Data increasingly powers the connected world around us and librarians are uniquely qualified to help their patrons find, manage, and use data for a variety of purposes. The Galecia Group offers a series of training webinars for public librarians and library staff that work with data. All webinars include one hour of presented material and an additional hour of "open data lab" where participants will work on their own own data-related projects with support from the presenter. This series is offered on multiple times and days of the week; all webinars are recorded and available online for later review:
- Tuesday Sessions:
- Feb. 11, Feb. 18, Feb. 25, Mar. 3, Mar. 10
- Thursday Sessions:
- Mar. 12, Mar. 19, Mar. 26, Apr. 2, Apr. 9
This course is offered for $200 per attendee.
Week 1: Finding Open Data (1 hour Webinar, 1 hour Q&A/Lab)
In the past decade, governments around the US have published hundreds of thousands of freely-available datasets on every topic imaginable. This webinar demonstrates basic tools and tactics for finding data. Participants will explore the federal open data catalog (data.gov) and several selected state open data portals searching for target data. We'll also discuss open data practices and concepts, as well as tools for finding, storing, and managing data. Following the webinar, we'll have a 1-hour open lab where participants can explore their own state and local data portals with guidance and Q&A with the presenter. No experience necessary.
Week 2: Cleaning Data With OpenRefine (1 hour Webinar, 1 hour Q&A/Lab)
Data, especially data collected from a user community or the general public, frequently arrives "messy," or full of errors and inconsistent values. This webinar demonstrates basic tools and techniques for cleaning data, focusing on OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine). We'll also look at some of the basic search and visualization features the tool provides. Each participant will have temporary access to a working OpenRefine data instance if they don't already have it installed. Bring your own messy dataset or use one we'll provide!
Week 3: Basic Data Visualization With Google Sheets and Charts (1 hour Webinar, 1 hour Q&A/Lab)
Visualizations such as charts and graphs can help transform boring columns of numbers into compelling visual stories that attract attention. In this 1-hour webinar, we'll look at the basic types of charts built into Google Sheets and when each type is appropriate. Each participant will need a valid Google account, such as a personal Gmail account or business GSuite account. Bring your own library's data to visualize in the 1-hour open lab/Q&A session following the webinar.
Week 4: Mapping Local Resources in the Community With Google Maps (1 hour Webinar, 1 hour Q&A/Lab)
Maps can help communities visualize their assets and resources (like schools and libraries), as well as potential challenges (like potholes and graffiti). In this 1-hour webinar, participants will learn how to build customized maps of their communities, including custom design elements, map icons, color schemes, and more. We'll also look at importing existing data from spreadsheets and learn about "geocoding" street addresses. This webinar is followed by a 1-hour open lab session for participants to begin building their own community maps.
Week 5: Managing and Publishing Open Data (1 hour Webinar, 1 hour Q&A/Lab)
Libraries are often tasked with managing local open data and archive programs due to their roles as information stewards and proximity to the community. In this 1-hour webinar, we'll demonstrate CKAN and DKAN, two of the leading open source data catalog applications used by governments publishing data. We'll compare features as well as installation and maintenance concerns. Following the webinar, we'll have a 1-hour open lab session where participants can login to the demonstration catalogs and view the data publication process "behind the scenes."