Past Work

Through research, continuing education, and resource development the Libraries Ready to Code project aims to empower library staff working with youth and families to design computational thinking activities for informal learning settings. Libraries that are Ready to Code are able to help communities invest in young people so that youth are ready to take on their future.

Libraries Ready to Code Phase 1

In the first phase, the Ready to Code team set out to explore the world of libraries, youth, communities, and coding activities. The team conducted an environmental scan and explored what libraries are already doing in their communities to expose youth to promote the newest essential literacy: computational thinking. We spoke to library staff throughout the United States to learn about the opportunities and barriers to providing coding activities for and with youth. Concepts integral to our work with communities focused on the belief that when libraries are Ready to Code they:
  1. Contribute to changing perceptions of who can code
  2. Increase exposure to coding
  3. Generate interest in coding
  4. Help youth connect coding to interests beyond computer science

Libraries Ready to Code Phase 2

In the second phase of our project, the Ready to Code team built on the findings of Phase 1, which suggested the primary need for librarians is to develop deeper coding program facilitation skills grounded in computational thinking design. We focused on the pre-service needs of library staff when it comes to coding and computational thinking and worked with LIS programs across the country to embed RtC Concepts in LIS curricula. Phase 2 consisted of a faculty cohort that redesigned their technology/media courses based on Ready to Code concepts and piloted the redesigned course at their institutions. During this phase:

  1. We formed a cohort of LIS faculty. Each faculty member redesigned one of their courses to integrate Ready to Code ideas.
  2. Cohort faculty piloted their courses in fall 2017.
  3. Findings from the work of cohort faculty were synthesized and disseminated so other faculty and institutions can learn from their work.

Libraries Ready to Code Phase 3

In the third phase, the Ready to Code announced, in October 2017, more than $500,000 in grants for 28 libraries in 21 states plus the District of Columbia to design and implement coding programs for young people. The grants aimed to promote computer science and computational thinking among youth and were the first time ALA dedicated funding for CS programs in libraries. Through these programs, the library cohort developed and launched a toolkit that aims to build the capacity of librarians to facilitate rich learning programs for youth.

Sponsored by Google