The Totally Bearable Lightness of Being an Instructor ... So Finish that Training!

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

Also, there’s this thing at UCLA going on September 7-8 …

Greetings, my Library Carpentry community peeps! Hope your summer is going as well as mine, which means about as fine as the coffee in Twin Peaks, or a Fellini film - take your pick.

Several months ago, I wrote a post about the amazing time I had in Portland at csv,conf and at the Library Carpentry Instructor Training that Belinda Weaver and Tim Dennis taught, ably assisted by myself, John Chodacki and a spatula. We had a wonderful cohort of instructors-in-training, all of whom I know would rock a room with their Bash and OpenRefine instructional skills.

So I say to thee, oh #porttt cohort, if you haven’t completed the final steps of your instructor certification, get on it, because we need you!

Remember how much fun we had in Portland?

You can have that again, by holding your own Library Carpentry workshop and building your local community of data-savvy colleagues.

Steps to certification:

1. Contribute to a lesson.

Library Carpentry just had a very successful writing sprint, and we have a lot of open issues to resolve so there are many opportunities to contribute, even if it is spelling corrections or link updates. The downside of this is that it can be confusing to figure out HOW to do this and what issues are actually available to work on. If you find it daunting to know where to start, or how to get through the GitHub workflow, please - PLEASE - contact me, Tim Dennis or John Chodacki and we’ll help you through it. Promise, it’s eezee peezee!

2. Participate in an online discussion.

This is the easy one. Jump online and hang out! Ask questions about doing workshops, ask about specific lessons, or, like me, have an ecstatic geekfest discussion about the glories of OpenRefine, in my case with Kate Hertweck. Here’s the schedule.

Sign up for a session and knock this one off the certification list.

3. Teach a short demonstration session.

This is easier than you think. (LOUD WHISPER: you are on videoconference doing live coding/demo, so you can use notes and nobody sees you looking at them!) We are mostly nice people, except for me when when confronted by MARC XML or a poorly made gimlet. So, you will be fine … unless you do something outlandishly egregious, like perhaps saying “just” a lot or admitting out loud that you didn’t like OpenRefine.

Sign up for your demo.

That’s it!

If you want what I just typed in more formal and less metricious language, see the full checkout procedure.

I know, it’s SWC, but we’re following the same procedure, so you are in the right place.

Now. NOW. To the fun part.

Team Spatula Returns!

Belinda, Tim, John and I will be at UCLA September 7-8, spreading the word about Library Carpentry and having discussions about community building and running a Library Carpentry workshop (or watching some of our new instructors teach one, we hope). In addition, we will be having yet more fabulous times after hours with all of our new best Library Carpentry friends.

As we finalize the schedule for this reunion event, we’ll keep you all informed, and remember, if you are experiencing any kind of roadblock or confusion over your final LC instructor certification steps, please contact one of us. We will be more than happy to help you complete the steps and start planning a workshop!

(Hint: if you are still completing certification and are in the LA area and want to get certified in time to be an instructor for the September 7-8 event, we’ll help you get there, and get you your first instructor experience.)

Basically, if you need any support, PING US. We are are here to help. And we hope to see some of you soon in Los Angeles.

Till next time,


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