Machiavellian Librarian

The Machiavellian Librarian –
Winning Allies, Combating Budget Cuts, and Influencing Stakeholders Book – 2013

This collection of essays is required reading if your career depends on the health of a university library. As the world converts everything away from paper towards electronic storage, and all materials go online, the challenges are great for the leaders in libraries. I suspect this change has the potential for great gains too. Librarians become more important as navigation becomes more difficult “can you drink from the fire hose?”. I do not work in a university, so I might have this all wrong. If you do work or study in a university, please comment.

The collection was compiled and edited in 2013, so it is somewhat dated, and it is not clear when the individual essays were written.

Future Now Archives

The Future Now Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory : A Report of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Canada’s Libraries and Archives By Royal Society of Canada Book – 2014

Dry reading about Library Archives Canada, with a brief mention of You can also read this online. It is better online because you will want to do searches within the text.

Only a year old, and out of date already! No change in LAC policies or funding, but many changes in online web systems.

Certified!, where I worked, has been certified to be a Trusted Digital Repository (TDR) by Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

What? A TDR has computer storage systems used to archive historical information. In Canadiana’s case, this includes things like the correspondence of Prime Ministers, historical journals, and many other things.¬† The name TDR applies to the whole organization, including the people, the systems, and stakeholders.

Who? CRL is the authority on this sort of thing.

When? The verification process took several months, concluding in July 2015.

How? CRL staff visited Canadiana’s facilities several times. They interviewed key staff, reviewed policy and procedures, and verified that their standards were met. They¬† compared Canadiana to the other TDR’s (fewer than 10 so far) and scored us highly in their report. There was a fee paid to CRL, so there is some conflict of interest.

Why? Why is this important? Because Canadiana’s stakeholders will have great confidence that we are meeting our goals, and Canadiana will likely get more interest from universities and government departments which want their archival materials preserved.

Coding for Librarians

Coding for Librarians – Learning by Example By Yelton, Andromeda Book – 2015

What a strange book. Very thin, large format. It will be useful to Librarians who have not done much computer programming, and leads you through a few simple programming projects which could be useful in a library. Armed with this knowledge, and now having some programming skills, you are ready to attack larger challenges. There are many open source projects out there, take your pick!

The big problem with this book is that it does not list the code it is discussing. Its line-level comments “Lines 68-78 remove outdated files from ..” are not meaningful unless you are at your PC with the code on your screen. Worse, the Github project could have changed since the book was printed, so you would have to look back in old versions of the code. But the companion web site helps a bit with that (

Here are projects discussed in the book:


  • Libraries Data processing.
  • Electronic data processing.
  • Libraries Automation.
  • Computer programming Study and teaching.
  • Scripting languages (Computer science) Programming languages
  • (Electronic computers) Microcomputers Programming.
  • Open source software Library applications.