Opening discussions about Library Carpentry being a Lesson Organisation with The Carpentries

By Tracy Teal and Belinda Weaver.

On 1 January, 2018, Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry officially merged to form a new project called The Carpentries.

The original projects remain as distinct lesson entities, but governance, staffing, assessment, and a range of other matters now come under the merged identity - The Carpentries - which is typified by the new website and handbook.

Many in our community might have heard of Library Carpentry, a project that began when Dr. James Baker and others adapted Software Carpentry workshop materials to teach librarians software and data skills at a London workshop in 2015.

News of the workshop quickly spread around the world and a community sprang up around the further development and teaching of these materials.

A two-day sprint in 2016 really kickstarted the community. Three sprints later, (see 2018 report), there are a large number of lessons, a burgeoning community, an interim governance group, and now a dedicated staffer in Chris Erdmann, the new Library Carpentry Community and Development Director, who is working on community building and lesson development as part of a two-year, IMLS-funded grant. Read more. More than 50 workshops have been taught worldwide, the Library Carpentry chatroom is active, and a new website has just been launched.

In order to grow, however, Library Carpentry needs the support structures that have helped The Carpentries become such a global force - instructor training, workshop co-ordination, and systematic assessment.

Accordingly, rather than ‘go it alone’, a decision was taken by the Library Carpentry governance group to open discussions with The Carpentries about becoming a Lesson Organisation. The motion to do so was carried unanimously at the group’s last meeting on 16 May. On The Carpentries’ side, a motion to pursue discussion was also passed by the Executive Council, which means both sides are in agreement that this process should commence!

With this agreement, we’ll begin aligning operations, so look for updates over the next few months. To get the most recent updates, subscribe to the Library Carpentry email list or look for updates in our newsletter, Carpentry Clippings, and in our blogs. Library Carpentry has its own blog and Twitter feed.

We’re looking forward to our next steps together!