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Building a Community: Three months of Library Carpentry.

Posted in UC3

Back in May, almost 30 librarians, researchers, and faculty members got together in Portland Oregon to learn how to teach lessons from Software, Data, and Library Carpentry. After spending two days learning the ins and outs of Carpentry pedagogy and live coding, we all returned to our home institutions, as part of the burgeoning Library Carpentry community.

Library Carpentry didn’t begin in Portland, of course. It began in 2014 when the community began developing a group of lessons at the British Library. Since then, dozens of Library Carpentry workshops have been held across four continents. But the Portland event, hosted by California Digital Library, was the first Library Carpentry-themed instructor training session. Attendees not only joined the Library Carpentry community, but took their first step in getting certified as Software and Data Carpentry instructors. If Library Carpentry was born in London, it went through a massive growth spurt in Portland.

Together, the carpentries are a global movement focused on teaching people computing skills like navigating the Unix Shell, doing version control with Git, and programming with Python. While Software and Data Carpentry are focused on researchers, Library Carpentry is by and for Librarians. Library Carpentry lessons include an introduction to data for librarians, Open Refine, and many more. Many attendees of the Portland instructor training contributed to these lessons during the Mozilla Global Sprint in June. After more than 850 Github events (pull requests, forks, issues, etc), Library Carpentry ended up as far and away the most active part of the global sprint. We even had a five month old get in on the act!

Since the instructor training and the subsequent sprint, a number of Portland attendees have completed their instructor certification. We are on track to have 10 certified instructors in the UC system alone. Congratulations, everyone!

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