Bringing ‘coding’ to Rhode Island families through libraries

URI, partner organizations launch family coding events that willbring kids, parents together for instruction in this high-growth area

Media Contact: Tracey Manni, 401-874-2145 |

KINGSTON, R.I.— Dec. 7, 2018— With a global explosion in the demand for coding skills across a wide sector of industries, comes the need to encourage interest in learning these critical competencies at an early age.

Thanks to a seed grant awarded by the Infosys Foundation USA, the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies is collaborating with the national Family Code Night initiative and state and local government partners to bring coding events to several diverse Rhode Island communities through public libraries.

The state’s first library-based family coding event will be held Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Cranston Public Library.

Two additional coding events, at the Providence Community Library and Central Falls Adams Library, are planned for early 2019.

 WHAT: Family Coding Night event

WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
9:30 – 11 a.m. and 4 – 5:30 p.m., training sessions for librarians/URI students   and faculty.
John Pearce, executive director of Family Code Night, will conduct two training sessions for librarians and graduate library students and faculty.

5:30 – 6 p.m., speaking program announcing the program launch.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m., family coding instruction.

Participating children and their families will learn coding skills alongside librarians and graduate students and faculty who were trained earlier in the day

WHERE: Cranston Public Library, 140 Sockanossett Crossroads, Cranston, Rhode Island.

WHY: Coding—or the ability to write the instructions that tell computers what to do—is a skill predicted to remain in very high-demand in our increasingly technology dependent society.

MEDIA CONTACT/RSVP: Carol McCarthy, 401-874-4147;

“Computing is a tool tied to every industry, and capturing the interest of young students and providing them with the skills they need to learn coding, is essential,” said Valerie Karno, director of URI’s GSLIS and principal investigator on the grant. “Involving their parents in the process is a way to increase engagement and enhance motivation. And, it’s a lot of fun for families to do together!”

URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies students and faculty, as well as community librarians, will be trained during the day, after which, the trained will become the trainers, teaching upward of 30 third- through fifth-grade students and their parents, their first hour of coding.

The Cranston Public Library partnered with the Cranston Family Center to recruit families from across the city for this program, according to Edward Garcia, library director of the Cranston Public Library. “There is a growing interest among our young people in learning how to code as it is becoming an essential skill for the evolving workforce,” Garcia said.


This event is sponsored by a grant from the Infosys Foundation USA to URI’s graduate library sciences school, which is bringing together public libraries, University faculty and students, and the state Office of Library and Information Services, to learn and launch pilot coding programs for diverse families at public libraries.