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The Mid-Hudson Library System By The Numbers

The hottest trend in libraries is the use of “maker spaces,” workstations where people create projects as simple as making a Popsicle stick craft or as involved as editing a video. A local leader in this movement is the Alice Curtis Desmond & Hamilton Fish Library in Garrison, Putnam County, where Project Code Spring is thriving. It was started three years ago by IT professionals who were concerned by the lack of computer science and coding being taught in school. Offered jointly by Pam McCluskey, the library’s full-time “cybrarian”; Librarian Krista Miller; intern Jason Zielinski; parents; and volunteers, the course has introduced more than 100 kids, some as young as six, to the basics of reading and writing computer code. Kids make their own “pet” computers using Raspberry Pi, a cheap general-purpose computer that’s the size of a credit card. You can use it to learn to program and to experiment with electronics safely. “If they don’t learn how to read and write code, they are in danger of being as programmed as the devices they hold,” says McCluskey. “I want them to innovate and discover.”

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