BLC Library Carpentry Series

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

The Boston Library Consortium has partnered with the New England Software Carpentry Library Consortium (NESCLiC) to host 3 workshops using lessons from the Library Carpentry curriculum. These are stand-alone sessions, so you can attend any or all of them. There will be opportunities to discuss questions you may have about the lesson topics as they relate to your library in a collaborative environment. 

The series runs for four consecutive Wednesdays, starting on June 16th and ending on July 7th. Each workshop is scheduled for 1pm-5pm, allowing for office hours with the instructors. Registration for the workshops is limited to 25 attendees, and will be closed when that number is reached. Workshop instructors will be in touch with registrants prior to the sessions in order to provide additional details.


Introduction to Data (Wednesday, June 16th, 1-5pm) | Workshop Recording 

In the first session of our Library Carpentry series we will cover the Introduction to Working with Data from the Library Carpentry curriculum. We will discuss why understanding data matters in libraries, examples of places where a computational approach to problems can save time, and the basics of regular expressions. Bring your ideas and questions about jargon that you find frustrating (what is an API, anyway?), data that you collect or want to combine with other kinds of data, and tricks that you have learned when it comes to dealing with data in libraries,


Working with Spreadsheets (Tidy Data) (Wednesday, June 23rd, 1-5pm) | Workshop Recording

Spreadsheets are a common way to organize, store, and manipulate data in library work, but have you ever wondered how you could make your spreadsheets better? Or why your dates turn to five-digit numbers when you aren’t looking? Or what those little green tags that alert you to “numbers stored as text” mean? In this session we will look at how you can make your spreadsheets work for you, how you can create ways to help a group enter data consistently, and how you can make sure that the data in your spreadsheet can be used in other software, both now and in the future. 


Cleaning Data with OpenRefine (Wednesday, June 30th, 1-5pm) | Workshop Recording

A large part of working with data is cleaning it up so that you can analyse and display it. In this session we will look at OpenRefine, an open-source software that offers tools to explore your data, make mass updates, and export it in a variety of formats, all while keeping track of each step so you can undo actions or repeat the process on other datasets. 


Unix Shell (Wednesday, July 7th, 1-5pm) | Workshop Recording

The UNIX Shell, also known as the command line, allows you to communicate with your computer directly - to string together commands and automate tasks that would otherwise require many separate steps if done through a graphical user interface (GUI). This automation not only helps you be more productive, but also improves the reproducibility of your workflows by allowing you to save and then repeat them with a few simple commands. Learning the Shell is a step in understanding how other programming languages work in a command line environment. Join us for a gentle introduction to the UNIX Shell!

New England Software Carpentry Library Consortium (NESCLiC)

The New England Software Carpentry Library Consortium, affectionately known as NESCLiC ( an association of academic libraries and information technology organizations, joined the larger Carpentries organization as a community of practice focused on building data science skills in research computing, and extracting, wrangling, storing, analyzing, and visualizing data. Since we formed in 2017 we have had four cohorts of people go through the Carpentries Instructor Training and have participated as instructors in workshops at our own institutions and for organizations like the New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science & Technology.