For immediate release | February 28, 2012

Lankes receives 2012 award for Best Book in Library Literature

CHICAGO – "The Atlas of New Librarianship" by R. David Lankes has been named the winner of the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. The award, which is given annually by the American Library Association, will be presented at the association’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim, Calif., in June.

The book was co-published by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of ALA, and The MIT Press. In his book, Lankes articulates a new purpose for librarianship: “The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.” He envisions a profession based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning which are created through conversations. The innovatively structured text, graphics and accompanying website are designed to stimulate further conversation about the field of librarianship.

The Award Committee praised the book for its unique visual map of ideas and their relationships to theory and practice. One committee member declared, “It made me think critically about our profession and our future…. I was taken out of my comfort zone and that was a good thing.” Other members praised the Atlas as “challenging,” “complex,” and “exciting both in its ideas and its design.”

Describing the book as “rich in optimism,” Kathryn Deiss, ACRL content strategist, said that "The Atlas of New Librarianship" creates "a platform for vital conversations about the future of librarianship.” The book’s unusual format presents more than 140 Agreements (statements on aspects of librarianship) and visually represents the threads that connect key ideas.

R. David Lankes, PhD, is a professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of its library science program. He also directs the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS), a research center and think tank. Lankes was the provocative speaker for the Midwinter Conversations at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

The members of the ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award jury were: Chair, Susan E. Searing, library & information science librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; June L. DeWeese, head of access services, University of Missouri at Columbia; Jasmine Y. Posey, training services librarian, Greenwich (Conn.) Library; John C. Sandstrom, head of acquisitions, New Mexico State University; and William Newbold Schultz, Jr., catalog librarian, Appalachian State University.

About ACRL

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,000 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

About MIT Press

The MIT Press is the only university press in the United States whose list is based in science and technology. This does not mean that science and engineering are all we publish, but it does mean that we are committed to the edges and frontiers of the world—to exploring new fields and new modes of inquiry. We are a major publishing presence in fields as diverse as architecture, social theory, economics, cognitive science, and computational science, and we have a long-term commitment to both design excellence and the efficient and creative use of new technologies. Our goal is to create books and journals that are challenging, creative, attractive, and yet affordable to individual readers.

THE MIT PRESS | 55 Hayward Street | Cambridge, MA 02142

About "The Atlas of New Librarianship"

For more information about “The Atlas of New Librarianship,” visit

To purchase "The Atlas of New Librarianship" visit

The ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception, Sunday June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

More information about the ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature including how to submit a nomination is available on the ALA website.


Cheryl Malden