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ALA, Google announce new grants program to teach computer skills in libraries

In the US, the American Library Association (ALA) has announced a new US$500,000 (A$658,200) competitive grants program to teach computer skills in libraries, reports Publishers Weekly.

The program, which is sponsored by Google, was announced at a reception at Google’s Chicago office to open the ALA’s 2017 annual conference. The program will support up to 50 libraries, who will receive funding from the ALA, as well as consulting expertise and support from Google, to create a library-based computer science educational toolkit.

Google engineer Jessie Chavez said the program was aimed at preparing public libraries to teach ‘not just computer science, but computational thinking’. ‘We don’t need everyone to be an expert programmer to teach and motivate kids to seek coding as a career, or even to see it as an option,’ said Chavez. ‘But we see too often when kids reach middle school age and they’ve already self-selected out of coding, even though they’ve never really been exposed to it, much less encouraged.’

The grants program is the third phase in the ALA’s ‘Libraries Ready to Code’ program, which launched in 2016. The program’s toolkit is due to be released during National Library Week in April 2018.


Category: Library news International