Equipping librarians to code: part 2

I know, I know, you just put down Increasing CS Opportunities for Young People, the Libraries Ready to Code final report, and are already saying to yourself, “What’s next?” and “How can I get involved?” Here’s the answer:

Today we officially launched Ready to Code 2 (RtC2), Embedding RtC Concepts in LIS Curricula. Building on findings from last year’s work, RtC2 focuses on ensuring pre-service and in-service librarians are prepared to facilitate and deliver youth coding activities that foster the development of computational thinking skills—skills critical for success in education and career. Like Phase 1, this will be a yearlong project and is also supported by Google, Inc.

library professionals demonstrating coding in a public library computer lab

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Public Library

Several of the findings from Phase 1 led us to consider the potential impact of focusing on librarian preparation and professional development could have on increasing the pool of librarians and library staff who have the skills necessary to design and implement coding programs that spark the curiosity and creativity of our young patrons and help them connect coding to their own interests and passions which can be outside of computer science specific domains.

RtC2 will include a carefully selected LIS Faculty cohort of seven that will redesign and then pilot their new tech/media courses at their institutions. Results of the pilot courses will then be synthesized, and course models will be disseminated nationally. Faculty and their students will provide input throughout the project to the project team through faculty documentation, regular virtual meetings, a survey, student products and other outreach mechanisms. An outside evaluator will also work with the project team to identify the impacts of project activities and outcomes. This input will provide content for the final synthesis and recommendations for scaling in other LIS institutions.

Working along with me, the RtC2 project team includes Dr. Mega Subramaniam, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Information Policy and Access Center at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies; Linda Braun, Learning Consultant, LEO: Librarians and Educators Online; and Dr. Alan S. Inouye, Director, OITP. OITP Youth and Technology Fellow Christopher Harris will provide overall guidance throughout the project. Can you tell how excited this makes me?!

Curious? Read the RtC2 Summary.

Are you LIS faculty? You can

  • Read the RtC2 Call for Applications.
  • Attend an in-person information session at the 2017 ALISE conference on Wednesday, January 18 at 6:00pm (meet Dr. Subramaniam in the Sheraton Atlanta hotel lobby).
  • Attend a virtual information session on January 27, 2017 at noon EST via Adobe Connect. Please complete this form if you are interested in attending the information session or would like to receive a recording of the session.

Yes, there will be a Libraries Ready to Code Website, where all this and more will live. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact me directly at mvisser@alawash.org.

About Marijke Visser

As associate director of OITP, Marijke leads and coordinates all of ALA’s work on E-rate. In addition to E-rate, Marijke supports the Program on Networks focusing on broadband adoption issues for diverse populations. Marijke also serves as Program Director for OITP’s emerging portfolio on children, youth, and technology.

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