“Historically we’re the place that offers opportunities,” said children’s librarian Joanna Fabicon, who started the project. “I named it coder time because I would love coding to be as ubiquitous in libraries as story time.”
Libraries – the lands of hushed voices and dusty stacks – are transforming into computer science hubs for children.
Coder Time began at the L.A.’s central library with a grant from the Eureka leadership program. To reach more children, Fabicon formed a partnership with the afterschool program L.A.’s Best, which rolled out the curriculum to 160 children at eight LAUSD schools.
The idea that libraries are no longer just about housing books, but about creating access to technology is catching on. Nate Stone is the program coordinator for the ideaLAB at Denver Public Library, recently recognized with a national innovation award for its programming camps for teens. When he first offered coding classes to kids, more than 200 signed up.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a 600 square foot room with 15 sweaty 12-year-olds,” he laughed. “But it quickly got very unpleasant and crowded.”
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See Also: LAPL ‘Coder Time’ Web Page