Mission Possible

Empower Your Community with Coding

October 31–November 21, 2017

Live Sessions on Tuesdays at 3:30-5 PM ET: October 31, November 7, 14 & 21, Bridged with Online Workshops and Discussions

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Code Your Library

You don’t need tech chops to put together a progressive coding program at your library. Learn from the leading companies, organizations, and libraries in this online event and workshop featuring eight guest speaker sessions and project based work over four weeks with a dedicated facilitator to provide one-on-one guidance. You’ll design and launch a coding program in your library that supports digital literacy and has the power to transform your community.

Introduce patrons and students to new learning paths and technologies. Over four weeks, you will explore all facets of building coding programming for your library such as hosting code clubs and hackathons, acquiring funding, and curating free resources and technologies available online. You don’t need to know how to code to put together an amazing program!

As a participant in the course, you will view live keynote sessions and join the conversation via live chat. (All sessions are recorded for access later on.) Most important, you’ll work with a dedicated advisor in an online coaching environment to gather resources and best practices and connect with peers from across North America (and beyond).

Outcome: Throughout the course, you will build an actionable blueprint for a coding program that fits your budget and serves the very specialized needs of your community, whether you’re serving from children to adults.

Online Course Features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over four weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available if you can’t join live)
  • Weekly assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help guide your work

Who should take this course?

Librarians and educators interested in overseeing or developing tech-oriented programming for the library. The course content will be relevant to librarians in schools or public libraries who serve various age groups and demographics. Participants will walk away with a plan for the launch of their coding program.

Sponsored by:


Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Project-Based Learning

Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats, and workshop practical ideas in groups, with guidance from an advisor, to map out your own coding programs or initiatives. You’ll leave with well-developed coding program plans to introduce to your community.

Course Speakers

Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Tuesday, Oct 31, 2017

Welcome to Class

3:15-3:30 PM ET

Library Journal senior editor Matt Enis, who helped design this course, will welcome you to class and provide insights into the course structure, speaker program, and assignments to help you get the most out of class.


Matt Enis, Senior Editor of Technology, Library Journal

KEYNOTE: Lessons from the Hackathon Academy: How One Organization is Tapping into High-Potential, Low-Opportunity Youth and Opening the Doors to STEAM

3:30-4:15 PM ET

Our coding workshop opens with an inspiring keynote by Kalimah Priforce, Headmaster CEO of Qeyno Labs, an organization dedicated to increasing exposure to STEAM programming for “high-potential, low-opportunity” youth. During the session, Priforce will share the mission behind his organization, how its mentorship model fosters growth for all involved, and how its successful Hackathon Academy has transformed the lives of hundreds of youth. You’ll gain deep insight into how to run programming that opens doors, positively impacts your community, and levels the playing field.


Kalimah Priforce
Kalimah Priforce
, Headmaster CEO, Qeyno Labs

SESSION 2: 13 Hours of Code: Planning a Coding Event that Ignites Your Community

4:15-5:00 PM ET

Hackathons and Coding Day events can be a great way to engage a wide audience and create excitement around coding. Matt Lorenzo, teen services librarian at Cupertino Library (CA) and organizer of the innovative CU Hacks teen hackathon, which takes place over the course of one exhilarating night, will share the ins and outs of planning and executing a successful coding event for your community. He’ll share how the idea for CU Hacks was born and what it took to implement such an ambitious project, as well as sharing the many lessons learned along the way.


Matt Lorenzo
Matt Lorenzo, Teen Services Librarian, Cupertino Library, Santa Clara County Library District (CA)

Weekly Assignment:
Set your program goals and begin to estimate budgets under two scenarios (realistic and stretch scenarios).

WEEK 2: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

SESSION 1: Open Data, Open Library

3:30-4:15 PM ET

Learn how the Toronto Public Library’s open data hackathon events are bringing together local computer programmers, civic organizations, and citizens of all ages to address real issues such as urban poverty reduction. Members of the library’s Innovation and Planning Team will discuss their continued partnership with the local tech community to host hackathons, public programs and staff training to build an understanding of the open data movement with library staff and users. They will also discuss the challenges and lessons encountered in working with open data and in engaging the civic tech community in this timely session.


Carmen Ho Lina Kim Ab. Velasco
Carmen Ho, Planning Specialist, Toronto Public Library
Lina Kim, Senior Services Specialist, Toronto Public Library
Ab. Velasco, Manager, Innovation, Toronto Public Library

SESSION 2: Closing the Gender Gap in Tech with Girls Who Code

4:15-5:00 PM ET

Despite the growth of the tech industry, women are still vastly underrepresented in the field. Girls Who Code seeks to change all that with their after school coding clubs for girls. In this session, Chrissy Ziccarelli, Director of Teacher Training at Girls Who Code will discuss how coding clubs can be a crucial access point for introducing young people to coding and keeping them invested. She’ll share details into how to start a club, attract members, and execute a coding curriculum that engages, excites, and connects through game and website creation, app building, and even robotics. This insightful and practical session will provide you with a multitude of useable ideas for your library coding project, as well as an understanding that investing in girls is investing in the future of tech.


Chrissy Ziccarelli
Chrissy Ziccarelli,
Director of Teacher Training, Girls Who Code

Weekly Assignment:
Tie your goals to rough program ideas; field test those ideas.

WEEK 3: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SESSION 1: Ignite Your Library: Partnering with Outside Organizations to Develop a Dynamic Coding Program

3:30-4:15 PM ET

Finding an organization or institution to collaborate with as you build your coding program can be a huge bolster to your effort–especially if you don’t have a computer science background. In this session, you’ll hear from Robin Coutras, school librarian and Sami Chiang, president of Vanderbilt University’s coding initiative, Code Ignite, who partnered together to develop a highly successful and collaborative coding program in her library. You’ll learn how her team did it, step-by-step. She’ll share their tips for finding the right partner organization and executing a program that is exciting and empowering.


Sami Chiang   Robin Coutras
Sami Chiang
, Founder, Code Ignite, Vanderbilt University (TN)
Robin Coutras
, Library Media Specialist, Rose Park Math and Science Magnet School (TN)

SESSION 2: Funding Your STEAM Projects: Applying for IMLS Grants

4:15-5:00 PM ET

IMLS, the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, is the largest source of federal funding for library and museum programs across the country and can be an important resource for those planning innovative STEAM programs at their libraries. In this session, we will be joined by Ashley Sands, Senior Program Officer at IMLS, who will share details about the grant funding opportunities available at IMLS, how to approach applying for a grant, as well as provide tips to help you write an strong application. She will be available to answer your most pressing questions about grants and federal funding.


Ashley Sands
Ashley E. Sands
, PhD, Senior Library Program Officer, IMLS

Weekly Assignment:
Research program areas beyond your expertise. Refine your phase-one program ideas. Field test them in your library and on social media.

WEEK 4: Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SESSION 1: Getting Started with littleBits – Sponsored Session

3:00-3:30 PM ET

littleBits makes technology kits composed of electronic building blocks that are color-coded and magnetic, making learning complex technology simple, fun, and infinitely creative. littleBits Education Coordinator Grace Morales will share how you can combine coding & STEAM with littleBits. Live attendees will be have a chance to win one littleBits Code Kit (Value: $299.95).


Grace Morales
Grace Morales, Education Coordinator, littleBits

SESSION 2: Google’s CS First at Queens Public Library: A Scalable Solution for Libraries Large, Small, and In Between

3:30-4:15 PM ET

CS First, a completely free youth coding initiative by Google, seeks to expose all young people to computer science in their communities. It’s a program that can be applied in any size library environment and facilitated by even those with no prior coding experience, making it an ideal tool for providing access to computer science for all. In this engaging session, Vikki Terrile, Director of Children and Youth Programs and Services at Queens Library (NY), will walk you through how her library system launched its program, and the lessons they learned along the way, articulating the ways in which CS First can help you build a program that fosters growth and connection between your library and your community.


Vikki Terrile
Vikki Terrile, Director of Children and Youth Programs and Services, Queens Library (NY)

SESSION 3:  Innovative Programs to Inspire the Imagination

4:15-5:00 PM ET

In the closing keynote for our workshop, Alex Giannini, one of the organizers of the wildly successful Westport Library Makerfaire will join us to share exciting coding project ideas, ways to get your coding program off the ground, and how to engage your community in making and coding – not just during a special event, but all year round.


Alex Giannini
Alex Giannini
, Manager of Experiential Learning, Westport Library (CT)

Weekly Assignment:
Create your final program plan with updated goals, budgets, program ideas, and launch plans, including marketing, execution, and logistics.