Seventy-One Workshops... and Counting

How the Library Carpentry community began, and where it is going

By Belinda Weaver, Chris Erdmann, Tim Dennis, Juliane Schneider, Carmi Cronje, Jez Cope

Seventy-one Library Carpentry workshops have now been taught around the world, including one-day, two-day, and multi-day events, with future workshops being added every day.

With this milestone behind us, it is important to pause and appreciate what has been achieved so far by the community. Since 2015, more than 102 instructors and 123 helpers, 225 in total, have contributed to Library Carpentry training events in 13 countries. We have collaboratively developed open educational lessons to teach software and data skills for anyone who works in libraries or similar organisations.

View/add to the spreadsheet

Thanks to their contributions, we’ve helped well over a thousand learners by covering a range of topics, from Introduction to Data to Open Refine (see the full list of lessons). Fourteen lesson maintainers keep the lessons running smoothly and make sure that they conform to the Carpentries’ pedagogical model. In addition, we have had three highly successful sprints that featured a global set of lesson developers working to add to and improve Library Carpentry lesson materials (more on the sprints below).

There is still much more event data that we can capture from our community! If you see anything that is missing, please contribute to the workshops spreadsheet and/or reach out to

Funding support

Library Carpentry workshops have benefited from the generous support of The Carpentries, the Software Sustainability Institute, the National and State Libraries of Australia (NSLA), the California Digital Library, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, City University London, the University of Sussex, and Universities New Zealand.

Workshops by year and key highlights

| Year | Number of Workshops | | :————- |——–

This post originally appeared on the Library Carpentry website:    
  2013 1
  2014 5
  2015 2
  2016 18
  2017 27
  2018 18
  TOTAL 71

From 2013 to 2015, seven Software Carpentry for librarians workshops were held to respond to growing interest in the library community for Carpentries workshops. This momentum would later inspire Dr James Baker to develop Library Carpentry.

In 2016, the first Library Carpentry two-day sprint took place as part of the Mozilla Science Lab’s global sprint (or #mozsprint). Around twenty people from six countries collaborated over two days to improve and extend lessons and begin to build a global community.

In 2017, the second Library Carpentry sprint (also part of #mozsprint) attracted 105 people from seven countries to work on upgrading and creating lessons. With more than 800 ‘events’ (issues and pull requests) across our repositories over the two days, our work comprised a fifth of all work done in that year’s mozsprint. 2018 was also the year when an instructor training targeted at library professionals was run after csv,conf in Portland, Oregon.

In 2018, the third Library Carpentry Sprint generated 3,138 views of the repositories during the sprint, with 341 unique visitors. More than 150 pull requests and issues were raised against the lessons, with the git and sql lessons getting some much-needed attention. A second instructor training geared towards librarians is planned for late August this year.

Thanks to community involvement in developing the lessons and more instructors coming on board, workshop numbers are on the rise. With the appointment of Chris Erdmann as the Library Carpentry Community and Development Director, this will continue. Chris aims to inspire further community growth, instructor onboarding, lesson development, and to help with logistics during Library Carpentry’s ‘incubation’ as a fully fledged Carpentry.

Growing the instructor pool

A dedicated Carpentries instructor training for libraries will be run in Calgary from 30-31 August. Read more. This will help grow the community of instructors to allow Library Carpentry to respond to more requests for workshops.

What has been taught

OpeRefine, Unix Shell, regular expressions, Python, Git - these are the Library Carpentry lessons that have been taught the most. Instructors value flexibility and SQL, Tidy Data, Web Scraping, and Data Intro for Archivists have also found their way into instruction, but far less than the more popular lessons.

In the beginning

Library Carpentry was the brainchild of Dr. James Baker, (then at the British Library, now at the University of Sussex), who came up with the idea of adapting Software Carpentry lessons and teaching methods to help librarians develop digital skills (based on the popularity of earlier Software Carpentry workshops for librarians run at Harvard University, University Toronto, Edmonton Public Library, New York Public Library, and West Vancouver Memorial Library). Along with Daniel van Strien and Owen Stephens, James ran the first Library Carpentry workshop in London in November 2015. The course was taught in four evening sessions over four weeks, and James’s work on this was supported by a fellowship with the Software Sustainability Institute.

In 2016, Library Carpentry won the British Library Labs Teaching and Learning Award.

A Big Thank You

We would like to thank the following people who have contributed to this amazing outcome. If you have been a helper, instructor, or maintainer, and don’t see your name here, we apologise. Please let us know by adding your workshop information to the spreadsheet or by contacting so you can be added to our records.

We would also like to encourage the community to keep up the good work, continue to contribute to lesson development, running workshops, and spreading the word about Library Carpentry!


Caitlin Moore, Marco Fahmi, Silvia Witzig, Lionel Walter, Martin Reisacher, Paul Coray, Sebastian Schuepbach, Thomas Julou, Collin Storlie, Clair Meade, Ryan Johnson, Nancy Fong, Leslie Barnes, Bella Ban, Sean Zhao, Stephanie Pegg, Andy Wagner, Scott Peterson, Jennifer Dorner, Anna Sackmann, Jamie Wittenberg. Heather Ford, Joanna Leng, Claire Green, Kat Koler, Anna Krystalli, Angus Taggart, Tom Hohenstein, Daina Bouquin, Joshua Dull, Matthew Burton, Chris Erdmann, Lisa Zilinski, Ole Villadsen, Jeannette Ekstrøm, Aimee Said, Sam Hames, Richard Vankoningsveld, Liz Walkley-Hall, Ben Hickson, Weisi Chen, Daniel Bangert, Cristina Lee, Narsimha Garlapati, Robert Fleet, Janice Chan, Kate Perry, Katina Toufexis, Jamie Jameson, Shani Miller, Shari Laster, Stefano Menegon, Giuseppe Profiti, Andrea Brugiolo, Yuri Carrer, Marco Naimoli, Tomaso Scarsi, Zine Sapula, Juan Steyn, Senzo Mpungose, Kylie Poulton, Julie Toohey, Reid Otsuji, Peter Neish, Lyle Winton, Alistair Walsh, Shira Peltzman, Maggie Hughes, Tim Dennis, Drew Heles, Stefan Beck, Christoph Marutschke, Andreas Morgen, Rachel Chidlow, Laura Armstrong, Adam Price, Erika Dickey, Jennifer Johnson, Miloche Kottman, Brad Engelbert, Marcella Huggard, John Fink, Mita Williams, Sarah Simpkin, John Brosz, Mary Ellen Sloane, Merrin Brewster, Jonah Duckles, Rachel Rome, Yamil Suarez, Ruth Collings, Thomas Guignard, Alif Zaman, Orion Buske, Dale Russell, Jared Camins-Esakov, Yu-Ching Shih, Shawn Averkamp, Paul Beaudoin, Mauricio Giraldo, Matt Miller, David Riordan, Cody Moorhouse, Katie Thompson, Kate Masterton, Liz Amos, Rachit Bahtia, Mike Bennett, Jen Daub, Patrick McCann, Giacomo Peru, Andy Taylor, Sarah Ames, Habtamu Kebede, Emamu Abdela, Jonathan Cain, Ryan Wick.


James Baker, Belinda Weaver, Elin Stangeland, Geoff Fucile, Stefan Pfenninger, Thomas Guignard, Daniel Baird, Jay van Schyndel, Juliane Schneider, Matt Critchlow, Reid Otsuji, Tim Dennis, Kim Pham, Leanne Trimble, Greg Wilson, Nich Worby, Anelda van der Walt, Cam Macdonell, Harrison Dekker, Carmi Cronje, Brenda Moon, Laurent Gatto, Fredrik Hovind Juell, Ahmed Abdi Mohammed, Hugo Huurdeman, Dan Michael O. Heggø, Kyrre Traavik Låberg, Jez Cope, Martin Callaghan, Elly Cope, Nicholas Cutler, Isak van der Walt, Erika Mias, Kayleigh Roos, Guyda Armstrong, Fiona Jones, Dave Rowe, Suzanne Tatham, Antony Groves, Jeff Oliver, Scott Peterson, Erika Mias, Kayleigh Roos, Isak van der Walt, Paula Martinez, Laura Smart, Danielle Kane, Noah Geraci, Kat Koziar, Veronica Ikeshoji-Orlati, Meredith Broadway, Melissa Mallon, Elisabeth Shook, Suellen Stringer-Hye, Richard Vankoningsveld, Chris Erdmann, John Chodacki, Martin Skarzynski, José Alanis, Peer Herholz, Katrin Leinweber, Christian Krippes, Aleksandra Pawlik, Jamene Brooks-Kieffer, Tim Ribaric, James Desjardins, Kristian Allen, Karen Word, Evamaria Krause, Konrad Förstner, Jonah Duckles, Kristin Lee, Allison Gofman, Kyle Monahan, Erik Bray, Jessica McKellar, R. David Murray, Michael Selik, Andromeda Yelton, Chris Gray, Victor Ng, Sam Popowich, Dana Ouellette, Abigail Cabunoc, Jennifer Campbell, Tim Cerino, Jason Williams, Vicky Varga, Ben Busby, Chris Belter, Chris Maloney, Mike Davidson, Lisa Federer, Kate Masterton, Katie Chan, David Kane, Breeda Herlihy, Yonas Demissew, Mesfin Diro, Dagim Yoseph, Sarah Seymore, Steven Van Tuyl, Clara Llebot, Jonah Duckles.


Carmi Cronje, James Baker, Belinda Weaver, Tim Dennis, Owen Stephens, Juliane Schneider, Jez Cope, Elaine Wong, Janice Chan, Thomas Guignard, Carlos Martinez, Richard Vankoningsveld, Jenny Bunn, Noah Geraci.

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