Software and data skills for library professionals
Welcome to library carpentry
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What We Do


We are a group of librarians, repository managers, metadata librarians, research data managers, and other information workers who are committed to teaching and developing a range of lessons designed to help librarians develop skills around coding and data analysis. Learn more about our lesson statuses and the lesson development process.


Since 2015, we have taught upwards of fifty workshops around the world to librarians in academia, and in state, national, and public libraries.
You can request a workshop at your institution.

UNC, Chapel Hill, NC, USA 18-19 October, 2018
Brown University Library 22-23 October, 2018
SUB Hamburg, Germany 5-6 November, 2018
Cologne, Germany 12-13 November, 2018
Manchester, UK 30 November, 2018
George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 13-14 December, 2018
MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN, USA 7-9 January, 2019


You can register your interest in Library Carpentry. Meet other Library Carpenters in our Gitter chatroom or join our Topicbox Discussion List. If you want to build a local Library Carpentry community, please get in touch through our chatroom. Follow us on Twitter.

About Library Carpentry

Library Carpentry Lessons

Our current stable, beta and alpha lessons

Data intro for librarians

Data intro for librarians

An introduction to data structures, regular expressions, and computing terms

Unix Shell

Unix Shell

An introduction to command line interfaces and task automation using the Unix shell



An introduction to cleaning up and enhancing a dataset using OpenRefine

Git Intro for Librarians

Git Intro for Librarians

An introduction to version control using Git and GitHub for collaboration

SQL for Librarians

SQL for Librarians

An introduction to relational database management using the SQLite tool



An introduction to extracting structured data from websites using a range of tools

Tidy data for librarians

Tidy data for librarians

An introduction to good data organisation, which is the foundation of much of our day-to-day work in libraries.

Introduction to Python

Introduction to Python

An introduction to Python, a general purpose programming language

Data Intro for Archivists

Data Intro for Archivists

An introduction to data structures, regular expressions, and computing terms for archivists

Lesson Development



These lessons are mature and ready to be taught. Most have been taught multiple times. The content is well-established, but minor changes and improvements (e.g. better explanations, spelling/grammar corrections, improved exercises) are always welcome.


These lessons are largely complete and should be ready to teach, but would benefit from improvements based on feedback from instructors who have taught them. New sections and rewrites/reorganisations of existing sections will be considered.


These lessons are under active development and may not be ready to teach without additional preparation and background knowledge. Further development work is strongly encouraged - please get in touch or check out outstanding issues on GitHub to find out what is needed.

All contributions are welcome, but if you would like to focus your efforts where they are most needed, please work on the alpha and beta lessons.

Lesson development process

Our recommended process for developing a new lesson is as follows:

  1. Develop the initial content on GitHub using the Carpentries' set up instructions for new lessons. New lessons are built from clones of this repo.
  2. Introduce yourself and the lesson on our Gitter channel — there may well be willing volunteers to help with the content.
  3. Teach the lesson, collect feedback, and perhaps raise issues or pull requests to improve the content.
  4. Propose your lesson for the incubator by making a pull request (PR) against the Library Carpentry website, adding a link to your lesson repository as an alpha lesson.
  5. Discuss the lesson with the community and, if necessary, offer suggestions on how to improve the lesson; if the lesson is considered suitable material for the Library Carpentry curriculum, a website maintainer will merge your PR into the main site
  6. You and others will teach the lesson, collect feedback, and improve the content.
  7. Propose your lesson for beta/stable by making a pull request against the Library Carpentry website, updating the status of your lesson.
  8. Discuss the lesson further with the community; when the lesson is ready, a website maintainer will merge your pull request( PR).

Congratulations! Your lesson is now part of stable Library Carpentry!

New lesson expectations

In order to maintain consistent quality and style in the Library Carpentry lessons, we have a community-driven set of expectations for what a good lesson should look like. These should guide the review process at steps 5 and 8 above. Lesson developers and reviewers should also read and follow the guidelines in the Software Development instructor training manual.

All stable lessons should:

  1. have at least two active maintainers.
  2. include a short learner profile (i.e. who the lesson is designed for).
  3. include concrete learning objectives.
  4. be teachable in around three hours under normal circumstances.

Our Sponsors and Supporters

Although Library Carpentry is not tied to any institution or person, it is associated with, and organisationally supported by, The Carpentries, a merger of Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, non-profit volunteer projects and individual lesson organisations whose members teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers.

Library Carpentry has received funding from the Software Sustainability Institute. The Software Sustainability Institute cultivates world-class research with software. The Institute is based at the universities of Edinburgh, Manchester, Southampton, and Oxford.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services has funded a two-year position based at California Digital Library to support Library Carpentry development.

We are indebted to the Centre for Information Science at City University London for agreeing to host the first Library Carpentry programme on November 2015.

Thanks go to the National and State Libraries of Australasia (NSLA), who funded an all-capital-cities roadshow in Australia for Library Carpentry in 2017.

Thanks also go to Universities New Zealand for funding a 2018 Library Carpentry roadshow for academic libraries in New Zealand.

Interim Governance Group

This group represents countries where Library Carpentry activity has been strongest.

John Chodacki (USA)

Jez Cope (UK)

Tim Dennis (USA)

Chris Erdmann (Coordinator, USA)

Kayleigh Lino (South Africa)

Cam Macdonell (Canada)

Juliane Schneider (USA)

Belinda Weaver (Australia)

The group meets monthly to discuss a range of issues. See our governance repo.

Contact Us

How to Get in Touch

There are several ways to get in touch.