Library Carpentry’s Journey: Seeding the Future

Read on to learn about Library Carpentry's expansion, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Since 2018, Library Carpentry has been on a fruitful trajectory of growth and expansion. Fueled by a generous Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant awarded to the California Digital library, we have advanced the scope, adoption, and impact of Library Carpentry across the nation. Community partnerships have formed with libraries at academic institutions both in the US and around the globe, creating a rich and collaborative Library Carpentry community and making computational skills training widely available to librarians and researchers across disciplines. Supplemental funding by the IMLS has supported a growing number of Carpentries workshops and instructor training opportunities as well as a membership scholarship program to reach new and diverse library communities and consortia.

In 2020, spearheaded by a special project to develop the Carpentries community in academic libraries across California, The Carpentries began to investigate new membership models that would optimize new and existing regional collaborations to seed future consortia.

To pilot such a seed membership as well as a new member onboarding program, we had the privilege to award five scholarship memberships to a diverse group of US libraries, selected based on the following criteria:

  • Their enthusiastic response to The Carpentries model of collaboration
  • Their clear vision of how to integrate their library systems with The Carpentries community to reach more geographically and culturally diverse libraries and institutions
  • An established network of national, state, or local public and academic libraries to support the creation and sustainability of a consortium that would foster community collaboration and share Carpentry resources
  • An opportunity to establish a regional presence in underserved areas of the US not part of the Library Carpentry community

All of the awardees have participated in our new member onboarding program and their real time feedback has been invaluable as we revise and broaden our membership levels and related benefits. After 6 months, we are pleased to report that close to all 5 libraries are actively engaged and supporting our shared goals/outcomes. They are holding workshops, including learners from outside of their home library, and keeping up with the enthusiasm and demand for training from their local community. We are optimistic that this good work will continue as they teach additional new learners and enable broad access to computational skills training. Thank you to all that have been involved and for sharing our vision of creating and sustaining a safe learning community for all.

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