Tag Archives: technology

Chatham County Public Libraries Receive Funding to Develop Youth Coding Programs

Chatham County Public Libraries (CCPL) has received $500 from the American Library Association (ALA) to help plan and implement coding activities during Computer Science Education (CS Ed) Week 2018 (December 3-9) and beyond. Sponsored by Google, CCPL is one of 250 school and public libraries from across the country to receive this micro grant as a part of ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative.

Library Director Linda Clarke said, “In addition to books and literacy, we see computational thinking and computer literacy as vital 21st Century skills. As a learning hub in a fast-growing county, Chatham County Public Libraries aim to engage users of all ages in technology use and learning.”

Using the micro grant funding, library youth services staff intend to pursue more opportunities to educate youth in basic coding across all three branches, using a variety of coding toys purchased with grant funds.

“Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities,” said Google program manager Nicky Rigg. “We are proud to include Chatham County Public Libraries in our CS Ed Week activities this year. We hope these libraries will join the growing number of libraries excited to offer CS programs that help youth create, problem solve and develop the confidence and skills to succeed in their future careers.”

“ALA is pleased to provide microfunding to Chatham County Public Libraries and other Ready to Code libraries,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “We hope this microfunding will not only generate enthusiasm for CS Ed Week, but spark year-round programming to develop critical thinking and digital skills youth can draw on over a lifetime.”

The 250 libraries selected for CS Ed Week funding will each host activities based on Google’s free CS First curriculum, which uses video-based instruction to introduce CS to kids through block-based coding. Libraries will pursue projects that reflect Ready to Code themes critical for advancing youth learning, especially for building computational thinking literacies. The Ready to Code team estimates that the CS Ed Week funding will support more than 60,000 youth all around the country taking part in coding activities throughout the week.

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Chatham County Public Libraries will offer two Google CS First SCRATCH-based coding classes for children ages 7+. Programs will be held on Monday, December 3, at 4:00 pm at the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro and Thursday, December 6, at 4:30 pm at the Wren Memorial Library in Siler City.

Classes are free, but registration is required. Please contact the library at (919) 545-8085 to sign up.


Did you know our website has an online resources page?

Nowadays most people understand that the modern library offers much more than books to answer their questions; libraries now often offer access to online resources that would be too expensive for most patrons to subscribe to themselves. But did you know that the Chatham County Library System has gathered our most popular online resources onto one easy-to-read webpage?

Chatham County Public Libraries have over a hundred online resources available for patrons, but a webpage listing them all would be practically unreadable. Instead, we’ve created a webpage listing the categories our patrons use the most (“Business & Investing”, “Computer Skills”, “eBooks”, “Genealogy”, “Health”, “Journal Articles”, “Language Learning”,“Reader Tools”, and “Video”), and we’ve identified our most popular online resources in those categories.

For example, if you want to learn a second (or third) language, you’ll find Pronunciator under the “Language Learning” banner on our Online Resources page. If you want to borrow any virtual materials, “Ebook, E-Audiobooks & Magazines” lists four different resources (eBooks on NC LIVE, e-iNC Library, OneClickDigital, and Zinio) to cover the multiple formats offered by different resources. If you are up for a deep dive, our Online Resources page also provides a link to NC LIVE’s homepage (nclive.org), which offers over one hundred online resources.

To access the Online Resources page on the Chatham County Public Libraries website, point your browser to www.chathamlibraries.org, then look for “Online Resources” in the menu on the left side of the page. Have your library card at the ready; you will probably need it to access some of the resources.

As always, click the “Ask a Librarian” widget if you need help!

Did you know you can schedule one-on-one appointments with our reference librarians?

pinYou’ve probably seen our reference librarians at the reference desk, ready to help patrons who walk up or call with questions. But did you know that you can schedule one-on-one appointments with our reference librarians for up to thirty minutes?

There are many reasons to book some uninterrupted time with a reference librarian. Maybe you just got a tablet for Christmas and want to learn to borrow eBooks or eAudiobooks from the library. Maybe you would like to better understand how to research a topic using the library’s databases. Or perhaps you’d like to learn more about one of the library’s many online resources such as Pronunciator or NoveList Plus.

Whatever the question, give us a call at 919-545-8086 or email us. Let us know when you can visit and what you want to discuss. If it is something we think we can help with, we’ll set up a time to meet.

Remember that you can also chat with a reference librarian online from any page of our website!  Just look for the orange “Ask a Librarian” tab in the lower right corner of the page.

Talk to you soon!

eBook Friday: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough:


#1 New York Times bestseller

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.
Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?
David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.

When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their “mission” to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.

In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothers’ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: GCF LearnFree

GCF LearnFreeLooking for opportunities to build your technology skill set — from home, at your own pace, for FREE?  The Goodwill Community Foundation has just the site for you to learn what you want, when it’s important to you!

Visit GCFLearnFree.org to find out how to purchase a computer or to navigate your new iPhone or iPad, or simply to improve typing and mouse skills.  You can also learn programs like Excel and PowerPoint and learn how to use email, Windows 8, and Google more effectively.  No password is required, and you don’t need to set up an account to access the tutorials and videos.  Check out their online classes which result in earning CEUs and a Certificate of Completion at www.gcflearnfree.org/classes.

You can  browse the complete list of available topics here or type in a topic of interest in the search bar at the top of any page.  A search for iPhone, for example, returns tutorials called iPhone Basics, iPhone 5s and 5c, Getting Started, and Syncing Your iPhone.

Note that the site is accessible in both English and Spanish and also offers an array of opportunities for learning basic math, reading, career, and daily life skills.  Let us know what you find useful there!