In a post on The Signal, Kate Zwaard (National Digital Initiative, LOC) reports on the recent Software Carpentry workshop held at the Library of Congress, which hosted 40 “librarians, archivists and data wranglers,” who came together for hands-on learning in the management of digital collections.
Software Carpentry is a volunteer, non-profit organization that provides short, intensive workshops to help researchers automate tasks and manage information. It started with scholars in the physical sciences who found that traditional graduate programs were not preparing them for the challenges of working with data for their research products. Software Carpentry workshops have lately been adapted for social sciences, the humanities, and libraries.
“Librarians and archivists are already using these tools to accession and manage digital collections,” said Jaime Mears, who helped organize the event. “They are mostly self-taught, looking to get a job done. I am constantly inspired by the resourcefulness and ingenuity of my colleagues. NDI wants to help give the profession a boost when it comes to learning, and we think Software Carpentry is a good model for that.”
Software Carpentry events serve as a means of introducing librarians, archivists, and others to a variety of tools and concepts that will allow them “greater fluency with or new uses for tools they are usually already using.”