What constitutes a Library Carpentry workshop?

What is considered a Library Carpentry workshop vs a roadshow

This post originally appeared on the Library Carpentry website

By Chris Erdmann, Belinda Weaver, John Chodacki, Juliane Schneider, Jez Cope, Kayleigh Lino, Tim Dennis, Cam Macdonell

Given that Library Carpentry currently has nine lessons on its books, and a couple more in draft form, the question of exactly what constitutes an ‘official’ Library Carpentry workshop is timely.

On 17 May, Belinda Weaver opened an issue about this question, proposing what lessons should be taught for a workshop to be badged as Library Carpentry. The issue asked others in the community to comment. The issue received 10 comments from Chris Erdmann, Jez Cope, Kayleigh Lino, Juliane Schneider, Veronica Ikeshoji-Orlati, Greg Wilson, James Baker, and Lauren Ko. Out of the current Library Carpentry lessons, the bulk of comments identified Introduction to Data, the UNIX Shell, Introduction to Git, and OpenRefine as the core lessons that should be taught at a Library Carpentry workshop.

Reviewing past workshops has also confirmed the popularity of these lessons. Workshop organizers and instructors have also opted for replacing one of the lessons above with Tidy Data, SQL, Python, or one of the other lessons for the Git and/or OpenRefine lessons.

The comments also pointed to the importance of offering greater flexibility in the delivery of Library Carpentry training, citing the difficulty many in library- and information-related roles have in getting time off for training. This might mean running training in half day blocks, rather than as a two-day chunk. In addition, flexibility may be needed to meet the needs or preferences of the host/organizer.

Library Carpentry Workshop Overview

Based on feedback from the community and from the Library Carpentry Governance Group, a workshop overview page was created to provide guidance on what constitutes a workshop:


Please open an issue or submit a pull request if we missed anything!

Instead of requiring “Days” like Data Carpentry or Software Carpentry, “Parts” are used to allow for the flexibility desired by the Library Carpentry community. If a workshop cannot be held across two consecutive days, then alternatively, it can be run in parts across a number of days. As long as the core lessons are taught, it makes no difference whether the workshop is run in one day, two days, or multiple days.

If the workshop matches these conditions, proposers and requesters of workshops can report their workshop to:


and to

Chris Erdmann (chris@carpentries.org), Library Carpentry Community and Development Director

Please let us know

We hope this clears things up for people, and we are interested in hearing about your experiences in organising and teaching workshops. Roundups, pictures, or summaries of workshops are welcome as blog posts on the website or as Tweets tagged @LibCarpentry. Instructions on contributing a blog post are in our README file. A guided blog post submission form is also available.

Dialogue & Discussion

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