| By Andrea Henderson |
Upon hearing that Amazon had opted to terminate plans to build a headquarters in New York City’s borough of Queens, I felt a sense of disappointment for members of the Queensbridge community. A few weeks ago, I listened with interest to an NPR story of how Amazon’s announcement had been met with hope by many Queensbridge residents and community leaders (and anywhere from apathy to opposition, on the other hand, by others). 1 The story of Ivy Strickland was one on the side of optimism. Ivy is studying coding via a nonprofit institution, Pursuit, that trains low-income adults for tech jobs. She describes how coding may very well be the key to securing a job that compensates her well enough to do more for herself and her loved ones.
I loved Strickland’s observation of “coding as a metaphor of how piece by piece, you can build something amazing,” of how she anticipated being able to thrive because of Amazon coming to her community and hiring local talent like her. Libraries within the US have a far greater reach than single not-for-profits such as the one that trained Ivy. Our libraries have the chance to inspire their patrons and students to imagine the world of coding in the same way–not simply for its everyday usefulness but even more so for the power it can command when taken in one of many directions.
Gale’s handpicked eBook collection on Coding from the Gale Virtural Reference Library (GVRL) supports the diverse research needs of students as well as public library patrons. With titles for younger elementary students from Windmill Books; to middle and high school learners from Rosen Reference and Cavendish Square Publishing; to college and adult options from John Wiley & Sons and Springer, the Coding collection on GVRL offers something for everyone.
For an excellent introduction to concepts, systems, and protocols, look to the Principles of Programming and Coding to hit on the fundamental elements. Digging into the collection, one of my favorites is Game Coding Complete, a hands-on guide written by veteran game programmers that provides a great entry for those interested in learning how to develop commercial-quality games. Looking for something to inspire young minds? Check out one of the Everyday Coding titles available in the collection.
1 ”With Amazon’s Arrival, A New York Community Pushes To Be Included,” NPR, 22 January 2019.[https://www.npr.org/2019/01/22/686588951/with-amazons-arrival-a-new-york-community-pushes-to-be-included]