The Machiavellian Librarian

The Machiavellian Librarian, 1st Edition

Winning Allies, Combating Budget Cuts, and influencing Stakeholders

The Machiavellian Librarian, 1st Edition,Melissa K. Aho,Erika Bennett,ISBN9781843347552

Aho   &   Bennett   

Chandos Publishing




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, favour.

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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


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.


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

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 Bennett

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

The Machiavellian Librarian, 1st Edition

Part 1 Character and behavior for princes: One Machiavellian librarian’s path toward leadership; Weasels and honey badgers: Networking for librarians; Influence without authority: making fierce allies; Prince or plebe?: Success at all levels of the library hierarchy; Princely planning in a political environment; Be an ironman at work: Work with your strengths. Part 2 New principalities: Mixed monarchies: Expanding the library’s sphere of influence to help student-athletes; “To mold a new reality”: strategies for leading change (and getting away with it); Infiltrating the curriculum; Visualizing library space for constituents: a 3D representation of space changes in the Christopher Center Library at Valparaiso University; Game of loans—promoting interlibrary loans; Certifiable: Going rogue with non-library certifications; Ambition, innovation, and tenacity. Part 3 Types of armies: Communicating with the “prince” to win the war; Absens haeres non erit: being in the right place at the right time; Taming the bureaucratic beast, or: How we learned to stop stressing and take control of accreditation; An army of one: The way in which the strength of school libraries ought to be measured; Breaking the mold: Winning allies via self-discovery; A Machiavellian metaphor for communication: Using the Social Style Model to craft organizational messages; Rather a prince than a magistrate be: A regional librarian’s Dilemma. Part 4 Political situation: Know yourself and your patron: process mapping and needs assessment; The accidental Machiavellian: strategic alignment between the university library and the teaching center; Slybrarianship: building alliances through user engagement and outreach; Leveraging accreditation to quell the two fears; Political positioning.

Quotes and reviews

"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


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