Society of Chief Librarians hosts Cracking the Code in Clapham Library

Library staff representing 60 public library authorities across England, from Cumbria to the Channel Islands, Plymouth to Norfolk, will gather today in Clapham Library for SCL’s digital making event, Cracking the Code. The interactive event is an opportunity for library staff to get hands-on with the latest trends in digital making, coding, virtual and augmented reality, digital music making and more, facilitated by more than 30 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:

Keynote from innovation charity NESTA;
Raspberry Pi demonstration from kids’ coding kit creator Kano;
Create a video game from scratch with CoderDojo;
Learn basics with BBC micro:bit code editor;
Digital music making from 2.timesdo;
Explore virtual and augmented reality with Amplified Robot;
Arts Council England, Grants for the Arts will provide information about applying for a grant;
Workshops from DigiLab, Code Club, Mozilla Foundation and more.

Public libraries, in partnership with schools and leading innovation and development organisations, are uniquely placed to provide space for and training in the latest digital skills. SCL trains library staff in digital skills through its Digital Skills Training Programme, and also facilitates partnerships with BBC Make it Digital, Coder Dojo, Raspberry Pi and more on a national level as part of its work to develop the Universal Offers

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, Ciara Eastell, said, “We are thrilled that so many innovative digital organisations will be together in Clapham Library for this exciting day of learning. We know how much library customers value these experiences and our aim is to get digital making happening in every library service in England and build on the recent launch of SCL’s Universal Learning Offer. We are grateful to our partners for working with us to help to make this happen.”

Olivia Lockyer, BBC Make it Digital, said, “We’re really excited to be at the Cracking the Code event with the BBC micro:bit, BBC Weather Watchers and other BBC Make it Digital activities. We’re really looking forward to working further with the Libraries to help build digital skills across the UK. This event will be a great way to spread the word.”

Brian Ashley, Director Libraries, Arts Council England said, “Today’s libraries are not just places to store knowledge, but also offer local communities the chance to create and learn – particularly in the area of digital skills. The Arts Council is pleased to support the Universal Learning Offer and its priority of helping libraries to make the most of creative media and digital experiences.”