Available Until 6/20/2025

Wrapping Your Arms Around Python: Python Basics and Data Visualization

Dates of Live Instructor-Led Sessions: June 20 & June 27, 2023, 10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., central time.

Do you want to acquire a skill in a cutting-edge area of librarianship that will expand your career options and increase your value in your workplace? Do you have experience with Python and want to brush up on fundamentals? Are you looking for a way to create data visualizations easier than you can with Excel and with better results?

Python is among the best programming languages for beginners and health information professionals. It is powerful, open-source, popular, and has a wide variety of applications relevant to information professionals, including web development, data analysis, and data visualization.

Paige Scudder, an experienced Python coder and instructor, will get you up and running with Python and creating data visualizations in just a few hours.

You’ll first learn and practice working with Python fundamentals—variables and functions—then create plots using one of many built-in Python libraries (pre-written code), and end by completing a data viz project using your own data or a sample data set.

You’ll be able to join in discussions and ask questions with the instructor and classmates as you work on your data visualization project after the first class session and have the opportunity to join an optional help class session.

You’ll leave the course with new skills, a broader career horizon, an understanding of Python that will enable you to join the very supportive Python community, and ready for an advanced Python course.

This course is an elective for Level II of the
Data Services Specialization planned to launch in late 2023. A Level I certificate is currently available.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Describe the purpose of a programming language
  • Describe the origin of Python
  • Work with Python variables, functions, and other fundamentals
  • Create data visualizations using Python


Medical librarians and other health information professionals who want to learn Python programming and how to create data visualizations.


Paige Scudder is a Research and Instruction Librarian for the Tufts Hirsh Health Sciences Library focusing on data management and educational technologies. She learned to code as a graduate student and has been teaching Python for four years. Paige works with Software Carpentry and has developed an introductory Python series designed to meet beginners where they are and help them develop confidence in their coding skills over the course of a few lunch breaks.

MLA CE Credits: 4