Library wins grant for summer program




The Oneonta Public Library has won an award from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) for an innovative summer program for teenagers called ‘Robots Build a Better World.’ The award carried a $1,000 stipend which covered the cost of materials for the program, shown in the photo of library director Ricky Statham. The blue robot (‘Dash’) is a device teens can code to move, speak, and launch objects. The cubelets making up the large cubes are individual robots that combine to build progressively more complex robots. The ‘Makey Makey’ Statham is holding gives teens a look at the beginning stages of coding and robotics and it turns everyday objects – including people – into keyboards. Also included was the stack of YALSA teen services books shown in the foreground. The summer program involved 11 tech-savvy teens who used the materials provided – along with instruction on how to use them – to learn how to code the commands used to direct detailed movements of robots. The underlying message: ‘Hey, guys, there’s a whole professional career field blossoming in this area, with detailed instruction at the next level, and high-paying jobs at the next, if this kind of work excites you and you’re good at it.’ The summer program was judged by YALSA to be the third-best of its kind among applications submitted nationally.

Ron Gholson