Field Guide

MIT. May 2016. 240p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780262529082. $22. PRO MEDIA
OrangeReviewStarLankes (director, Sch. of Library and Information Science, Univ. of South Carolina; The Atlas of New Librarianship) presents a guide "to prepare librarians to be agents for radical change and to directly engage their communities." The author argues that in order to become change agents and remain relevant, librarians can no longer be content to wait for their constituents to come to them. Instead, librarians must seek ways to engage community members through participatory systems which can include various avenues such as developing a web presence, literacy classes, or solid collections. In fact, the emphasis on participation with community members is so important that Lankes uses the term member, where others might use patron or customer. This field guide would make an excellent introductory text for library science students. Each chapter clearly presents its core concept, provides concrete examples, and offers stimulating discussion points. The book concludes with a list of suggested readings. Veteran librarians will be invigorated by Lankes's ideas and will undoubtedly see new opportunities for outreach.
VERDICT Required reading for all current and future librarians as well as community leaders interested in growing and strengthening the learning environment. This highly recommended guide is sure to inspire all who read it. [See author Q&A on p. 95]
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