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Libraries Ready to Code adds capacity

Guest post by Linda Braun, CE coordinator for the Young Adult Library Services Association has been involved with ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative since its start, serving as project researcher and now assisting with the administration of the Phase III grant program.Student and instructor participating in Ready to Code progamming

The Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) team is growing by one! Dr. Mega Subramaniam, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, will serve as Ready to Code Fellow during 017-2018. Dr. Subramaniam began her involvement with RtC as an advisory committee member and currently serves as co-principal investigator for RtC Phase II. She will contribute overall guidance based on her professional expertise as well as her role as an ALA member.

We are also happy to announce the RtC Selection Committee who will contribute their expertise (and time!) to select a cohort of school and public libraries as part of the next phase of our multi-year initiative. The committee includes representatives of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and the Office for Information technology Policy (OITP). We are extremely pleased to have such a strong collaboration across different ALA units. Committee members are:

  • Michelle Cooper, White Oak Middle School Media Center, White Oak, TX (AASL)
  • Dr. Colette Drouillard, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA (ALSC)
  • Dr. Aaron Elkins, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX (AASL)
  • Shilo Halfen (Chair), Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL (ALSC)
  • Christopher Harris, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Le Roy, NY (OITP)
  • Kelly Marie Hincks, Detroit Country Day School, Bloomfield Hills, MI (AASL)
  • Peter Kirschmann, The Clubhouse Network, Boston, MA (YALSA)
  • Dr. Rachel Magee, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Champaign, IL (YALSA)
  • Carrie Sanders, Maryland State Library, Baltimore, MD (YALSA)
  • Conni Strittmatter, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD (ALSC)

The committee is reviewing over 300 applications from across the country to design and implement learning activities that foster youth acquisition of computational thinking and/or computer science (CS) skills. Awards up to $25,000 will be made to as many as 50 libraries. Awardees will form a cohort that will provide feedback for the development of a toolkit of resources and implementation strategies for libraries to use when integrating computational thinking and CS into their activities with and for youth. The resulting toolkit will be made widely available so any library can use it at no cost. The program is sponsored by Google as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure library staff are prepared to provide rich coding/CS programs for youth.

This project is Phase III of the RtC ALA-Google collaboration. The work began with an environmental scan of youth-focused library coding activities. “Ready to Code: Connecting Youth to CS Opportunity Through Libraries,” published as a result of that work, highlights what libraries and library staff need in order to provide high-quality youth-centered computational thinking and computer science activities. Phase II of the project provides faculty at LIS programs across the United States with the opportunity to redesign a syllabus in order to integrate computational thinking and computer science into teaching and learning.

Learn more about the Libraries Ready to Code initiative and access an advocacy video, the Ready to Code report, and infographics on the project website.

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Marijke Visser

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