Wrangle Your Data like a Pro with the Data Processing Power of Python
Management, delivery, and marketing of library resources and collections necessitate interaction with a plethora of data from many sources and in many forms. Accessing and transforming data into meaningful information or different formats used in library automation can be time consuming, but a working knowledge of a programming language can improve efficiency in many facets of librarianship. From processing lists to creating XML, from editing MARC records before upload to automating statistical reports, the Python programming language and third party Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can be used to accomplish both behind the scenes tasks and end user facing projects. Creating programmatic solutions to problems requires an understanding of potential. Here we summarize the data sources, flows, and transformations used to accomplish existing projects at Mercer University and The College of Charleston. Foundational programming techniques are explained and resources for learning Python are shared.