Advocacy Video Video produced as a part of the Libraries Ready to Code project that shows high-quality coding and computational thinking activities in libraries and explains the value of library centered computational thinking activities with and for youth.
According to the American Library Association
" With 500,000 current job openings in the field of computer science, all 115,000 of the nation’s school and public libraries are crucial community partners to guarantee youth have skills essential to future employment and civic participation. Yet students face challenges in accessing quality CT/CS programs, and there is a shortage of educators with the right tools and materials to teach CT/CS:
● The formal education system is not preparing all students with the skills they need. Only 40% of U.S. K-12 schools offer CS with programming/coding; Only 9% of U.S. K-12 schools offer AP CS; and Black students are 23% less likely than White students to have CS classes in schools.
● Underrepresented groups face barriers to entering, and staying in, careers involving computer science. 2016 workforce data show that 8% of computing jobs were held by Blacks/African Americans, 7% by Hispanics/Latinos, and 24% by women.
● It is difficult for educators to find the right resources. It can be overwhelming and onerous to sift through existing CS education resources, especially for educators who have limited experience or are just starting a program.
Opportunities to provide CT/CS in libraries: ● Libraries already play a central role in access to technology. Close to 90% of libraries offer basic digital literacy training; 96% of the population expects libraries to be providers of digital learning; 66% of libraries have STEM efforts underway or are planning to implement them; and 98% of libraries provide free WiFi.
● Libraries support workforce development , especially in low-SES communities. Compared with 19% of all library users age 16+, Hispanics (34%), Blacks (28%), and low-SES households (26%) are likelier to say libraries “help a lot” with job search or workforce skills.
● Libraries serve the communities, families, and youth we seek to benefit. 96% of the U.S. population lives in an area served by a library, though lower-income adults are more likely find their services important and parents are significantly more likely to visit them.
Ready to Code: Connecting Youth to CS Opportunities Through Libraries * A report from the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy that explores the reasons that computational thinking and coding activities are important to youth success and the challenges and opportunities in libraries providing computational thinking and coding activities in their communities.
Be a Libraries Ready to Code Champion Infographic for use with Library stakeholders that shows what libraries need in order to be able to successfully implement coding activities in their facilities and communities.
Computational Thinking Readings Computational Thinking by Jeannette Wing * Wing is one of the educators/computer scientists who has helped to define computational thinking and computational thinking within an education framework. She lays the groundwork in this short article for why libraries need to participate in bringing computational thinking activities to youth.
Videos What is Computational Thinking? * Video produced by Google as a part of their resources on computer science and computational thinking. Provides a good overview of what the components of computational thinking are.
Examples of Computational Thinking and Coding through Libraries Four case studies highlighting the ways in which a variety of libraries across the United States are integrating coding and computational thinking activities in order to support youth learning: ● Small Northeastern Library * ● Southern library with multiple branches * ● Western library with a dozen branches * ● Western library with branches covering rural and urban locations *
Libraries Ready to Code is a project of the American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy. Through research, continuing education and resource development the Libraries Ready to Code project aims to empower library staff working with youth and families to design computational thinking activities for informal learning settings.