Whenever you think of coding, libraries are not even the last thing that clicks your mind. However, Lorna Lynch, a former librarian and Raspberry Pi Copy Editor, reports about some cool libraries in South Wales that are one of the busiest centers of coding these days. As you enter the library, you will see a Victorian era library full of kids who are working very diligently in teams on several portals. And the most astonishing thing is, you wouldn’t get a single computer free. At least one person will be seated on every system including lap tops from the library admins. Welcome to the new era where dusty books have been replaced by some cool gadgets and education is taking new channels to reach its end-users.
Usually, Code Clubs are found in schools, however, some innovative minds thought libraries to be important sources of knowledge. It is a completely out of the box concept where coders get to learn some new skills away from regular classrooms. The best point that works in favor of public libraries is that they don’t need to adhere themselves with any curriculum structure, it also demands some careful guidance arrangement from library admins. The highlight of this transformation is that an initiative of this kind comes from an institution that is often reluctant to adapt itself with changing times.
Currently, it is Wales that has maximum percentage of such libraries, but that day is not far when other parts of the world will have similar kind of fusion. For Wales, it is a matter of pride especially with respect to fusion of Raspberry Pi and Code Club. All Pis that are sold all across the world are manufactured in Sony factory located in Pencoed which is just 20 miles away from Penarth, the first place to have its public library turned into code club. It has also helped in creating a number of job opportunities and the arrangement is attracting people from both young and old generations.
In particular, it is the librarians from Vale of Glamorgan that has adapted this technology, digital making, and coding. The initiative is so successful that the digital development team here plans to introduce kids to physical computing. The only factor that restricts it is higher costs of infrastructure which is little inappropriate for public places. The alternative solution for this was discovered in form of Raspberry Pi. The team leaders, James and Phil have been employing Pis in Penarth Library from last two years. In these two years, they have increased the number of units to three times and now aim to spread this system to complete Vale. Since, the number of kids wanting to attend these sessions is very high, the team here is also running extra sessions on weekends.
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