Data in Libraries: Understanding and Working with APIs

Wednesday, 4/15/2020
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM-11:00 AM (Pacific)

As our world becomes increasingly mediated by computer, Application Program Interfaces (APIs) have become critical components in sustaining the flow of electronic data between providers and consumers. As you've helped members of your library community find and use data, you've likely seen references to APIs as a means of accessing or interacting with data. But what exactly is an API and why should librarians care? This webinar will explain the concept of an API, illustrate how APIs work and why they're useful, and introduce tools and methods for using APIs to gather data.

This webinar is part 4 of a four-part series, Data in Libraries.

Session 1, Data in Libraries; Data Basics and the Reference Interview

Session 2, Data in Libraries, Open Data

Session 3, Data in Libraries, Data Processing and Visualization

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcome 1: Attendees will be able to explain in plain language what an API is

Learning Outcome 2: Attendees will be able to enumerate benefits of using an API for gathering data for various purposes

Learning Outcome 3: Attendees will understand the basics of issuing an API call and interpreting its response

Who Should Attend

Academic librarians

Public librarians

Special librarians

Reference librarians


Jeremy Darrington has been the Politics Librarian at the Princeton University Library since 2010. He has graduate degrees in library and information science from the University of Washington and in political science from UC Berkeley. Jeremy is a past chair of the Politics, Policy, and International Relations Section of ACRL and is involved in the International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST). He’s also the Political Science Editor for Resources for College Libraries. His interests include political science data sources, European politics, information and technology policy (especially privacy), and government information.



Registration rates are as follows:

Participant Single Webinar Entire Series
RUSA members $45 $144 (save $36)
ALA members $55 $180 (save $40)
ALA student & retired members $25 $80 (save $20)
Non-members $77 $256 (save $52)
Group rate

$99 single login, 

$38/per person multiple logins

(min. 2 people)

$336 (save $60)



How to Register

Register online

Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Please ensure that you have internet connection. Audio for these sessions will be streamed over computer speakers and via a teleconference line. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other webinar participants via chat.


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!