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Machiavelli and Leadership: Is it Applicable in Libraries?

From Michael Lorenzen, Head of Reference Services at the Park Library of Central Michigan University, comes a great essay titled Machiavelli and Leadership: Is It Applicable to Libraries?


Library leaders should understand at least that the world is changing. The way in which libraries have operated has been altered dramatically in the last several decades.  For centuries, the basic operational structure of libraries remained unchanged.  However, the advent of the World Wide Web and the shift of information resources to electronic format has resulted in a revolution in the ways that libraries are operated   This change in the information distribution has been compared (Lorenzen, 2003) to the alteration of the publishing industry by the invention of the Guttenberg Press.   As these changes continue, library leaders must be ready to embrace continued change or become irrelevant.  In this reality, complacency will lead at least to the end of a leader’s reign or worst to the death of a library organization.