The American Library Association has just partnered with Google for a “Ready to Code” program. The $500,000 pilot program is part of Phase III of Libraries Ready to Code, an ongoing collaboration between ALA and Google to ensure that expert library professionals are prepared to develop and deliver programming that promotes computer science and computational thinking among youth.
25–50 participating US libraries will receive funding from ALA, along with consulting expertise and operational support from Google. Individual libraries may use the funding for devices, staffing, marketing, and other costs associated with piloting and rapidly implementing a CS educational toolkit developed in partnership with libraries, for libraries. The toolkit, set to release in conjunction with National Library Week in April 2018, will consist of CS resources that libraries find most useful for designing and implementing youth CS programming, as well as a guide to accompany those resources. This cohort of libraries will also initiate a community of practice to sustain momentum and build expertise across thousands of other school and public US libraries.
“It’s clearer than ever that young people need coding skills, and libraries are the perfect place to teach those skills,” said ALA President Julie B. Todaro. “A key part of the ALA-Google collaboration is providing coding opportunities for youth underrepresented in CS education and careers—especially girls, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans.”
“All kids benefit from coding activities—not only those planning to work in technology-specific fields,” said Marijke Visser, associate director of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) and Libraries Ready to Code project manager. “The CT skills youth develop through coding activities prepare kids for success no matter where they head when they leave high school. Ready to Code librarians help kids connect their interests to learning opportunities in college or to careers they may not have even considered, especially for youth from diverse backgrounds.”
If you are a library based in the United States, ALA is going to be posting the application process in July and you have until August to make a submission. The selection committee will comprise representatives from the American Association of School Librarians, Association for Library Service to Children, OITP, and YALSA. For more information, contact ALA Project Director Marijke Visser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.