PyMARC in 30 Minutes

Session Description

Are you interested in learning a powerful tool to perform analyses, transformations, or manipulations of MARC data? Do you want to start working with a scripting language but need help getting started? Whether for use with MARC data or just for scripting in general, this session helps you install Python, a scripting interface (called an IDE), and write your first script with the Python library, pymarc. From this session, you will have an example of how to start experimenting with Python so that you will be writing your own scripts in no time. As an added benefit, you will have your cohort of scripters in your co-attendees for learning beyond the session.

Please note, this session is expected to be interactive. In order to follow along, you will need privileges on your workstation to download and install free software. We will download and install the latest version of Python (, JetBrains Pycharm IDE (, and the pymarc library. Then we write a script that will extract data from MARC records. Finally, we will look at a few examples of more complex scripts that perform specific operations on MARC operations utilizing other Python skills. Python is a widely used general-use programming language. Pymarc is a python library for working with bibliographic data encoded in MARC21.

Session Type



    Ethan Fenichel

  • Ethan Fenichel, E-Resources Access Management Librarian, Florida Atlantic University
    Ethan has been working as a librarian since 2014. Among Ethan’s research interests are data modeling, workflow automation, and organizational change management. Ethan believes in sharing ideas and getting stuff done, but thoughtfully. Prior to working as a librarian Ethan worked for a financial information company for 8 years, and before that sold car insurance (where he learned how much he could get done in 15 minutes).
Pre-Exchange Activity

  Pre-Session Reading – How to Install Python on Windows

  Download Latest Version of PyCharm

  Augmenting the Cataloger’s Bag of Tricks



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