Data Services Award - Bit by Byte: Building Best Practices in Data Literacy

Towson University is one of the nation's top 100 public universities, with over 22,000 graduate and undergraduate students. It has been ranked one of the country's most diverse campuses. In the fall of 2019, 22% of the incoming class were first generation college students and 48% identified as minorities. Towson University boasts a zero percent achievement gap for minority students, according to the U.S. Department of Education ( In February, 2020, an effort to provide all Towson University students with access to the hardware and software they need to analyze, visualize, and map data, Towson University Albert S. Cook Library opened a data makerspace (the Data Studio) on their main floor. This Data Studio contains five high-powered workstations (four individual and one group station) with data analysis, data visualization, and mapping software and was available 24/7 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. To integrate the Studio, and to support TU students and faculty in emerging technological data competencies, Albert S. Cook Library will host a "Train-the-Trainer" Library Carpentry Standard Workshop in collaboration with Library Carpentry to encourage Towson University faculty to integrate data skills into their courses with librarians now able to support the integration. The Library Carpentry Standard Workshop will introduce faculty and librarians to core lessons in working with data, Git, and OpenRefine. The workshop will focus on data practices in the health professions, STM, and social sciences. Attendees will use data from sources like MEDLINE/PubMed and Additionally, to establish a sustained community of practice around data science skills and data literacy, Albert S. Cook Library will partner with the Faculty Academic Center of Excellence at Towson (FACET), for those faculty participating in the workshop to help them integrate the data skills they obtain into their curriculum. FACET prioritizes supporting faculty in research, scholarship, and creative activity, and also partnering with experts to develop campus-wide programming and communities of practice (, making them an excellent collaborator for this opportunity.


Project Lead: Towson University - Cook Library
Project Lead: Carrie Price


Age Group: Adults (19-64 yrs.)
Geographic Type: Suburban
Issues & Interests: HIV/AIDS, Opioids
Roles of Participants Project is Intended to Serve: Educator - College & Post-grad, Library or Information Professional

Award Details

Funding Source: Region 1
Project Category: Data
Period of Performance: Sep 1, 2021 - Apr 30, 2022
Project Status: Completed

Project Funding

Federal Fiscal Year 2021: $25,000