Bay Area Library Carpentry


June 18-19, 2020

9am - 12:30pm

Instructors: Ariel Deardorff, Charlie Macquarie, Scott Peterson

Helpers: Lisa Ngo, Eric Lopatin

General Information

Library Carpentry is made by people working in library and information-related roles to help you:

Library Carpentry introduces you to the fundamentals of computing and provides you with a platform for further self-directed learning. For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Library Carpentry: software skills training for library professionals".

Who: The course is for people working in library and information-related roles in the Bay Area. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Via Zoom - link will be sent to registered participants.

When: June 18-19, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar. Please plan on attending both days of the workshop to get the most from your learning experience.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. If we can help making learning easier for you please get in touch (using contact details below) and let us know.

Contact: Please email or for more information.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct.This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

Before Starting Pre-workshop survey
9:00am Welcome and Introductions
9:30am Tidy Data for Librarians
10:00am Break
10:10am Open Refine
11:20am Break
11:30am Open Refine cont.
12:20pm Wrap up Day One
12:30pm End

Day 2

9:00am The Unix Shell
10:00am Break
10:10am The Unix Shell cont.
11:35am Break
11:45am Wrap up and Project Planning
12:30pm End


Tidy Data

  • Tidy Data
  • Using Spreadsheets
  • Formatting Data in Spreadsheets
  • Formatting Problems
  • Dates as Data
  • Reference...


  • Introduction to OpenRefine
  • Importing Data
  • Basic Functions
  • Advanced Functions
  • Reference...

The Unix Shell

  • Files and Directories
  • History and Tab Completion
  • Counting and Sorting Contents in Files
  • Pipes and Redirection
  • Mining or Searching in Files
  • Reference...


To participate in a Library Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

The Bash Shell

Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly. Please find setup instructions in the lesson.


OpenRefine is a tool to clean up and organize messy data. Please find instructions to install it and the data used in the lesson in the lesson.

Tidy Data

Tidy data introduces best practices for working with data in spreadsheets. If you don't have a spreadsheet program installed please follow the download instructions here. Please also download the data here.