Charting a New Course: Practical Data Visualization for Librarians (CE500)

Go to MLA ’20 to register!

Friday, May 15, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Cost: $320 (nonmember: $570)
Attendance maximum: 25

Learn how to chart (and graph!) information that engages and communicates to your audiences.Through a series of hands-on activities, you’ll gain practical and immediately useful skills in creating attractive and informative visualizations of qualitative and quantitative data using Microsoft Excel.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Best practices for formatting basic Excel charts to make them both informative and visually appealing.
  • Advanced data visualization in Excel to create charts such as dotplots, lollipop charts, slope graphs, and bullet charts.
  • The usefulness of chart features such as benchmarks, standard deviations, and sparklines.
  • To write informative and powerful narratives to accompany data visualizations.

* Note: Attendees are required to bring a laptop computer or other device with WiFi capability to participate in interactive activities.


Karen Gutzman is the Head of Research Assessment and Communications at Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center at Northwestern Universit. Karen develops, supports, and implements programs that increase awareness about digital scholarship and issues in the digital environment among faculty, researchers, and students at Feinberg School of Medicine. She works with library colleagues on preservation and access to scholarly outputs through a digital repository and other digital means, and provides expertise for campus-wide digital preservation activities. Karen is particularly interested in using information visualization to facilitate stronger comprehension of data in the assessment process. She is proficient in coding with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, and has taken training in data science and visualization. Karen regularly uses tools such as VOSViewer, Science of Science Tool, Gephi, Jupyter Notebooks, Excel, and Tableau. She keeps an updated collection of her works in DigitalHub, the institutional repository for Northwestern Medicine.

Candace Norton joined the USUHS Learning Resource Center in July 2019 as the Instruction Librarian. She came to this position from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library and Zimmerman Associates, Inc. (ZAI) where she served as a Bibliometrics and Outreach Librarian. Prior to working at the NIH Library through the ZAI contract, Candace participated in the NLM Associate Fellowship Program (2016-2018). She completed her first year of the program with specialized projects in bibliometrics and developing search filters for detecting adverse events in PubMed. During the second year of the program, she was in residence at the NIH Library where she trained in bibliometrics and related data services topics, including data visualization.
Prior to coming to NIH for the NLM Associates Program, Candace was the library manager for a pharmaceutical consulting company specializing in patient centered research and health economics research. She is also actively involved in the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and has guest lectured for a graduate level course on data visualization at the Catholic University of America's Library and Information Science program.

Chris Belter is a bibliometrics informationist at the NIH Library, where he specializes in publication and portfolio analysis. At the NIH Library, he provides expertise on the role of bibliometrics in research evaluation, training on bibliometric tools and techniques, and publication analyses that inform research evaluation and strategic planning efforts at the NIH.



MLA CE Credits: 6