Command Line for Librarians

  • Heather Wilson
  • Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Librarian
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Robert Doiel
  • Digital Services Programmer
  • Caltech Library

The migration from print to more online resources has led to exponentially greater amounts of data that librarians must organize and curate. Learning to manage larger volumes of information by leveraging the command line would benefit librarians and other knowledge professionals. This presentation will introduce some essential command line skills, such as BASH basics and curl, and ways to use those skills for common library functions. The presenters will also demonstrate some library-specific tools that utilize the command line, such the OCLC Classify API and Open Refine. The presentation seeks to help knowledge professionals better work with the data they use every day.


Key Points
  • 1. data management
  • 2. web APIs
  • 3. command line
  • 1. Universal skills for quicker data cleaning
  • 2. Data acquisition from the web

Interactive Presentation

Technical Level


  • Open communities, standards and collaborative technologies