ALA's Libraries Ready to Code to Release Beta Collection at 2018 Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/21/2018

Contact:

Shawnda K. Hines

Asst. Director, Communications

Washington Office

202-628-8410

shawnda.kay@gmail.com

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Libraries Ready to Code initiative, sponsored by Google, is releasing the beta version of the Ready to Code Collection at the 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. A release reception will be held Friday, June 22, 5:30-7:00 p.m., at the Morial Convention Center in the exhibit hall at Google booth #4029.  

The Libraries Ready to Code Collection is a cache of resources developed, tested, and curated by libraries, for libraries to create, implement, and enhance their computer science (CS) programming for youth. In the nine months since Libraries Ready to Code announced the 28 grantee libraries participating in the project, the cohort has piloted a range of programs with support from Google and ALA’s youth divisions - the American Association of School Librarians, the Association of Library Service to Children and the Young Adult Library Services Association: 

  • Middle school library and technology staff working with local nonprofits to identify needs of local businesses and nonprofits and enabling young library users to fill those needs through applied coding projects.
  • high school librarian collaborating with a local music mentorship program to teach youth in special education classes how to code music with assistive technology.
  • Public librarians in a rural community teaching coding languages to help youth engineer and operate a FarmBot robotic gardener.

Learnings from these programs are presented in a comprehensive guide to enable library professionals to cultivate their young patrons’ computational thinking (CT) literacies—their ability to solve complex problems through a step-by-step analytical proces

“Developing the collection and implementing Ready to Code principles has been a labor of love for the cohort libraries as a community of practice,” said Marijke Visser, senior policy advocate at ALA’s Washington Office and the Ready to Code project leader for ALA. “We have workshopped our experiences in formal weekly meetings and informal listservs. We have been both cheerleaders and critics for each other’s programs. Now we’re looking to other library professionals for input.”

As a variety of critical components of a strong CS program surfaced throughout the project, the Collection evolved to include strategies for:

  • broadening participation;
  • connecting with youth interests and emphasizing youth voice;
  • engaging with communities;
  • engaging with families; and
  • demonstrating impact through outcomes.

Starting June 22, librarians will be able to view the beta version of the Libraries Ready to Code Collection online, determine a Ready to Code “persona,” and provide feedback on the content in an online survey or in person at one of the Libraries Ready to Code sessions or the Ready to Code/Google booth.

In addition to the release reception, registered Conference attendees can also visit the Ready to Code Teaching Theater in the exhibit hall, where cohort members will demonstrate some of their activities and discuss their programs on June 23 and 24. The final Ready to Code Collection will be released in fall 2018.