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Coding Partnerships

Collaborating Through Coding

Partnerships allow libraries to reach audiences that they could never reach alone. Partnerships also help extend expertise and energy. Plus, partnerships help to model collaboration--a core concept of coding!

The Aspen Institute for Dialogue on Public Libraries provides recommendations and patron-centered strategies for libraries to consider when planning new initiatives and projects, such as coding education. By offering coding education through partnerships, and explaining the need to community stakeholders, libraries position themselves as proactive catalysts for change and growth towards common goals.

Coding Partnerships

Youth Organizations

4-H: One of the first youth organizations to pioneer STEM education, youth can now take coding as part of their 4-H Computer Project. Check with your Youth Development Agent about possibly hosting a 4-H coding workshop in cooperation with an already established 4-H club or project group to guarantee attendees. Older students may also be willing to serve as youth volunteers during library coding programs.

Girl Scouts: A strong supporter of STEM education for young women, your local troop may already be participating in Hour of Code, or Girls Who Code, as sponsored by Google. If not, ask your local leaders to come to the library for a coding workshop, and explore where coding fits into their troop curriculum.

Boy Scouts: A merit badge for programming is already offered to boys in this group, making them ideal attendees for any coding program your library offers. Also, as youth leaders, these boys may become volunteers at your programs as their skills continue to grow.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Located in many municipalities, these clubs offer youth a range of experiences. Through a partnership with Microsoft, the organization has a focus on computer science.

Local Schools: Ask your school librarians and computer science teachers if coding is being offered in the school district. If so, brainstorm how your programs can support the education that is already being offered. Can you offer a coding after-school club to increase interest in coding, particularly with young girls? If your district is not offering computer science classes, ask about your school’s vision for this important skill, and how your school can work with you to promote your coding programs to both students and parents. Take note of the "Coding and K-12 Public Education in Wisconsin" section under Basic Concepts of Coding and the information about standards in this area. 

Community Partners

Tech hobbyists: Possibly already working on coding programs of their own, these hobbyists may be filled with helpful information to help your program attendees troubleshoot coding bugs as they work on projects. Consider putting out a call for expertise in your local paper, or consult with local service groups to tap into their networks.

Local businesses: Coding is part of many businesses, and may not be a business in and of itself. Thinking outside the box about what coding is, and how prevalent it is in our workplaces can help identify businesses that utilize coding.You may be surprised what businesses in your area use coding, although it may not be obvious. For example, any business that offers website development would use coding. Electronics businesses may sell devices, and might also do computer programming on-site. Factories that utilize automation need computer programs for robots. Try to identify any business related to STEM--science, technology, engineering, and math. A good resource to identify business information is your local UW-Extension Community and Economic Development Agent, or your local Chamber of Commerce.

Local Schools: Ask your school librarians and computer science teachers if coding is being offered in the school district. If so, brainstorm how your programs can support the education that is already being offered. Can you offer a coding after-school club to increase interest in coding, particularly with young girls? If your district is not offering computer science classes, ask about your school’s vision for this important skill, and how your school can work with you to promote your coding programs to both students and parents. Take note of the "Coding and K-12 Public Education in Wisconsin" section under Basic Concepts of Coding and the information about standards in this area.

For questions about this information, contact Tessa Michaelson Schmidt (608) 267-5077