Computer Science for the Community: Increasing Equitable Opportunity for Youth Through Libraries

  • Marijke VisserEmail author
  • Hai Hong
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 676)


Using preliminary qualitative research underway through the American Library Association and Google, Inc., we explore the need for computer science (CS) learning opportunities such as coding activities to be made widely available to students through U.S. libraries, as well as the importance of intentionally infusing computational thinking (CT) skills development into these activities through librarian facilitation. The paper examines factors influencing the perception of, and participation in, CS programs among youth, their family, and educators through analysis of previously-collected Google-Gallup research data on learning opportunities in- and outside of schools. We discuss the development of a library-centric approach to facilitating CT learning and investigate how learning CS in informal environments can mitigate perceptions that curtail participation through an analysis of programs provided by libraries. The paper concludes with recommendations for further investigation, leading to best practices for libraries and other stakeholder institutions. In our presentation, we will engage in discussion with attendees regarding implications of this work in other countries, and we will provide a list of practitioner resources.


Computer science education Computational thinking Libraries Informal learning Coding Equitable access for diverse youth 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Library AssociationWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Google Inc.Mountain ViewUSA

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