R. David Lankes is a professor and Director of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. He is also the Follett Chair in Library and Information Science at Dominican University. Lankes has always been interested in combining theory and practice to create active research projects that make a difference. Past projects include the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology, the Gateway to Education Materials, AskERIC and the Virtual Reference Desk. Lankes' more recent work involves how participatory concepts can reshape libraries and credibility.
Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today's society. He also 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. He has been a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, the Harvard School of Education, and the first fellow of ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy. His book, The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.