The Library Journal and School Library Journal (LJ/SLJ) featured an article about Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor David Lankes’s closing keynote address at the First Virtual Summit on Ebooks.

The Virtual Summit, which drew 2,100 attendees, was streamed online on Wednesday, September 26 at 10 a.m. and closed with Lankes’s closing keynote address “The ‘New Librarianship’ in the Age of the Ebook” at 5 p.m. that evening. The focus of the online conference was to bring together public, academic and school libraries to discuss the evolving concept of the book and actively visioning a role for libraries in a digital world.

“The future is bright for libraries and librarians,” Lankes was quoted as saying, “but only if we make it so.”

Lankes argued that although libraries are often thought of as “owned artifacts” that would be threatened by the introduction and widespread adoption of eBooks, the true purpose of a library is to provide access to good information. He emphasized that eBook technology allowed readers, who traditionally are rather isolated, “to connect to blogs, which are connected to communities, or to movies, or soundtracks, or apps, creating a way for libraries to help create innovative recommendation systems.”

Lankes joined two other keynote speakers: Ray Kurzweil, author of New York Times Best seller The Singularity is Near and Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine and author of the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy.

Lankes is the director of the M.S. in Library and Information Science program at the iSchool, the director of the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS), and a co-founder of the award-winning AskERIC project and founder of Virtual Reference Desk project responsible for building a national network of education expertise. He is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society, and seeks to understand how information approaches and technologies can be used to transform industries. In this capacity, he has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation, including at the National Academies. Lankes holds a BFA in multimedia designs, an MS in telecommunications and a Ph.D., all from Syracuse University.