What the Heck is Agile Librarianship?

Agile librarianship, in short, can be defined as the ability to quickly and effectively adapt to changes in your environment and the digital world has made the change a constant component of all of our lives. This guide will help you learn how to apply agile principles to your everyday life and become an agile librarian to stay on top of the ever-changing technologies that affect libraries the most.

Agile Librarianship Overview

Web 2.0 is quickly giving way to Web 3.0, which will alter how we use technology, what we expect from our online experiences, and how libraries as institutions must react and adapt to serve their constituencies. As a librarian, you may be ready for the change in your current position but maybe aren’t sure how to start looking for that new position that takes advantage of these shifts in technology and culture. Perhaps you are just thinking about starting a career in library science or have just graduated with an MLISc degree and want to get your feet wet before plunging into professional services? No matter what stage of life or career you are at, there are certain skills every agile librarian needs: communication, collaboration, project management; analysis, execution; research methods; organization and time management; ability to learn new technologies quickly; web design skills; IT expertise.

Challenges and Opportunities

The library profession is changing, like many other professions and industries. In fact, some even call it a revolution, pointing to a new era of library 2.0 which has taken us from card catalogs to digital catalogs and now pushes us toward e-books and e-learning modules. What’s next? I asked myself that question, when I became familiar with a movement called Web 3.0 – the web as an application platform that can support everything from apps running on smartphones or embedded systems all the way up to rich client desktop apps and beyond. Like Web 2.0, Web 3.0 holds great promise for libraries if we play our cards right; thus we need an agile librarian who is not afraid of change but knows how to handle it wisely.

Practical Tips for Implementing Agile Librarianship

A real-world implementation of agile practices can be done on a small scale, with an individual project, or with an entire library system; however, it’s important to figure out how to make your local library work for you before going through with any kind of transition. Here are some practical tips for implementing agile librarianship within your workplace –

Establish buy-in: Involve stakeholders (e.g., departmental leads, staff, directors) early and often so that they understand why change is needed and feel empowered by proposed changes rather than threatened by them.

Create a charter for transitioning to agile: Determine where you want to go and how you want to get there—then formalize these milestones into a roadmap that everyone understands and agrees with!

Getting started is the hardest part of any project, but having a clear direction from start to finish can really help create momentum once things begin rolling.

Get training: Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, different books or online courses may give you a good grasp of basic processes for becoming more agile – many readers have suggested The Scrum Field Guide as a starting point, but there are certainly other resources out there depending on what type of functionality you need at your disposal.


When it comes to staffing your library, there’s a lot to think about, and you probably don’t have time for agile librarianship, information architecture, or user experience design. However, if you want to catch your library up with other libraries that are successfully making use of these techniques on their websites, then now is the time to hire someone with those skills who can do some of those tasks while they work under your direction and supervision; again, that person might be you!

Importing contacts into Google contacts

After each workshop/seminar/program, I do receive many contacts, creating one by one on my phone is a little bit difficult task. In order to bypass this, I will just download the details of the participants from the Google form (which the participants used to register) as a CSV file and make whatever modifications are required and upload it to my Google account.

Google contacts being a user-friendly and free contact management service by the Google LCC, it is used widely across the globe for both personal and business usage. Many times, contacts or phone numbers play an important role in one’s life. Moreover, users do not want to lose them in any way due to any technical or human errors in the future. Hence, it is important to backup or create another copy to some reliable platform like Google Contacts. Apart from that, a user can upload phone numbers from Excel/CSV to Google contacts in several ways. The following is one way we can import contacts into Google Contacts. You can also upload all current contacts directly from your android phone to your google contacts as well.

Using canva for various library purposes

There are so many creative ways to share all the great things happening in your library. Canva is one tool that makes it easy to design promotional materials that are beautiful and professional. The following video will give you the basics of Canva, and how you can start using it immediately to produce amazing documents for your library website/blog, social media, and other communications.

Not all librarians wouldn’t be experts in any photo editing and manipulation software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, in the scenario, CANVA can be the best free and easy-to-use website/platform for creating beautiful library marketing and event promotion documents.

Personally, I do use canva for creating featured images for my blogpost for a long time.


Canva is a browser-based design tool that makes it easy to create great images/photos/videos. There’s also an exclusive handy mobile app for canva. All you want is just create a free account in canva.com with your’s/library’s email. the free personal plan is enough for our purposes.

Benefits of Canva:
  • Pre-sized social media images.
  • Designer-type templates get your graphics started.
  • Lots of size and shape options.
  • Search for stock images and pay a small fee to use – or use the free stuff.
  • Save your images to edit or download later.
  • Easy to make multiple, similar graphics from a template.
With a free Canva plan you can:
  • Import images you have the right to use and add them to designs
  • Use their free elements, stock photos, and fonts
  • Export in a range of file types including PDF and JPEG
  • Create custom dimension graphics
  • Share view or edit access with your team
Getting started

Video courtesy: Natalia Kalinska

Reference: https://youtu.be/un50Bs4BvZ8

Using UpdraftPlus plugin for WordPress backup

Backing up our WordPress website is not a tedious task nowadays, several easy methods are there to backup, You can have your website backup either manually using any control panel of your server or setting up a bash script, or even using the WordPress plugins. Via plugin is the easiest and apt way for nontechies.

In the following video, I demonstrate how to install a wonderful plugin “UpdraftPlus”, configure, and how to schedule auto backup to Google Drive cloud storage, apart from Google Drive, UpdraftPlus offers you to sync with Amazon S3, Dropbox, Rackspace, Microsoft OneDrive, etc

The skills every library professional should have

In order to deliver exemplary service to patrons, library professionals must have both knowledge of specific library services as well as of general professional skills that make them strong leaders and communicators, capable of helping library staff to improve their own performance and providing excellent customer service to everyone who visits the library. In this article, we will look at some of the most important skills that every library professional should have in order to excel in the workplace and be able to help others do the same.

Learn how to communicate

All library jobs require excellent communication skills, so make sure you’re comfortable communicating in writing, verbally, and electronically. This is especially important because working in a library means communicating with people from all over the world. Learning how to use programs like Skype, Google Hangouts and other video conferencing software will prepare you for job opportunities that may involve remote employees and meetings. Personal Improvements: Learning new software is an ongoing process for all librarians—whether you’re just getting started or an experienced professional.

Learn how to learn

Many librarians can easily rattle off a list of software and web tools they use on a daily basis: social media management programs, citation management systems, library catalogs, and reservation systems. Personal improvements are another familiar category of knowledge—librarians are well aware that continued education is necessary to keep their knowledge base up-to-date. But there’s another set of skills that many libraries don’t explicitly teach: personal improvement skills.

Learn how to contribute

Like any profession, there’s a range of software skills you’ll need to do your job well. If you don’t know how to code or use technical tools like Adobe Creative Suite or Survey Monkey, learn them. You won’t be behind for long. As more libraries are starting to integrate digital and physical spaces, digital technology will become a crucial part of public service—and your responsibilities as a librarian will expand because of it.

Update your computer skills

Whether you’re an IT pro or just a library employee who spends hours each day on your computer, you should always make it a point to update your software and learn about current trends in technology. Software changes rapidly, so you might not be aware of how outdated your current knowledge is until it comes time to make a change. Keeping up-to-date on new technologies helps ensure that when anything breaks down, you know exactly what to do to fix it or help others with issues.

Update your software skill

Technology may change rapidly in other fields, but when it comes to libraries, what you’ll be doing next year will probably be much like what you do today. That is why keeping your software skills up-to-date is one of your most important responsibilities as a librarian. Stay current with new programs by learning how to use them yourself or by searching for webinars and tutorials. Ask colleagues for tips and advice, too—most library employees are eager to share their expertise with others.

All the WordPress plugins that I use!

WordPress Plugins are PHP scripts that extend the functionality of WordPress. They enhance the features of WordPress or add entirely new features to your site. Plugins are often developed by volunteers and are usually free to the public. Plugins are available via the WordPress Plugin Directory. All you want is just go to WordPress dashboard –> Plugins –> Add New –> search plugins from “Search Plugins” Searchbar click install then Activate the plugin

Here  are the WP plugins that I use

Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam

Classic Editor and Classic Widgets

This plugin disables Gutenberg editor totally everywhere and enables Classic Editor & Classic Widgets. Once activated, this plugin hides all functionality available in the new Gutenberg block editor. Also, you will be able to use old-style Classic Widgets under Appearance > Widgets and Appearance > Customize > Widgets. There is no need to set up any configuration.

Click to Chat

This plugin makes your Web page visitors contact you through WhatsApp with a single click/tap

Easy Table of Contents

Adds a user-friendly and fully automatic way to create and display a table of contents generated from the page content.

Image and video gallery from Google Drive

A WordPress gallery using Google Drive as file storage


WordPress security, performance, marketing, and design tools — Jetpack is made by WordPress experts to make WP sites safer and faster, and help you grow your traffic.

Yoast SEO

Yoast’s mission is SEO for Everyone. Our plugin’s users range from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet. Yoast SEO Free contains everything that you need to manage your SEO


A most wanted plugin, (I have already set up an auto backup of my WP files and database using a script) UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3

Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is a web form builder with unparalleled ease of use and features.


A plugin for WordPress to easily display slideshare.net presentations.


Embed beautiful and feature-rich tables into your posts and pages, without having to write code.


For making email deliverability easy for WordPress

WP Popups Lite

Beginner-friendly WordPress popup builder plugin.

Secure Copy Content Protection and Content Locking

Secure Copy Content Protection is a plugin aimed at protecting web content from being plagiarized.

NB: Plugins can only be installed and used if you either self-host your WordPress or use a WordPress.com Business Plan

Reference: https://wordpress.org/support/article/managing-plugins/

Warning to the Vintage Koha Users

It is being found that Koha software installed via Live CD (vintage versions 3. x) appears to be in error. I do receive a lot of queries on how to recover the crashed koha. Some of the libraries don’t even have the backup file.

Keep the following in mind

  • The live CD is created for learning purposes only, which is not intended to use in a production environment
  • You may lose your entire data (bibliographic, patron, circulation ) unless you take this warning seriously
  • Properly back up your koha (you can automate backup and sync the backup file to the Google Drive cloud storage of library or regularly take and keep the backup in a USB or somewhere else.
  • Koha ILS should be upgraded to the stable version within a period of two years at least to have new features

I do strongly recommend the libraries that are still using a live cd based environment to the stable version and maintain your data.

For proper up-gradation and support, you can hire me as well.

Mahesh Palamuttath
Freelance Information Professional | SaaS | Library Technologist
Mob/WhatsApp: 9567664972
Email: mail@maheshpalamuttath.info
Website: https://maheshpalamuttath.info
Portfolio: https://www.refrens.com/maheshpalamuttath

Welcome Yuvakshetra Institute of Management Studies to the Cloud Hosted Koha Service

Happy to welcome Bhodi Library, Yuvakshetra Institute of Management Studies (YIMS), Ezhakkad, Yuvakhetra Rd, Mundur-II, Palakkad, Kerala 678631 to the cloud-hosted koha service.

About YIMS https://www.yuvakshetra.org/about-us/

Bodhi Library Blog: http://yimsbodhilibrary.blogspot.com/

Library OPAC: http://yims-opac.yuvakshetra.org/


Welcome Sahya Arts & Science College to the Cloud Hosted Koha Service

It is my pleasure to be the Koha support provider for Sahya Arts and Science College, Wandoor, Malappuram

About Sahya Arts and Science College

Sahya Arts and Science College, Wandoor, Malappuram district, in Kerala state established in the year 2013 is under the aegis of Sahya tourism and Pravasi co-operative society limited. The College has got administrative sanctions and no objection from the Government of Kerala and on the basis of that, the University of Calicut has granted affiliation for starting five undergraduate courses for the year 2013-14. The college has adequate infrastructure and sufficient funds and is keen on growing into an institute of higher learning and standard.

From https://www.sahyacollege.com/about_us.php

About SASC Library

Sahya Arts & Science College Library – Palamadam, Karad P.O, Wandoor, Malappuram Dist, 679 339, Kerala State, offers students an excellent selection of books, journals, and magazines on all subjects and Internet facilities. Hardbound volumes of the back issues of the leading journals and magazines are also available. The Library has a collection of over 5491 volumes. The Library subscribes to 19 journals and periodicals both national and international. The Library is fully computerized with circulation, information retrieval, and Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).

The OPAC is available at https://sasc-opac.opensio.co.in/

Secure your PC with a cloud backup solution

Recently, It is being seen people lose their laptops/PC, data and worry about that. One thing we need to keep in our mind is that a computer is just hardware that can be crashed or even theft at any time. So backing up your important data is necessary. You can make use of any popular cloud storage for the purpose like OneDrive which is an inbuilt cloud storage service of Microsoft. or Dropbox, Google Drive, and MEGA each give free storage for personal usage. Choose the appropriate one and create an account on it.

Cloud backup – Google vs Dropbox vs OneDrive vs MEGA
  • Microsoft OneDrive: 5GB (free)
  • Google Drive: 15GB (free)
  • MEGA: 20GB (free)
  • Dropbox: 2GB (free)
Back up any file—anywhere, anytime

You can store all important files safely in your cloud storage account. With access to your Cloud storage files from any device, operating system, or platform, you can work and collaborate on any documents with ease. with or without having an internet connection you can work on files while offline, from your desktop computer, Android, iPhone. Once you get back online, your files and folders will automatically sync with any edits you made when you weren’t connected.

Get extra assurance

Losing precious data, family photos or unintentionally deleting work files–like when your computer/phone goes missing or your external drive stops working–can be stressful. Explore the advantages of file backup with a cloud:

  • Accidents happen, but cloud backup services help make recovering your lost files easier. It’s simple and straightforward to do
  • When you move or delete a file in your cloud storage folder or on the web, they’ll confirm it’s the action you want to take. This ensures fewer opportunities for accidental data loss.
  • Set up key folders like Desktop, Documents, and Downloads to backup and sync automatically. Relax knowing that all your important files are safe in cloud storage and backed up multiple times.
Recover your files

If your files are accidentally deleted, lost, or updated too early, there’s no need to worry. All cloud storage providers give you file recovery and version history, you can restore your deleted files or previous versions of work without missing a beat.
By default, Dropbox/Google Drive/MEGAsync backs up all of your individual files, including early versions of files, for a full 30 days

Dropbox is the platform I have been using for a long time, the personal subscription is 2GB only and that is enough for me to sync all my documents including my research data across my three devices (Debian OS, Windows 10, and Android phone).

Download the client application
Video Tutorials on How to Install and Use