Library Carpentry: Software Skills Training for Library Professionals


Much time and energy is now being devoted to developing the skills of researchers in the related areas of data analysis and data management. However, less attention is currently paid to developing the data skills of librarians themselves: these skills are often brought in by recruitment in niche areas rather than considered as a wider development need for the library workforce, and are not widely recognised as important to the professional career development of librarians. We believe that building computational and data science capacity within academic libraries will have direct benefits for both librarians and the users we serve.

Library Carpentry is a global effort to provide training to librarians in technical areas that have traditionally been seen as the preserve of researchers, IT support and systems librarians. Established non-profit volunteer organisations, such as Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, offer introductory research software skills training with a focus on the needs and requirements of research scientists. Library Carpentry is a comparable introductory software skills training programme with a focus on the needs and requirements of library and information professionals. This paper describes how the material was developed and delivered, and reports on challenges faced, lessons learned and future plans.