Advancing AI Education in GLAM: Highlights from the Library Carpentry Code Sprint

Discover how a global code sprint is driving the evolution of AI education in libraries and shaping the future of the GLAM community.

The lesson maintainers for Intro to AI for GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) and the Library Carpentry Curriculum Advisory Committee (the LC-CAC) co-hosted a seven-hour online code sprint on Jan 31, 2024 to help contribute bug fixes, edits, and improvements to this popular new lesson.

With the aim of moving the beta lesson closer to a stable release and adding it to the core Library Carpentry curriculum, a diverse group of global participants gathered to work on the lesson. Fourteen participants with a range of affiliations and expertise collaborated together during shifts that were hosted throughout the Sprint by Phil Reed, Cody Hennesy, Tim Dennis, and Leigh Phan. Participants included representatives from Hugging Face (UK), the University of Manchester (UK), the Medical Research Council at the Gambia Unit at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Smithsonian Institution, the State Archives of Baden-Württemberg (DE), The National Archives (UK), the University of California, Los Angeles (US), the University of Minnesota (US), and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Fourteen issues were closed during the Sprint, and seven Pull Requests were merged, while substantial documentation of improvements was made to existing Issues that will enable future contributions. Hand-drawn figures from the draft lesson were recreated as accessible SVG flowcharts, alt-text throughout the lesson was written for figures and images, and the remaining issues that remain to be addressed were documented thoroughly, clarifying the path forward for the lesson. Instructor feedback from a number of pilot lessons was also organised into a subset of Issues based on learner experiences and instructor observations.

The sprint format was very effective, giving us time to discuss and make direct changes to the lesson. This approach sped up the lesson development process and helped us clearly define and prioritise the next steps. For anyone considering a similar method, it’s clear that such structured collaboration can significantly advance a project. We’ll adopt this approach for efficiency and clarity in our future work.

The LC-CAC will follow up with lesson maintainers to outline the best path forward to continue lesson progress, ensuring it can move into the Library Carpentry curriculum as soon as possible.

Dialogue & Discussion

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