Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 6:56 pm | A Few Clouds 56º


Library Coding Club Designed to Click With Kids

The Santa Barbara Central Library will be host a weekly youth Coding Club in its tech lab from 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 10.

Participants, ages 10-17, will work through different coding, computational logic, and computer-science activities and lessons. Scratch, Hour of Code, Code Combat, RoboCode and an assortment of programmable robots will be used in the curriculum.

No previous coding experience is necessary to join Coding Club.

Coding Club is just the start when it comes to youth technology library programming in 2018, the library reports.

Santa Barbara Public Library has been selected to receive a $12,000 grant from the American Library Association (ALA) to design and implement coding programs for young people.

It is one of 28 libraries around the country to receive a grant from Libraries Ready to Code, an initiative of the American Library Association sponsored by Google, which promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking among youth.

Throughout 2018 and beyond, the Santa Barbara Public Library will infuse more coding and computation thinking into ongoing community education classes and events.

There will be a summer design-thinking program, CodeSB directly supported by the Ready to Code grant. From the Ready to Code grant, more robotics and coding activity kits will be available for kids throughout the Santa Barbara Public Library System.

“One of the fundamental goals of libraries is to promote literacy in all its forms," said Jessica Cadiente, library director.

"At Santa Barbara Public Library, we’re excited to expand our existing technology-related programming through additional hands-on learning opportunities like our Coding Club,” she said.

A basic understanding of computational science is important in modern society and has the power to transform individuals from passive consumers of technology to active creators and producers, the library said.

Everyone can benefit from the logic, creative thinking, and problem solving skills a background in coding can provide, the library said.

Ready to Code is designed to provide libraries with the resources, capacity and inspiration to offer activities that promote computation thinking and computer science to children.

The grant also will support staff development in the areas of computer science and computation thinking to better facilitate that programming.

“Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities,” said Nicky Rigg, Google program manager.

“We are proud to include Santa Barbara Public Library in our cohort of Ready to Code grantees and support them with the knowledge and skills to do what they do best: empowering youth to create, problem solve and develop the confidence and skills to succeed in their future careers,” Rigg said.

“As centers of innovation and information, libraries are the ideal place for youth — especially those underrepresented in tech jobs — to get the CS skills they need to succeed," said Jim Neal, ALA president.

"ALA is pleased to provide these new resources to Santa Barbara Public Library and other libraries' Ready to Code grantees to help young people cultivate problem-solving skills, in addition to coding, that are at the heart of libraries’ mission to foster critical thinking,” Neal said.

The Santa Barbara Public Library System’s mission is to provide information services, reading materials and educational resources to residents of all ages from the Santa Ynez Valley to Carpinteria, the library said.

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System at for information about hours, locations, programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.

— Cassidy Charles for Santa Barbara Public Library.

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