Library Carpentry workshop: Intro to Data, Shell, Git and OpenRefine

American University


July 27-30, 2020

10:00 am - 15:00 pm EDT

Instructors: Scott Peterson, Dom Bortruex, Andrea Medina-Smith, Ann Myatt James, Preethy Nair

Helpers: Carol Ido, Amanda Steadman

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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. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: July 27-30, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.


Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

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 2

10:00 The Unix Shell
11:00 Morning break
11:15 The Unix Shell (Continued)
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 The Unix Shell (Continued)
14:45 Wrap-up
15:00 END

Day 3

10:00 Introduction to Git
11:00 Morning break
11:15 Introduction to Git (Continued)
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Introduction to Git (Continued)
14:45 Wrap-up
15:00 END

Day 4

10:00 OpenRefine
11:00 Morning break
11:15 OpenRefine (Continued)
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 OpenRefine (Continued)
14:20 Wrap-up
14:50 Post-workshop survey
15:00 END


Jargon Busting, A Computational Approach, Introduction to Working with Data

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...

Introduction to Git

  • Creating a repository
  • Configuring Git
  • Recording Changes to Files: add, commit, ...
  • Viewing State Changes with status
  • Working on the Web: clone, pull, push, ...
  • Where to Host Work, and Why
  • Reference...


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

Note: Participants with Windows S mode computer need to exit their computer from that mode to install the required softwares for this workshop. Please refer this support page for help on how to switch out of S mode in Windows 10.

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.


Git is a version control system that lets you track who made changes to what when and has options for easily updating a shared or public version of your code on

Follow the instructions on the lesson to install Git on your system.

You will need an account at for parts of the Git lesson. Basic GitHub accounts are free. We encourage you to create a GitHub account if you don't have one already. Please consider what personal information you'd like to reveal. For example, you may want to review these instructions for keeping your email address private provided at GitHub. You will need a supported web browser.