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The new digital kids on the block

The next generation of computer experts are to be trained in Liverpool’s libraries as part of a new initiative funded by the Arts Council.

The new digital kids on the block

by Jennifer Caine

Liverpool City Council has secured £75,500 to develop code clubs for hundreds of children and young people over the next year.

The ‘Maker Difference’ project at Liverpool Libraries will provide creative learning opportunities for children and young people aged from eight to 18 from four communities in the city centre, north Liverpool, Speke and Toxteth.

The investment will support young people to engage with technology in innovative ways, helping to develop their creative and digital skills. It includes online information literacy, media literacy and digital well-being and identity.

It will also encourage participation from disabled young people via on site clubs, weekly workshops and participation in cultural events and creative digital festivals.

The sessions will be delivered by local digital entrepreneurs who will give up their time to help inspire youngsters with an interest in technology.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:

“This is a fantastic project which will help equip our children and young people with many technological skills that they can use in everyday life and help create tomorrow’s workforce.

“Computers are an essential part of our lifestyle and everything we do now involves some form of technology. Liverpool has a burgeoning digital sector and this project can only help harness and develop the next generation of computer programmers.

“This is another example of our commitment to using our libraries to engage with local communities of all ages in different and innovative ways. They are much more than just a place to go and borrow books.”

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North at Arts Council England, said:

“The Arts Council is the national development agency for libraries in England and we’re delighted to be investing over £1 million in libraries across the North through our Libraries Opportunities for Everyone Innovation fund.

“This programme has given us a fantastic opportunity to support new activities in libraries and to reach people who might not normally use their local library service.”

The city council is working on the project with Wehearttech – a community interest company committed to using technology for social good and DoES Liverpool – a community of people with a diverse range of skills and interests such as entrepreneurs, developers and hardware engineers.

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