New Coding Clubs Open on Daily Basis as Demand for Coding in Libraries Grows

Society of Chief Librarians Hosts 2nd Cracking the Code Symposium

Keynote speech by Adrian McEwen, Author of “DESIGNING THE INTERNET OF THINGS”

8 November 2016—Library staff representing 50 public library authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, will gather today in Manchester Central Library for SCL’s 2nd digital making symposium, Cracking the Code. The interactive event is in response to the increase in demand for libraries to offer coding clubs and digital making activities, and follows the oversubscribed Clapham Cracking the Code (March 2016).

Library staff will get hands-on with the latest trends in digital making, coding, virtual and augmented reality, digital music making and more, facilitated by more than 20 leading digital experts. They will be using the skills and knowledge they gain to develop digital making services for customers in libraries across the country as part of SCL’s Universal Learning Offer.

The day-long event will feature many of SCL’s digital partners whose work in libraries has inspired customers on their own digital creating and coding journeys:

Plenary by Adrian McEwen, Author of “DESIGNING THE INTERNET OF THINGS;

Raspberry Pi demonstration from the Raspberry Pi Foundation

Make a digital playground game with CoderDojo;

Make an electronic book with BBC micro:bit code editor

Digital crafting with Wigan STEAM and WeHeartTech;

Explore augmented reality narratives with Ross Dalziel from DomesticScience

Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts will provide information about applying for a grant and Curious Minds will explore Arts Award through digital making in libraires;

Workshops from DigiLab, Carlos and his Makercart, Code club and more.

A lunch time mini MakerTaster including Laser Nerf and an augmented reality green screen

In November 2015 SCL launched Code Green, a digital making guide for libraries. A definitive guide to everything digital, Code Green has been helped libraries across the country to set up and run coding clubs, makerspaces, robotics, computers and programming, and marketing these opportunities to library customers. Code Green is the first component in SCL’s Universal Learning Offer development which aims to ensure libraries remain at the heart of informal and formal learning opportunities within local communities.

SCL President, Neil MacInnes, said: “We are thrilled to be filling Manchester Central Library with innovative digital organisations and we want to replicate this experience for library customers across the country. The Universal Learning Offer has given libraries the inspiration and tools to create more coding clubs, more makerspaces and more learning groups. We are looking ahead to more exciting innovation for library customers.”

Jo Claessens, BBC Learning, said: “We are delighted to be supporting libraries with this great initiative to get people hands on with coding for the 2nd year and look forward to introducing the BBC micro:bit to a whole new audience.”

Brian Ashley, Director Libraries, Arts Council England said: Libraries are amazing at doing what they do best and moving with the times. They have always been there to support people to find things out and try something new. Library staff are trusted to help them but to do that they need to be aware of and familiar with these new exciting tools for learning themselves. That’s where this programme fits – equipping library staff to support others.’

Adrian McEwen, Author of “Designing the Internet of Things”, said: “As the world becomes increasingly digital and awash with data and information, our libraries are more important than ever.”

Notes to Editors

Media contact:

Elizabeth Elford, Advocacy Manager, SCL

Society of Chief Librarians

The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) leads and manages public libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL is made up of the head of service of every library authority, and advocates for continuous improvement of the public library service on behalf of local people.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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