May 22, 2022

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.


Starting From ‘Scratch’: Building Young People’s Digital Skills Through a Coding Club Collaboration With Rural Public Libraries


Wayne Kelly
University of Winnipeg, Canada

Brian McGrath
NUI Galway, Ireland

Danielle Hubbard
Port Moody Public Library, Canada


Journal of Librarianship and Information Science
First Published May 3, 2022

DOI: 10.1177/09610006221090953


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.

Direct to Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.