Hartford Public Library announced today that it has received a $25,000 grant from the American Library Association (ALA) to design and implement coding programs for young people. Hartford Public Library is one of 28 libraries around the country to receive a grant from Libraries Ready To Code, an initiative of the ALA sponsored by Google, which promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking.
“Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities,” said Google program manager Nicky Rigg. “We are proud to include Hartford 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.”
ALA President Jim Neal 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. ALA is pleased to provide these new resources to Hartford 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.”
Coding for Teens at Hartford Public Library will offer three intensive learning sessions in 2018. These sessions will have space and equipment for up to 25 youth ages 13-19, with a focus on 16-19 year olds who are eligible for work. The program consists of instructional hours, a networking event, and an end-of program competition. In addition to the three intensive learning sessions, the Library will develop a structure for a "Coding Studio" where businesses, organizations, and individuals, can hire youth to complete computer science related work. Youth will gain work-related experience and professionalism; customers will get an affordable and functional product. The Library will also work with local corporations to identify departments that will hire youth with entry-level skills, and to identify the skills those youth need to be successful within that company. By the end of this grant cycle, the Library will have sufficient relationships to place youth in paid work positions.
ABOUT HARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY — Hartford Public Library has been recognized as national leader in redefining the urban public library in the 21st century as an innovative and stimulating place that provides free resources to inspire reading, guide learning, and encourage individual exploration. In FY 2017 the Library system received 860,561 visits, answered 113,743 reference questions, and circulated 353,087 items to 81,011 library cardholders. We serve adults, children and families seeking early literacy opportunities, work skills training, civic engagement, arts enrichment, and so much more. Please visit www.hplct.org