COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
The Machiavellian Librarian - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843347552, 9781780634364

The Machiavellian Librarian

1st Edition

Winning Allies, Combating Budget Cuts, and influencing Stakeholders

Editors: Melissa K Aho Erika Bennet
eBook ISBN: 9781780634364
Paperback ISBN: 9781843347552
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 24th October 2013
Page Count: 340
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • List of figures and tables
    • Figures
    • Tables
  • About the contributors
    • Editors
    • Contributing authors
  • 1. Introduction
    • References
  • Part 1: Character and Behavior for Princes
    • 2. One Machiavellian librarian’s path toward leadership
      • Abstract:
      • What is a Machiavellian librarian?
      • That which looks bad may actually be good
      • Let Switzerland be your role model
      • For tonight, Niccolò, we take over the world
      • Be very careful about the F word (friend)
      • The role of a Machiavellian librarian in times of a hostile takeover
      • A final definition of a Machiavellian librarian?
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 3. Weasels and honey badgers: networking for librarians
      • Abstract:
      • Stereotypes
      • The warm connection
      • Creating your networking plan
      • Executing your networking plan
      • Dealing with rejection
      • Evaluate the success of your networking plan
      • New roles provide new networking opportunities
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 4. Influence without authority: making fierce allies
      • Abstract:
      • Rub the right elbows
      • Needs assessment
      • Starting the conversation—embrace the stereotypes
      • Networking—killing them with kindness
      • Offer your services—how to sell yourself without selling yourself
      • Communicating benefits
      • Communicating your value—we’re priceless!
      • Creating and becoming library champions—we’re number 1!
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 5. Prince or plebe?: success at all levels of the library hierarchy
      • Abstract:
      • Introduction
      • The prince: success as a supervisor
      • The politician: success as an employee
      • The civil servant: success as a subordinate
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 6. Princely planning in a political environment
      • Abstract:
      • Planning the plan
      • Advancing the plan
      • Achieving the plan
      • Communicating the plan
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 7. Be an ironman at work: work with your strengths
      • Abstract:
      • What is StrengthsFinder™?
      • Building relationships
      • Influencing others
      • Recommendations
      • References
  • Part 2: New Principalities
    • 8. Mixed monarchies: expanding the library’s sphere of influence to help student-athletes
      • Abstract:
      • Understanding your new subjects
      • Living in your new realm
      • Tips for colonization
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 9. “To mold a new reality”: strategies for leading change (and getting away with it)
      • Abstract:
      • Leaving my homeland/Playing a lone hand
      • And a look in the eyes of the hungry/Awakened him to what he could do
      • A memo to a higher office/Open letter to the powers that be
      • I feel the sense of possibilities/I feel the wrench of hard realities
      • Courageous convictions/Will drag the dream into existence
      • Sadder still to watch it die/Than never to have known it
      • The fact is, this friction/Will only be worn by persistence
      • In your head is the answer/Let it guide you along
      • Courageous convictions/Will drag the dream into existence
      • A quantum leap forward in time and in space
      • Hold the flame ’til the dream ignites/A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission
      • You be the captain/I’ll draw the chart
      • Let your heart be the anchor/And the beat of your own song
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 10. Infiltrating the curriculum
      • Abstract:
      • The journey begins
      • Google is great, but…
      • One-shot comes up short
      • Making the pitch
      • Trying to fit in
      • Spreading the word
      • Not your everyday information literacy course
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 11. Visualizing library space for constituents: a 3D representation of space changes in the Christopher Center Library at Valparaiso University
      • Abstract:
      • Introduction
      • Visualization: libraries need to get on the wagon!
      • A case study in visualization
      • You can do this too!
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 12. A game of loans: promoting interlibrary loans
      • Abstract:
      • Out of sight, out of mind?
      • Starting a mini-revolution
      • Working together for the common good
      • The patron is always right (even when the patron is wrong)
      • Did it work?
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 13. Certifiable: going rogue with non-library certifications
      • Abstract:
      • Introduction
      • My experience
      • Certification 1: instructional design
      • Certification 2: learning management
      • Certification 3: Quality Matters™
      • Additional opportunities not discussed in this chapter
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 14. Ambition, innovation, and tenacity
      • Abstract:
      • Machiavellian ideology in the library: oh my!
      • Divas no more: humility front and center
      • No need to panic! You got this! (You really do!)
      • Change, challenges, and opportunities: repurposing the library/librarian identity
      • Wake up! Changes are a happening not tomorrow, but today
      • Machiavellian principalities in our 2.0 world: get ready, get set…
      • Go!
      • Relevance + speaking with authority + risk taking = Machiavellian librarian
      • The road less traveled: how the hell did I became a librarian?
      • Lessons learned
      • A small note on gender: why professional women librarians shouldn’t hesitate to step up and “lean in”
      • A bright side to Machiavelli’s principles in our libraries
      • Taking a Machiavellian approach to your career as a librarian
      • The University of Notre Dame and the Incredible First Year Librarian
      • Seeking out the campus sage: obtaining wisdom from your institution’s leaders outside the library
      • To be or not to be: Machiavellian
      • Sound advice from a non-librarian
      • What I learned along the way
      • The non-profit “aha” moment in leadership
      • Preparing for the next stages of your librarian career
      • Final thoughts on lessons learned
      • References
  • Part 3: Types of Armies
    • 15. Communicating with the “prince” to win the war
      • Abstract:
      • An example of a successful use of access
      • Ways to get better access to the “Prince”
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 16. Absens haeres non erit: being in the right place at the right time
      • Abstract:
      • Tools and results
      • Fortune or virtue
      • Overthrowing the status quo
      • Before all else, be armed
      • Tardiness often robs us opportunity
      • Shameless self-promotion
      • One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others
      • The desires of the moment
      • Changing conduct with changing times
      • Never was anything great achieved without danger
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 17. Taming the bureaucratic beast, or: how we learned to stop stressing and take control of accreditation
      • Abstract:
      • The perfect storm
      • Background
      • Accreditation: everybody does it, but nobody seems to know much about it
      • Librarians and the campus community
      • The AVC library experience
      • Leveraging the accreditation self-study
      • The accreditation team recommendation and its aftermath
      • An unexpected windfall
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 18. An army of one: the way in which the strength of school libraries ought to be measured
      • Abstract:
      • Concerning the power of alliances
      • Fortify your library
      • Concerning the way in which all libraries ought to be measured
      • How a school library can conduct themselves so as to gain renown
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 19. Breaking the mold: winning allies via self-discovery
      • Abstract:
      • Introduction
      • IV Recommendations and conclusions
      • References
    • 20. A Machiavellian metaphor for communication: using the Social Style Model to craft organizational messages
      • Abstract:
      • Anatomy of a message
      • The Social Style Model
      • Drivers
      • Analyticals
      • Expressives
      • Amiables
      • Crafting the message
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 21. Rather a prince than a magistrate be: a regional librarian’s dilemma
      • Abstract:
      • A tale of two campuses
      • No matter how isolated you are, “they” are watching
      • Do not forget the pasta salad
      • A victory for a would-be prince
      • Be the fox: avoid the traps
      • Recommendations
      • References
  • Part 4: Political Situation
    • 22. Know yourself and your patron: process mapping and needs assessment
      • Abstract:
      • Hobby versus occupation
      • Process mapping: their experience, our job
      • Process mapping: enhance our competence
      • Process mapping: case study in mapping to solve problems and save money
      • Transition: the art of schmoozing
      • Needs assessment: the importance of knowing the user
      • Needs assessment: methods
      • Needs assessment: application and specificity
      • Needs assessment: considerations in design (developing your battlefield strategy)
      • Needs assessment: quantitative evaluation—strength in numbers
      • Needs assessment: qualitative evaluation—tell me a story
      • Needs assessment: address your weakness, know your strength, never surrender
      • Needs assessment: example 1—what we did
      • Needs assessment: example 2—what we did not do
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 23. The accidental Machiavellian: strategic alignment between the university library and the teaching centre
      • Abstract:
      • Introduction
      • Other library sectors
      • Library collaboration in the literature
      • A Position outside of the library
      • Librarians in nontraditional roles
      • Library benefits
      • The relationship deepens
      • Budget savings
      • Staff professional development
      • Collaborative program offerings
      • Other potential strategic alignments
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 24. Slybrarianship: building alliances through user engagement and outreach
      • Abstract:
      • Students as stakeholders
      • Mentoring the lofty librarian
      • Strategic thinking: shaking assumptions, disparaging myths
      • Industry experience: gain perspective to leverage your own capabilities
      • Prep to rally allies
      • Access to insider information
      • Credibility: give ’em a place at the table
      • Prepare for success and prove it with assessment
      • Rally faculty alliances
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 25. Leveraging accreditation to quell the two fears
      • Abstract:
      • Survey the battleground
      • Dig the library’s fox hole
      • Polish your weapons
      • Size up your opponents
      • Attend to the troops
      • Recommendations
      • References
    • 26. Political positioning
      • Abstract:
      • View from the top/going down (when politics attack)
      • Transitions and transformation (enemies within)
      • Campus chaos and library instability
      • What have I gotten myself into? (political positioning on the big stage)
      • Welcome Dr. Dean—an era of s(chair)ed governance
      • Recommendations
      • References
  • Index


Do librarians ‘rock the boat’? Do they challenge those around them to win influence and advantage? Why is it that librarians are little found on the ‘influence’ grid of personality assessment tests? The Machiavellian Librarian offers real life examples of librarians who use their knowledge and skill to project influence, and turn the tide in their, and their library’s, favor. Authors offer first hand and clear examples to help librarians learn to use their influence effectively, for the betterment of their library and their career. Opening chapters cover visualizing data, as well as networking and strategic alignment. Following chapters discuss influence without authority-making fierce allies, communicating results in accessible language and user-centered planning. Closing chapters address using accreditation and regulation reporting to better position the library, as well as political positioning and outcome assessment.

Key Features

  • Throws the spotlight on librarian’s professional and personality traits, many of which are deleterious to the long-term viability of library funding
  • Shows how best to boost the value proposition of libraries, through enhanced influence
  • Includes how-to chapters on influencing others in the organization


Librarians of all areas and levels, particularly those involved in management


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2013
24th October 2013
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


"... Recommended for those looking for unique ideas on how to expand programming or services as well as for those dealing with difficult political climates at their institution."- Collaborative Librarianship

“This book offers real-life examples of librarians who use their knowledge and skill to project influence, and turn the tide in their, and their library’s, favor. The opening chapters cover visualizing data, as well as networking and strategic alignment. Subsequent chapters discuss influence without authority, making fierce allies, communicating results in accessible language and user-centered planning.”, July 11, 2014

"This is a valuable collection that fills a need for practical advice and examples about how to exert influence in a positive way...also recommended as a sourcebook for case studies and discussion starters for professional and student groups."--Australian Library Journal, Vol 63, No 4

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Melissa K Aho

Melissa K Aho

Melissa K. Aho works at the Bio-Medical Library at the University of Minnesota, and is pursuing a PhD in International Development at the University of Southern Mississippi, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Minnesota, USA

Erika Bennet

Erika Bennet

Erika Bennett is Instruction Services Team Supervisor at Capella University. She has written book chapters, conference papers, and articles on information literacy and assessment. Erika holds an MLIS and an MS in Educational Psychology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Capella University, USA