Get Involved

There are lots of ways to get involved in our community and many different ways to support the work of Library Carpentry and The Carpentries.

Attend a workshop

Browse our Upcoming Library Carpentry Workshops to see if there is an opportunity near you. Also see The Carpentries Upcoming Workshops which include workshops from Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry. Sometimes our workshops appear to be only available to organizations but don’t let that stop you. It doesn’t hurt to ask the instructors if there is space available. We often mention upcoming workshops in our various communication channels, but if you are interested in attending a workshop in your area and don’t see one, don’t hesitate to reach out to these communication channels to see if there is an opportunity that hasn’t been announced yet.

Volunteer to help with a workshop

Instructors always need help. In our workshops, whenever a learner needs help, they place a red sticky on their laptop or raise their hand. Helpers assist learners work through any challenges or questions they may have. If you are familiar with the lesson material being taught, you can reach out to the instructors to see if you can join the workshop and assist. You don’t have to be familiar with all the lesson material, even just one lesson/tool/approach is fine. To find upcoming workshops being held near you, you can browse the Upcoming Carpentries Workshops . Alternatively, you don’t necessarily need to be familiar with the material and can inquire with the instructors whether you can observe a workshop instead.

Host a workshop

Sometimes the best way to understand what a Library Carpentry workshop is like is to host a workshop yourself. Hosting a workshop allows you to see what it takes to organize a workshop, to see the discussions between instructors to determine the appropriate lesson material for your audience, the steps involved in creating a welcoming environment, and more. You can read more about hosting workshops in The Carpentries Handbook.

If you are considering hosting a workshop, we will work to keep your costs to a minimum. The workshop administration fee is $2,500, and the host site is responsible for instructor travel expenses. We suggest that you estimate $2,500 for the travel, food and accommodations of two instructors, however, we will work to find instructors as local as possible to reduce travel costs. Our network of instructors is increasing and more instructors from the overall Carpentries will be able to teach Library Carpentry as we integrate our instructor training material. It is important to note that you must have at least one certified volunteer instructor leading your workshop for it to be listed as an official Library Carpentry and Carpentries workshop. Additional costs to consider include the workshop space and catering. Regarding other resources, laptops and/or desktop computers are often needed as well as helpers from your local community that are familiar with the tools and approaches you will cover in your workshop. Some hosts use Eventbrite to minimize costs and ask for registration. For more information, see the Teaching and Hosting section of The Carpentries Handbook.

Apply to be an instructor

You can apply to be an instructor online via our request instructor training form. While there is no application cost, there can be a queue of other requests and it can take months to be notified of instructor training opportunities. Alternatively, you can become a member and reduce the waiting time, plus, you can train with a cohort at your organization or as part of a consortium.

Instructor training involves a series of steps starting with a 2-day training session on Carpentries pedagogy. Typically this is done online, but sometimes it is offered in-person (e.g. University of Calgary Libraries, csv, conf). Once you’ve completed the 2-day training, you will need to submit a change or pull request to a lesson which can range from fixing spelling errors to suggesting an additional step to a lesson. You will also need to attend a discussion session (with instructors that have recently finished teaching a workshop) and provide a 5-minute teaching demo involving one of the Carpentries lesson episodes. Once you have completed the steps and are certified, you can teach all Carpentries lessons including Library Carpentry.

Become a member

Libraries are a perfect host for Carpentries activities on campus and can be an invaluable hub for learning data science skills. Departments, labs, and other groups at institutions fall into a cycle of constantly revisiting training programs to keep their communities up-to-date with current software and data tools and approaches. Libraries offer a home for these activities and can help with coordination and integration of computational training within your organization. A variety of membership opportunities exist which a library can subscribe to and grow Carpentries activities at your organization. Read more about The Carpentries membership options.

We’ve gathered a number of proposals to help with making the case for membership at your organization and there are a number of stories on our blog that can help as well including:

What’s next?

In addition to teaching and hosting workshops, here is a list of possible next steps to consider:

  • Develop a lesson that your community can share with the world
  • Consider leading community initiatives and/or volunteer to help with events (e.g. CarpentryCon)
  • Help mentor others joining the community
  • Explore new strategic directions for the community
  • Share information with a library colleague or your library director

Read about others’ experiences

We’ve gathered a number of stories from the community so that you can read about others’ experiences. Before you even consider your next steps, learning about what others have done can help.