How Your Public Library Can Inspire the Next Tech Billionaire: an Intro to Youth Coding Programs

Thursday, 3/3/2016
  • 1:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM (Pacific)

Orange cat walking upright - Scratch community mascotKids, tweens, teens and their parents are increasingly interested in computer programming education, and they are looking to public and school libraries as a host for the informal learning process that is most effective for learning to code. This one hour webinar will share lessons learned through youth coding programs at libraries all over the U.S. We will discuss tools and technologies, strategies for promoting and running the program, and recommendations for additional resources.


1. Inspire attendees about kids and coding, and convince them that the library is key to the effort
2. Provide the tools, resources and information necessary for attendees to launch a computer coding program at their library.
3. Cultivate a community of coding program facilitators that can share ideas and experiences in order to improve over time.

Who Should Attend

Youth and Teen Services Librarians, Staff, Volunteers and General Public with an interest in tween/teen/adult services.


Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith







Kelly Smith spent hundreds of hours volunteering at the local public library before realizing that kids beyond Mesa, Arizona could benefit from an intro to computer programming. With a fellow volunteer, he founded Prenda - a learning technology company with the vision of millions of kids learning to code at libraries all over the country. By day, he designs products for a California technology company. Kelly has been hooked on computer programming since his days as a graduate student at MIT. 

Crystle Martin

Crystle Martin









Crystle Martin is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at the University of California, Irvine. She explores youth and connected learning in online and library settings and is currently researching implementation of Scratch in underserved community libraries, to explore new pathways to STEM interests for youth. Her 2014 book, titled “Voyage Across a Constellation of Information: Information Literacy in Interest-Driven Learning Communities,” reveals new models for understanding information literacy in the 21st century through a study of information practices among dedicated players of World of Warcraft. Crystle holds a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in Digital Media, with a minor in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin–Madison; serves on the Board of Directors for the Young Adult Library Services Association; and holds an MLIS from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. 

Justin Hoenke

Justin Hoenke

is a human being who has worked in youth services all over the United States and is currently the Executive Director of the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Before that, he was Coordinator of Teen Services at the Chattanooga Public Library in Chattanooga, TN  where Justin created The 2nd Floor, a 14,000 square foot space for ages 0-18 into a destination that brings together learning, fun, the act of creating and making, and library service. Justin is a member of the 2010 American Library Association Emerging Leaders class and was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2013. His professional interests include public libraries as community centers, working with kids, tweens, and teens, library management, video games, and creative spaces. Follow Justin on Twitter at @justinlibrarian and read his blog at 



  • LITA Member: $45
  • Non-Member: $105
  • Group: $196

Adobe Connect login info will be sent to registrants the just prior to the start date.

How to Register

Register Online  page arranged by session date (login required)


Mail or fax form to ALA Registration

OR call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5

OR email

Tech Requirements

Live, synchronous lectures will require attendee participation via internet audio. Attendees will need a wired, high-speed internet connection, and a headset or speakers.  It is recommended that attendees use headsets connected to their computers (VOIP) during an Adobe Connect session. All attendees are muted and should use the built in chat function to communicate with presenters.  The use of computer speakers with a mic is not recommended, as it may cause echo. The recommended browser is Mozilla Foxfire although other browsers should work adequately for attending.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration:  call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty,