Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What's Your Coding Story?

The Coding Initiative in Wisconsin Public Libraries is moving full STEAM, or STEM ahead
Screen capture of animation showing 4 people interested in coding
Coding offers something for everyone, as shown
in the Exploring Coding in Wisconsin Libraries video
(depending on your acronym of choice). Regardless of how coding might be integrated into your library, coding means different things to different people, and that's just fine. In fact, part of the reason that public libraries are so well poised for coding connections is because libraries celebrate curiosity. The Coding Initiative emphasizes that coding is for everyone--library staff and library users of all ages. Learning about coding can be a one-time thing, like Hour of Code, or a deeper commitment like a Python class or coding camp. Be sure to check out the Coding Initiative webpage for updates on the project timeline as well as a sampling of resources for those who are "coding curious."

child doing worksheet activity
An example of a binary code activity from the
Sowing Seeds Librarian blog
If you are still on the fence about what coding is or how it relates to public libraries, take a look at what is happening at the Brewer Public Library in Richland Center. This small and mighty library in the Southwest Wisconsin Library System jumped into coding after their youth librarian, Emily Zorea, attended our session at the 2016 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference.

Emily chronicles how she got bit by the coding bug on this post on her Sowing Seeds Librarian blog. Like many library staff in Wisconsin, Emily didn't know much about coding, but that didn't stop her from getting started. Her most recent post outlines tech-free activities all about binary code (no computers required). Thanks, Emily, for sharing your story.

Stay tuned for more updates about the Coding Initiative, including a series of regional workshops rolling out this fall.

Written by:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Development Team