January 17, 2022

A New Issue of Library Technology Reports is Online: “Coding for Librarians: Learning by Example”

Congrats and kudos to Andromeda Yelton, author of all six chapters in the April 2015 (Vol. 51 No. 3) issue of Library Technology Reports. A shoutout also goes to the 50+ librarians who shared their knowledge in interviews with Andromeda.

The full text of all six chapters is available to read (free) online and/or download.


This issue of Library Technology Reports, “Coding for Librarians: Learning by Example,” draws from more than fifty interviews with librarians who have written code in the course of their work. Its goal is to help novice and intermediate programmers understand how programs work, how they can be useful in libraries, and how to learn more.

Three chapters discuss use cases for code in libraries. These include data import, export, and cleanup; expanded reporting capability; and patron-facing services such as improvements to catalog and LibGuide usability. Most of the programs discussed are short—under a hundred lines—so that implementing or modifying them is within the reach of relatively novice programmers. Where possible, links to the code itself are provided. Several scripts are explained in depth.

Additional chapters focus on nontechnical aspects of library code. One chapter outlines political situations that have been faced by librarians who code and the solutions they have employed. Another chapter shares interviewees’ advice on specific resources and strategies for learning to code.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Chapter 2. Data Workflows
  • Chapter 3. Reporting
  • Chapter 4. Patron-Facing Services
  • Chapter 5. Political and Social Dimensions of Library Code
  • Chapter 6. Learning to Code

Direct to Full Text 

Hat Tip: Matt R. Weaver


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.