Vol. 4 No. Special (2019)
Essays and Opinion Pieces

Eulogy for the Information Age: The future is impact not access

R. David Lankes
University of South Carolina

Published 2020-12-20


  • knowledge,
  • new librarianship,
  • learning,
  • access

How to Cite

Lankes, D. (2020). Eulogy for the Information Age: The future is impact not access. Journal of New Librarianship, 4(Special), 361–370. https://doi.org/10.21173/newlibs/7/8


This is the text of a 2017 address to the ALIA New Librarians Symposium 8. The author takes on the concepts and language associated with an information approach to librarianship. Particular attention is put in examining the role of libraries as an answer to access issues instead of an agent of impact. The Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom hierarchy is used to focus the role of librarians on impact and knowledge over data and information. This shift from industrial scale provision of materials to information to knowledge requires a new approach to the study of librarians and library service. A knowledge focus – what has been referred to as the knowledge school of thought in librarianship-necessitates the use theory of learning, in particular, constructivist concepts of learning.