Journal Article: “Starting From ‘Scratch’: Building Young People’s Digital Skills Through a Coding Club Collaboration With Rural Public Libraries”
The article linked below was published yesterday by the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.
University of Winnipeg, Canada
NUI Galway, Ireland
Port Moody Public Library, Canada
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science
First Published May 3, 2022
While digital infrastructure is clearly a critical factor in addressing the digital divide for rural society, it is only one component in realising the benefits of information and communication technology (ICT). It is increasingly acknowledged that citizens, governments, and businesses need to develop skills and motivations to use technologies. It is also recognised that young people and their rural communities are among those who gain the least from opportunities to engage in and benefit from an ever-evolving digital society. As with other areas of rural development, local community institutions and actors assume their own leadership in developing initiatives to overcome challenges and advance digital literacy and in this regard, public libraries have led and continue to hold considerable potential to champion this area. This article reports on the experiences of a 14-month community-based collaborative research project with public libraries engaged in a process of developing coding clubs for children and youth in rural Manitoba, Canada. Our research sets out to answer the questions: first, whether it is viable for public libraries to cultivate advanced digital skills among rural youth and contribute to bridging the rural-urban digital divide by running coding clubs following the CoderDojo model? And second, what are the critical conditions to ensure the success of public library coding clubs? In examining some of the experiences encountered in adopting the coding club as a model of digital literacy building, we discuss wider themes for rural public libraries interested in advancing digital literacy building within their communities.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.