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The Librarian's Introduction to Programming Languages

A LITA Guide

Edited by Beth Thomsett-Scott

The Librarian’s Introduction to Programming Languages presents case studies and practical
applications for using the top programming languages in library and information settings. While
there are books and Web sites devoted to teaching programming, there are few works that
address multiple programming languages or address the specific reasons why programming is a
critical area of learning for library and information science professionals.

There are many books on programming languages but no recent items directly written for librarians that span a variety of programs. Many practicing librarians see programming as something for IT people or beyond their capabilities. This book will help these librarians to feel comfortable discussion programming with others by providing an understanding of when the language might be useful, what is needed to make it work, and relevant tools to extend its application. Additionally, the inclusion of practical examples lets readers try a small “app” for the language. This also will assist readers who want to learn a language but are unsure of which language would be the best fit for them in terms of learning curve and application.

Languages covered are:

  • JavaScript
  • PERL
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • C
  • C#
  • Java

This book is designed to provide a basic working knowledge of each language presented, case
studies which show the programming language used in real ways and resources for exploring
each language in more detail.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 200Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-6332-1 • Hardback • June 2016 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4422-6333-8 • Paperback • June 2016 • $55.00 • (£37.95)
978-1-4422-6334-5 • eBook • June 2016 • $52.00 • (£34.95)
Series: LITA Guides
Beth Thomsett-Scott is Interim Head of the Discovery Park Library at the University of North Texas.
With so many programming languages in use today, it can be hard to know which does what, which is approachable for beginners yet useful long-term, and which will help accomplish library work. Edited by Thomsett-Scott, this title addresses Python, Ruby, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, SQL, C, C#, and Java in a chapter per language, with each chapter also briefly discussing the development of the language in question. The contributors—almost all of them librarians while others are developers—offer beginning steps and code that will get readers going, as well as lists for further reading, mostly in the form of handy tutorial websites but also books and articles. Readers will finish this title with a solid sense of which programming language is right for them and their library, and the tools to get started learning and implementing the language. Verdict: A worthwhile resource for librarians looking to boost their résumé and those interested in or already working in systems librarianship.
Library Journal

Librarian’s Introduction to Programming Languages is the best thing I've seen written for librarians who want to know why computer programming is important in libraries. Libraries are about many things. Some of those things are data and information. Computers excel at creating, storing, manipulating, and disseminating data and information. The intersection of these two worlds is librarians who program. Using examples from Library Land, this book, compares, contrasts, and introduces a wide range of programming languages. Given this book, a networked computer, and a few hours of time, the reader ought to be able to write their very first program in any number of popular languages and consequently learn how programming is essential to the profession.

Eric Lease Morgan, Digital Initiatives Librarian, University of Notre Dame

Beth Thomsett-Scott has put together a guide that answers the question that every librarian asks about Programming Languages, ‘Where do I begin?’ From beginning to end The Librarian's Introduction to Programming Languages will help you choose which programing languages are best for any project. A much needed guide for every librarian.
Juan Denzer, Library Systems Specialist, Binghamton University Libraries

This work is a timely addition to the literature. As experienced librarians come to grips with changing workplace needs, some will need to enhance or begin their coding skills for the future. Beth Thomsett-Scott has assembled a worthy cast of authors to guide librarians in a choice of programming or scripting languages that will make the largest impact for a variety of situations. Code on colleagues!
Matthew R. Martseller, Senior Librarian, Engineering & Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University