This Is Librarianship

This Is Librarianship

Library staff make a difference, not libraries.


I have just started reading David Lankes’ latest book The New Librarianship Field Guide.  It is a book I want to spend time mulling over. So as I read through the Field Guide I will try to capture and share my responses in a simple diagram.


“…a white policeman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson and the city exploded.” (p.2)

“The Missouri governor called up the State Police and National Guard, announced curfews, and closed governmental institutions.” (p.2)

“Jennifer Ilardi came into her library on Tuesday, August 19, and decided to set up a variety of art supplies in the library’s auditorium so that parents could get out of the house, socialize, and create.” (p.3)

The decision to remain open was difficult and arduous but Scott Bonner, Ferguson Library Director (the only full time library employee) made that decision and shares his story in a ‘warts and all’ recap of events in Ferguson.

“There are some staff members who don’t like each other anymore,” he said. “And that’s largely because of those early conversations,” among staff members.

And there is a still a lot of anxiety as well, But he said, “I think a lot of our staff members appreciate this very community focused approach we have taken.

“So it’s complicated. There is nothing in that town that isn’t complicated,” he said.


Thanks to Steph Ellis for sparking the idea of sharing responses as you read.

Lankes, R. D. (2016). The new librarianship field guide. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.


  1. Philip van Zijl says:

    I would also colour the bits overlapping between Library staff and governing body, as staff tell the stories that should influence them

    1. Sally says:

      Hi Philip, you are welcome to colour the bits in any way that works for you 🙂 This is my perspective after reading the first few pages of the Field Guide.

  2. Steph Ellis says:

    This is on my TBR pile, Sally, so I look forward to reading your thoughts 🙂

    1. Sally says:

      Thanks Steph 🙂

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