Jinfo BlogCollaborative learning through coding

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By Africa S. Hands

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Abstract

Information professionals never have been a group to shy away from professional development. This year, the library and information community is taking on, in large numbers, the challenge of learning to code.

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It seems lately information professionals have been inundated with articles, webinars and blog posts with a reminder to stay current, fresh, flexible and adaptable lest we become extinct in the workplace. Last year the Special Libraries Association dedicated an entire blog to the topic of becoming "Future Ready" with timely thoughtful posts from information professionals in a variety of fields. Information professionals never have been a group to shy away from professional development. This year, the library and information community is taking on, in large numbers, the challenge of learning to code.

Presented by Codeacademy, Code Year has nearly 400,000 participants, many from the information community. Through weekly, asynchronous, interactive lessons, aspiring programmers will learn JavaScript and other formats. According to librarian, Andromeda Yelton, it's a fun “no pressure way to get your feet wet in coding” and learn a new skill with a community of supporters.

It is fitting that information professionals are learning to code. Many of us learned how to search databases effectively in graduate school or through on the job training; it’s one of our many assets – search, retrieval, organisation and management of information databases. We perform better as researchers when we know the inner workings of the system or database being used. Learning to code is a valuable next step in learning how to use computers most effectively, a beneficial tool in the information professional’s skill set.

It’s not too late to get involved with Code Year.

Through social media, wikis and online groups it is now easier than ever before to learn new skills and expand our knowledge base. Professional development opportunities such as this are critical as information professionals strive to prove our value in the workplace.

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