Library Carpentry workshops — Library MA

(for archives and strategic modules, full and part-time)

Library for Educators
2 min readMay 21, 2024

In Week 10, we delivered 8 hours of content across full-time and part-time modules using open source materials from the Library Carpentry lesson programme. This officially registered Carpentries workshop was jointly taught by Carlene Barton, Nilani Ganeshwaran and Phil Reed who are all registered Carpentries instructors.

  • The team prepared a video about good practice with tidy data in spreadsheets, tailored to an archives audience (for example, how to handle dates before 1900). This video remains accessible in Blackboard and on the Video Portal for reuse.
  • We taught OpenRefine, a tool for cleaning up inconsistent or messy data, using bibliographic records as an example.
  • We taught the Unix Shell, a foundation to programming, for making reproducible or batch edits to text files and mine for information in digitised books.
  • Finally, we discussed next steps for learners, looking at how computational skills can aid in a variety of practitioner and leadership scenarios.

We used the standard Carpentries practice for collecting feedback on green and pink post-it notes, which had also been used to mark out when people were progressing on tasks or needed assistance. The feedback included praise for the friendliness of the instructors, comments in support of the written materials to permit asynchronous learning. It included some concerns about the heat of room, that some people could not keep up, though we also had praise that we had good provision for a wide range of learner speeds.


Challenges with delivering with this session centred around the content being scaffolded and some learners jouining halfway way through day 1 and missing the essentials in the morning. To combat them falling behind we embedded the tidy data part of open refine asynchronously in their Blackboard space and one instructor spent the first 20 mins of the pm session catching them up.



Library for Educators

Sharing resources for educators, from The University of Manchester Library