Report back from University of Calgary Libraries

Workshop and instructor training for librarians

This post originally appeared on the Library Carpentry website

By Chris Erdmann

Taylor Family Digital Library at University of Calgary

Thanks to the University of Calgary Libraries

Thanks to the University of Calgary Libraries for recently hosting both a Library Carpentry Workshop (28-29 August) and a Carpentries Instructor Training for Librarians (30-31 August). The events were possible thanks to support from John Brosz, Renee Reaume, Susan Powelson, Ingrid Reiche, Paul Pival, Calum Center, and University of Calgary Libraries staff. The Taylor Family Digital Library’s state-of-the-art teaching and collaboration spaces were perfect for The Carpentries hands-on pedagogical approaches used by the trainers and instructors, Juliane Schneider, Karen Word, and Chris Erdmann.

Library Carpentry Workshop

Before the workshop was planned, the University of Calgary Libraries was exploring how their metadata services could be expanded to support research on campus while also improving and automating their workflows. Library Carpentry’s core objectives and curriculum seemed like a perfect fit for their staff to gain hands-on experience with tools and approaches that could further the initiative.

University of Calgary Libraries staff, along with librarians from neighboring institutions, busted jargon, and learned about regular expressions, UNIX Shell, OpenRefine, and GitHub. Workshop participants also learned about the overall context of how these tools and approaches can help them in their work. As is often the case, a number of the participants appreciated learning OpenRefine while some were positive about the UNIX Shell lesson.

The Unix Shell lesson, initially planned for the first day of the workshop, had to be pushed back due to configuration challenges. Thanks to The Carpentries Maneesha Sane and SherAaron Hurt’s assistance, participants were able to continue their Shell lesson via Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances (normally used for Data Carpentry’s Genomics lesson). A flipped approach was also used to teaching Git, based on the outline presented in issue #5. Overall, the workshop was a success based on survey responses.

Instructor Training

Thanks to support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the California Digital Library (CDL), (library) staff from University of Minnesota, Lebanon Public Libraries, LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, University of Toronto, HBCU Library Alliance, UC Irvine, San Jose Public Library, University of Connecticut, Spherical Cow Group, NanoHacker Academy, Virginia Commonwealth University, UC San Diego, Georgia Tech, UC Irvine, University of Calgary, and University of Missouri were able to attend the Carpentries Instructor Training for Librarians. Karen Word and Juliane Schneider did an amazing job of walking the trainees through the 2-day curriculum while Chris Erdmann included Library Carpentry specific material and updates when needed. Trainees expressed appreciation for The Carpentries pedagogical approaches, group training activities, cohort, and inclusive environment. Of note, trainees expressed interest in discussing the topic of accessibility further and the instructor trainers allocated additional time during the second day. Just like the previous workshop, the overall feedback was positive and the group is well on their way to becoming instructors.


As a side note, one lucky participant from each event received an Effin Birds mug for their feedback at the start of the second day. The mugs were well received and helped create a fun atmosphere.

Dialogue & Discussion

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