The Florida Library Association has announced that Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) Professor R. David Lankes will keynote the association’s 2011 Annual Conference to be held May 4 – May 6 in Orlando, Florida.

In addressing the more than 600 public, academic, school, and special librarians who attend the event, Lankes will focus on librarians as agents of change, fitting in with the theme of the conference “Open Libraries, Open Minds.”

“With increasing library usage, declining tax support and change in local and state legislative leadership due to term limits, we will be facing some unprecedented challenges,” said John J. Callahan III, president of the Florida Library Association in announcing this year’s theme. “How will people connect to your library? Rapidly changing technology including social networks and mobile technology has the potential to open libraries 24/7 as we adapt our service delivery techniques. The 2011 FLA Annual Conference programs will emphasize new technologies and how to incorporate them into your service plans.”

In addition to his role as  professor and director of the LIS program, and the Information Institute of Syracuse, Lankes is 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. He is a member of the iSchool’s Board of Advisors.