This Friday marks the second Friday of the month — and that means it’s time for Coffee and Code at Centennial Library.
Jonathan Wheeler, a data curation librarian, and Karl Benedict, director of research data services, put the program together.
“It’s a combination of business and introduction and information about what the technology is, why you may or may not want to use it and how it gets used, but then also a hands-on chance for folks to experiment with it and get their feet wet,” Benedict said.
Wheeler said libraries around the globe often have issues ensuring everyone knows what is going on with technology in this time of quickly evolving research data services.
“We started developing the program as just a way to bring people from the libraries into this space to explore what we do and how it might apply to their work or their own research or how it could assist with outreach efforts in the different library departments,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler added that the series is also meant to help people learn about the spaces available to them at the UNM Libraries.
The Coffee and Code series is free and available to everyone, regardless of whether they are affiliated with UNM, Benedict said.
They’ve even had a high school student come in and learn from their workshops, Wheeler said.
Wheeler and Benedict also said having a background in coding or programming is not necessary to go to the workshop and get something out of it.
“It is an opportunity to highlight the existence of this class, of technical capabilities and enough information so that even if someone was brand new to the concepts and the tools that we’re talking about, (they can) have a foothold to be able to look for additional resources and consider ways that they might be able to apply what they’ve learned in their work,” Benedict said.
There are usually two-hour parts to each workshop, Benedict said.
“We will typically start with an introduction and overview of the technology or tools that we’ll be focusing on for that session,” Benedict said. “Then we will, in the second half of that workshop, go through working examples.”
Benedict typically does the instructional first half, while Wheeler leads the hands-on tutorial section, Wheeler said.
Later in the semester, the series will feature some guest presenters.
“We try as much as possible to enable the interactions with examples over the web, so even if someone hasn’t installed software on their computer, they can still follow along,” Benedict said. “That works better for some topics than others. This week’s topic, for example, is a little more difficult — because to follow along, it really does require that you have some locally installed software on your computer.”
The two would like to have follow-up workshops in the future about technologies that they have already talked about, Benedict said.
“We can go into a little bit more detail and provide slightly more complex examples that better resemble the actual use that the students, staff and faculty who are in the workshops use in their daily work,” Benedict said.
The next workshop will be held this Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Centennial Library, according to .
Participants can bring their own laptop or check one out at the library’s front desk, Benedict said.
Anyone who cannot attend the workshop can access it at: .
Ariel Lutnesky is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ArielLutnesky.