Jersey Library – playing its part during National Coding Week
13th August 2017
National Coding Week 2017 (18 September – 23 September) will see Jersey Library become a playground for all things digital as we seek to give people opportunities to develop new skills and bring together those who work in the ‘tech sector to share their latest ideas and work.
Historically libraries have always sought to support learning. The Great Library of Alexandria was designed as a campus, to encourage the mingling of scholars and to spark the inter-play of ideas. Libraries have survived since antiquity because they have always innovated and have never placed form over function, the message always being more important than the medium. If they are to realise their contemporary potential libraries need to return to first principles and a mission of advancing knowledge, inspiring lifelong learning and enriching culture.
As we move from a ‘read-only’ to a ‘read-write’ society our concept of literacy needs to broaden. If individuals are to become active citizens in a digital world they need to be able to comprehend code alongside the written word.
“We want to use National Coding Week as an opportunity to rewire the concept of The Great Library of Alexandria”
Jersey Library has offered one-to-one help for beginners and European Computer Driving License training for a number of years. Whilst support for entry level skills is still a core part of our digital offer it has become clear that if the 21st century library is to truly support literacy and learning it must not only support skills development, it must also support digital innovation.
In December 2016 Jersey Library launched the Eagle Lab, sponsored by Barclays. The Lab is a makerspace including 3D printers, 3D scanners, a laser cutter, vinyl cutter and hot press. This equipment can be used by local businesses, designers, enthusiasts, schools and community groups. Barclays also provided new computer equipment to support coding training and other activities in the Children’s, Branch and Mobile Libraries.
During the last six months the Eagle Lab has become a thriving hive of activity, with local artists, students and businesses using the facilities to create, innovate and grow.
From fidget spinners to prosthetic arms the scope of the prototyping kit in the Lab is as broad as the imaginations that are bought to bear on it. Alongside hands-on technical creativity the Lab has also played host to numerous talks and seminars ranging from cyber-security workshops to briefings on the latest developments in the world of ale brewing.
We want to use National Coding Week as an opportunity to rewire the concept of The Great Library of Alexandria and bring its essence to the Eagle Lab. We’re planning a number of events, workshops and talks in Jersey’s libraries and we want your input.
The events we host will be an opportunity for people to get involved, but we’re also looking to support those sparks of innovation that could take coding and digital in a different direction. Whether it’s programming an animatronic dinosaur or coding a Raspberry Pi to predict tide-times, we want to connect with people who have the skills and ideas that will engage new audiences with coding and digital skills.
“If individuals are to become active citizens in a digital world they need to be able to comprehend code alongside the written word”
Details of events will be posted on Jersey Library’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/JerseyLibrary/), on our Twitter feed (@JerseyLibrary), on Eventbrite and of course on the National Coding Week website (https://codingweek.org/?edition=GB).
The week is already filling up with interesting and engaging sessions, from game design workshops to virtual reality coding and search engine optimisation sessions.
If you’ve a subject you’d like to share or there’s a topic you’d like to hear more about please either call me on 01534 448700, email [email protected] or send a message via Facebook or Twitter. Let’s bring together Jersey in a celebration of all things digital and see what new ideas, skills and connections we can create.