Spreadsheets for Librarians: Getting Results with Excel and Google Sheets

Libraries Unlimited. Jan. 2021. 210p. ISBN 9781440869310. pap. $50. PRO MEDIA
This book’s basic, straightforward title might fail to grab readers’ attention, but nevertheless the work is well written, engaging, and extremely useful. White (copyright and open access, Massey Univ., New Zealand) obviously loves his subject matter and is keen to convince his fellow librarians that spreadsheets can make their lives easier. He makes his sales pitch in the introductory chapter, laying out several tasks that librarians often face and showing how they can be efficiently tackled using spreadsheets. The remainder of the volume is structured much like a course on using spreadsheets; however, readers can also pick and choose from specific chapters or sections, based on the spreadsheet skills they want to learn. As the subtitle implies, functional differences between Excel and Google Sheets are explained when applicable. Each chapter has multiple practice exercises, for which White provides links to downloadable files populated with data; the book concludes with a recommended reading list.
VERDICT White’s writing style brings clarity and humor to the dry, technical task of mastering spreadsheets. Despite the library-specific examples, this offering will also appeal to other professionals looking for strategies to increase efficiency in their work.
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