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Public libraries offering the language of the future

Public libraries offering the language of the future

Hour of Code Week has been and gone this month.  This global movement aims to teach anyone who wants to learn the basics of computer coding everything they need to know in an hour. The week-long event included several free tutorials people could choose from.

And public libraries around New Zealand report they are also in on the act, says Tim Antric, Executive Director of Public Libraries of New Zealand.  

“Coding is indeed the language of now and for the future,” says Tim.  “Instead of learning a foreign language these days, many young people are opting for computer coding as their second language of choice—and from as early as age 10 in a lot of cases.” 

“If they’re not being offered this training at school, they’re turning to public libraries and asking us to run classes in computer coding for them,” he says.

“In response to this growing thirst to learn coding early, Public Libraries of New Zealand sought and was granted funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s ‘Unlocking Curious Minds’ fund to run a pilot programme in libraries around the country where young people from 10-18 can attend a free one-day workshop and learn the basics of coding, using something already familiar to them—online games.”

Mr Antric says our Gamefroot coding workshops kicked off in Dunedin and Timaru during the last school holidays.  “Most were oversubscribed and they proved exceedingly popular with kids of all ages.”

“Wellington, Hutt City, Porirua, Nelson and Gisborne libraries are next. From January, they’ll be offering workshops for young people, their teachers and interested adults to come along to their local library and learn about online game coding and strategy for free,” he says.

“Already bookings are coming for these events. To find out locations and to register go to www.publiclibraries.org.nz.”

“We’re thrilled to offer these workshops for young people in selected areas showing there is a real appetite for this learning. Technology teachers and interested adults are also keen to come along and see how these workshops are run so they can offer more themselves in their areas.” 

Mr Antric is delighted that public libraries will continue to be a hub for digital learning helping people in their communities embrace technology and learn new skills.

“We know that these workshops are just a taster for many attending, but an interest here at an early age could well mean a student goes on to blossom in a career in information technology or science or anywhere where knowledge of computer programming is a must.”

“In this way, libraries change lives and help people help themselves in this age of rapid technological change,” he says.

Watch out for these workshops in your local library area and be sure to enrol early to avoid disappointment if you want to attend.



 

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