For immediate release | March 22, 2011

New from ACRL and MIT Press: The Atlas of New Librarianship

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and MIT Press announce the co-publication of a new title, “The Atlas of New Librarianship” by R. David Lankes of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. Libraries have existed for millennia, but today the library field is searching for solid footing in an increasingly fragmented (and increasingly digital) information environment. What is librarianship when it is unmoored from cataloging, books, buildings and committees?

“The Atlas of New Librarianship” offers a guide to this new landscape for practitioners. Lankes describes a new librarianship based not on books and artifacts but on knowledge and learning and suggests a new mission for librarians: to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities. To help librarians navigate this new terrain, Lankes offers a map, a visual representation of the discipline.

The book contains more than 140 Agreements, statements about librarianship that range from relevant theories to examples of practice; and Threads, arrangements of Agreements to explain key ideas, covering such topics as conceptual foundations and skills and values. Agreement Supplements at the end of the book offer expanded discussions. Although it touches on theory as well as practice, the work is meant to be a tool: textbook, conversation guide, platform for social networking and call to action.

This exciting new work will debut with a launch event at the ACRL 2011 conference in Philadelphia. Lankes will speak and sign copies of the book at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 31, 2011, in Room 103 of the Philadelphia Convention Center.

“The Atlas of New Librarianship” will be available for purchase at the launch event in Philadelphia and is also available through the MIT Press online store.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 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.