Name & Name of Library: Jan E.V.W. Hanson, Youth Services Librarian, Longview Public Library
Project Name: Raspberry Pi Camp
Project Description: Raspberry Pi Camp will introduce this credit card-sized computer. The computer costs about $30, and was developed by MIT to make computers more accessible to young people, and can run open source software including MineCraft, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphic design and Scratch programming.
o Monday: Under the Crust
o Tuesday: Pi Faces
o Wednesday: Pi from Scratch
o Thursday: Pi in the Sky
o Friday: Pi Field Day
See attached brochure for more description of each day’s activities.
1.) Why did you choose this particular project?
Our MakerPlace program had intense interest in MineCraft, but only one person could play on our XBox at a time. We had a new intern, Sam Dodson, who was supervising MakerPlace. Sam is a recent graduate with a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Psychology. He was familiar with the Raspberry Pi technology and suggested it could help with that issue, with its open source version of MineCraft.
2.) Why do you think it will be a success with your patrons?
I thought the Raspberry Pi would be popular, not only with teens for MineCraft, but as an inexpensive alternative to other computer uses, for all students. It has the “New, Shiny” factor, the Makery/Hackery/interactive/hands-on factor, and is low-cost enough that even in Longview a teen might hope to get one of their own.
3.) How will this money help make your program an even bigger success?
This program would have been nearly impossible without the grant. Even if we could find Raspberry Pi’s to borrow, we would not have been able to keep using them in MakerPlace or other teen programs.
4.) What elements, in your opinion, make a successful Teen Tech Week program?
Introducing new technology that kids love and don’t have very much access to otherwise. Getting those kids involved with spreading the word about the new technology.
5.) What successes are you having with digital tools in your library? Challenges?
Our e-books and e-audiobooks are available through the Washington State Anytime Library. They are enormously popular. We do not have readers, etc., to circulate to the public. Until recently, most of the staff did not know how to use the equipment. We have been training staff, and also have had classes/petting zoos for the public. Until this year, the only computer training we offered was by teens during Teen Tech Week; now adults are catching up. Major challenges are related to the lack of literacy/income of the majority of our population. As more people own devices that can use digital media, more become aware that we are a source for information that they can access with their devices and education on how to use those devices. Growing interest in the Microsoft IT Academy (free online training), databases and the library website, and online catalog are all indicative of these trends.
6.) Overall, how important is Teen Tech Week to your patrons and your library?
Few adults or children pay much attention.
Most teens who use the library regularly had input into the development of the grant,and are very excited about the possibilities of new technology. They are familiar with the slogan, posters, bookmarks and participate in various stealth programs.
Teens who may not regularly use the library like our special programming, and especially enjoyed the Dalek pizza, celery, bananas, “fish sticks” & custard, Jellybabies, Adipose babies, Galaxy jello and Ood cookies at our Dr. Who Late Night.