R. David Lankes is director of the Information Institute of Syracuse, and an associate professor in Syracuse University's School of Information Studies. 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. This work expands his ongoing work to understand the integration of human expertise in information systems.
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 appointed as 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.