Our lessons

Our Core Objectives

Library Carpentry workshops teach people working in library- and information-related roles how to:

  • Cut through the jargon terms and phrases of software development and data science and apply concepts from these fields in library tasks;
  • Identify and use best practices in data structures;
  • Learn how to programmatically transform and map data from one form to another;
  • Work effectively with researchers, IT, and systems colleagues;
  • Automate repetitive, error prone tasks.
Lesson materials are all available online, under a CC BY license, for self-directed study or for adaptation and re-use (as "Carpentries-based" training).

Our Core Curriculum

Our Core Curriculum consists of the lessons in the table below. These have been taught many times, and have been further refined after instructor and learner feedback. For more information regarding core lessons and workshops across The Carpentries, visit The Carpentries workshops page.

The lessons introduce terms, phrases, and concepts in software development and data science, how to best work with data structures, and use regular expressions in finding and matching data. We introduce the Unix-style command line interface, and teach basic shell navigation, as well as the use of loops and pipes for linking shell commands. We also introduce grep for searching and subsetting data across files. Exercises cover the counting and mining of data. In addition, we cover working with OpenRefine to transform and clean data, and the benefits of working collaboratively via Git/GitHub and using version control to track your work.


Lesson Site Repository Reference Instructor Notes Status Maintainer(s)
Tidy Data Stable Jesse Johnston
Introduction to Working with Data (Regular Expressions) Stable Freddy Chia, Kevin French, Shari Laster*
The UNIX Shell Stable Jamie Jamison, Kaitlin Newson
OpenRefine Stable Roman Kuhn, Max Prud'homme, Owen Stephens, Jennifer Stubbs
Introduction to Git Stable Seth Erickson, Elizabeth McAulay

Extended Curriculum

The following Library Carpentry lessons can also be taught in addition to our core curriculum. Some of the lessons have been taught infrequently and still need further work. We would value any feedback on these lessons.


Lesson Site Repository Reference Instructor Notes Status Maintainer(s)
SQL Stable Julika Mimkes, Annajiat Alim Rasel
Introduction to Python Alpha Cody Hennesy, Tim Dennis
Introduction to Data for Archivists Alpha Katherine Koziar*
Introduction to R Alpha Jia Qi Beh, Tim Dennis, Stéphane Guillou
MarcEdit Alpha Jennifer Eustis*, Abigail Sparling*, Owen Stephens (looking for Maintainers)
Intro to AI for GLAM Beta Mark Bell, Nora McGregor, Daniel van Strien, Mike Trizna
DMP Course for Librarians Alpha Lena Bohman, Marla Hertz, Daria Orlowska

* Indicates Lead Maintainer

Retired Curriculum

The following Library Carpentry lessons are no longer maintained. There may be include out-of-date instructions or references but content in these lessons could still be useful. You may reach out to the Curriculum Advisory Committee if you are interested in restarting these lessons and becoming a new Maintainer.

Lesson Site Repository About / Reference DOI / Notes Status Former Maintainer(s)
Top 10 FAIR Data & Software Things Retired (was beta)
Webscraping Retired (was alpha) Thomas Guignard
Workshop Overview Retired (was stable) Jesse Johnston, Elizabeth McAulay

Conceptual Curriculum

The following lessons are conceptual (pre-alpha) and are currently being discussed and/or under development. Issues/pull requests are one way to see current activity but you can also reach out to the Maintainers to see where the lesson discussions/development are at.


Lesson Site Repository Reference Instructor Notes Status Maintainer(s)
Wikidata Conceptual Rabea Müller
FAIR Data & Software Conceptual

In addition, lessons on Digital Preservation and Text and Data Mining are being discussed.

* Indicates Lead Maintainer

Lesson Status

Our lessons are in various stages of development - stable, beta, alpha, and conceptual.


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.


These lessons are still in the conceptual phase where community members have just started to discuss general ideas , learner profiles, goals, summative and fomative assessments, concept maps, software and data to be used, how long the lesson should be, and connecting the dots before moving to the alpha phase.

Contributing to Lessons

All contributions are welcome. The level of work may vary depending on the status of the lesson. We recommend that you @mention the Maintainers of the lesson if you are picking up the tasks described in one of the open lesson issues or pull requests.

Lesson Development Process

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

  • Develop the initial content on GitHub using the Carpentries' set up instructions for new lessons. New lessons are built from clones of this repo.
  • Introduce yourself and the lesson on our Gitter channel or Topicbox list — there may well be willing volunteers to help with the content.
  • Teach the lesson, collect feedback, and perhaps raise issues or pull requests to improve the content.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • You and others will teach the lesson, collect feedback, and improve the content.
  • Propose your lesson for beta/stable by making a pull request against the Library Carpentry website, updating the status of your lesson.
  • 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 review The Carpentries Handbook, especially the section on Lesson Development and consult with the Curriculum Advisory Committee.

All stable lessons should:

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

Community Developed Lessons

The Carpentries also shares The Carpentries Community Developed Lessons. This includes The Carpentries Incubator (lessons under development and seeking peer review), and The CarpentriesLab (lessons that have been vetted by The Carpentries but are not part of our standard offerings).