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Libraries Ready to Code!

The library is a great place to introduce the ready to code concept because we’re public, we’re free, we’re easily accessible. After School Services Manager (Queens, New York)

It’s really not just coding. It is a way of thinking and perceiving and problem-solving. Teacher Librarian (Norman, Oklahoma)

When I’m coding… I really feel like I accomplished something.  Student (Bronx, New York)

Coding is the new literacy. Parent (Norman, Oklahoma)

If you needed a little inspiration or a little push into coding activities, or if you need to justify your time and efforts in coding with administrators and faculty, the new video, Libraries Ready to Code, will both light the spark and make the case!

Showing coding activities in public and school libraries, and interviewing kids, parents, librarians and academics, this three-minute film eloquently makes the case for coding as a literacy and for the development of computational thinking, for access and for equity and opportunity.

Released in celebration of Computer Science Education Week (#CSedweek), and produced in collaboration with and sponsored by Roger Rosen, CEO and President of Rosen Publishing, the video features librarians engaging with young people and discussing the significance of coding activities in libraries. The timely release also highlights White House announcements connected to its CS (computer science) for All initiative, which recognizes ALA’s efforts.

Christopher Harris (@youthandtech), who shared the news of this first of a series of videos from OITP’s Libraries Ready to Code project, wrote:

In the video you will see elementary students from Norman, OK learning to code using unplugged activities and drag and drop coding programs. You will see a “Girls Just Want to Compute” class taught by HS girls at the Gaithersburg Public Library. You will meet parents who are encouraged by the positive outcomes from library coding programs. And, most importantly for your sharing this video, you will hear how school and public libraries are a critical part of achieving already working towards the national agenda to provide access to computer science learning for all youth.

Libraries are a natural fit for coding programs. School libraries can pivot rapidly to meet new instructional needs, and public libraries have an established infrastructure with a proven record for informal and formal education. The video strongly positions school and public libraries with policy makers as important partners for success. Please consider sharing it with your local administrative teams, elected officials, and policy makers with whom you interact.

In today’s ALA District Dispatch press release, ALA President Julie B. Todaro shares:

Libraries are community hubs for learning a variety of skills relevant to modern life, and computational thinking skills learned through coding are among the most critical. By showing what libraries can and are already doing to build a successful future for our nation’s youth, the Libraries Ready to Code video powerfully communicates the infrastructure of expertise and resources found in school and public libraries.

Roger Rosen adds

People today are not only digital information consumers, we are all digital producers – and the jobs of the future demand skills to create. Youth need places to practice and develop coding skills outside the traditional classroom environment, especially for girls and others who have less exposure to coding and computer science.

Our nation’s school libraries assist tens of thousands of youth daily, and our public libraries serve all community members – regardless of where they live, where they come from or how much experience they have. The equitable access to technology and training that libraries provide means more equitable access to opportunities – economic and otherwise – for everyone in America.

Follow #readytocode for more information.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Seriously I really love American Girls. It’s the voice that does it for me!

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