ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions
AP Categories

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both members and non-members. If you are tax-exempt and choose to order online, and you are exempt from state sales tax, please be sure that your account has been set up as exempt. If you need to verify, please email and they can check for you. They will need your billing address, sales tax exempt number and the email address associated with your account.  Sales tax is also collected on orders of digital products, where applicable in states that charge sales tax.

If you choose to order via fax (800-621-8476), email (   or, or mail (Chicago Distribution Center, Attn: ALA, 11030 S Langley Ave, Chicago, IL 60628), please email your tax exemption documentation to prior to submitting your order.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

The lessons of ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative are conclusive: your library can make a difference in developing computational thinking in children, teens, and even adults. And you don’t even need to be a techie to make it happen; in fact, many activities in this new book from tech champion Kroski dispense with a screen altogether in favor of twister boards, masking tape grids, or bowling pins. Other activities are built around affordable software or tech toys like Scratch Jr., Scratch, Bee-Bot, or Code-a-Pillar. Organized by age group, and complete with step-by-step guidance on everything from learning outcomes to an estimated budget, projects include

  • teaching coding to preschoolers with beads, pipe cleaners, and elastic string;
  • choreographing music videos with Ozobots;
  • programming Mad Libs-style games using Python;
  • teaching algorithms with story mapping, pattern play, or mazes;
  • using Scratch for digital dress-up or meme remixes;
  • team-building and outreach with robots;
  • drop-in programs for exploration and unstructured play; and
  • teaching adults with or Meetup partners.

This book’s structured presentation will help both school librarians and programming staff at public libraries quickly scan for projects that fit their needs.

Introduction: From Coding to Computational Thinking Literacy: A Library Call to Action, by Linda Braun and Marijke Visser

Part I    Programs for Kids (Ages 3–7)

  • Chapter 1    Make Your Own Cartoon with PBS Kids ScratchJr, by JoAnna Schofield
  • Chapter 2    Before You Plug In, Analog Games to Play with Young Children: Story Mapping, by Stacy Hurt
  • Chapter 3    Before You Plug In, Analog Games to Play with Young Children: The Human Robot, by Stacy Hurt
  • Chapter 4    Mommy and Me Coding: Learning Coding Concepts Together with Code-a-Pillar, by Bianca Rivera
  • Chapter 5    Coding Storytime for Families, by Kristine Techavanich
  • Chapter 6    Using Spheros to Retell a Story, by Sharon McCubbins
  • Chapter 7    Demonstrating Characterization with ScratchJr, by Sharon McCubbins
  • Chapter 8    Computational Thinking in Storytime: Robots, by Claudia Haines
  • Chapter 9    Pattern Play: Analog Activities to Explore Patterns with Preschoolers and Families, by Paula Langsam
  • Chapter 10    Mazes and Games: How to Integrate Algorithm Design with Analog Preschool and Family Activities, by Paula Langsam and Amy Steinbauer
  • Chapter 11    Program the Human Robot: Decomposition Activities for Preschoolers and Families, by Paula Langsam
  • Chapter 12    IF You Can Imagine It, THEN You Can Code It: Mini-Stories with Dash Robotics, by Alessandra Affinito
  • Chapter 13    Tell Me a Story with ScratchJr, by Lisa O’Shaughnessy
  • Chapter 14    Storytime Coding, by Marissa Guidara
  • Chapter 15    TechTacular, by Marissa Guidara
  • Chapter 16    Bee-Bot Bowling, by Marissa Guidara
  • Chapter 17    Preschool Coding: How to Teach Coding to Children, by Katie Clausen
  • Chapter 18    Screen-Free Coding for Preschoolers, by Katie Clausen
  • Chapter 19    Great Books for Teaching Coding to Preschoolers, by Katie Clausen
  • Chapter 20    Coding Stations in a K–3 School Library, by Danielle Arnold
  • Chapter 21    Integrate Picture Books to Teach Computational Thinking Skills, by Danielle Arnold

Part II    Programs for Tweens (Ages 8–12)

  • Chapter 22    Scratch Coding for Tweens: Creating Cartoons, by Karlene Tura Clark
  • Chapter 23    Bring Your LEGOs to Life with LEGO Education WeDo, by JoAnna Schofield
  • Chapter 24    Program a Mad Libs Game with Python, by Connor McNamara
  • Chapter 25    Program a Number Guessing Game with Python, by Connor McNamara
  • Chapter 26    Program a SUPER Number Guessing Game with Python, by Connor McNamara
  • Chapter 27    Coding Music with Exceptional Learners: Mission Possible, by Melanie Toran
  • Chapter 28    Build an Automated Puppet with Arduino, by Jamie Bair
  • Chapter 29    Coding Camp for Tweens, by Annamarie Carlson
  • Chapter 30    Beginner Video Game Coding and Design, by Annamarie Carlson
  • Chapter 31    Outreach Programming with Robots and Coding, by Annamarie Carlson
  • Chapter 32    Scratch Art: Create and Animate Characters Using Scratch, by Mary Carrier
  • Chapter 33    Program A-mazing Finch Robots with Scratch, by Mary Carrier
  • Chapter 34    A Crash Course in Robotics, by Loren McClain
  • Chapter 35    Unstructured Learning: Using Drop-In Technology Programs to Engage More Patrons and Support Learning Through Play, by Julia Clark
  • Chapter 36    Choose Your Own Adventure: Bring Coding to Life with Interactive Storytelling, by Kaitlin Frick and Grace Zell
  • Chapter 37    LEGO Sumobots: Programming Robots with LEGO MINDSTORMS, by Chad Clark
  • Chapter 38    Digital Dress-Up: Creating Drag-and-Drop Games in Scratch, by Olivia Horvath
  • Chapter 39    Remix a Meme Using Scratch, by Olivia Horvath
  • Chapter 40    Using Bloxels to Teach Storytelling and Video Game Design, by Danielle Arnold
  • Chapter 41    How to Give Successful Coding Workshops for Ages 8–12, by Karima Kafif

Part III    Programs for Young Adults (Ages 13–18)

  • Chapter 42    Form a Hacker Club and Hacker Club Jr., by Jessica Franco and Emily Sheehan
  • Chapter 43    Host a Teen and Tween App Development Camp in Your Library, by Jessica Franco and Emily Sheehan
  • Chapter 44    Host an Escape Room with a Robotic Twist, by JoAnna Schofield
  • Chapter 45    Advancing Beyond Scratch to Text-Based Coding with Pencil Code, by Jamie Bair
  • Chapter 46    Program a Scratch Guessing Machine, by David Vance
  • Chapter 47    Use HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to Create an Interactive Online Greet-Bot 3000, by David Vance
  • Chapter 48    Player Ready: Making Your First Video Game, by Loren Mc Clain
  • Chapter 49    Partners in Technology: How to Create a Successful Technology Mentorship Program, by Julia Clark
  • Chapter 50    Walk Through My World: Create a Virtual Reality Digital World, by Lisa O’Shaughnessy
  • Chapter 51    Living in Fairyland: Explore Fairy Tales with VR Technology, by Lisa O’Shaughnessy
  • Chapter 52    Create and Choreograph Original Music Videos, by Jessica Franco and Emily Sheehan
  • Chapter 53    After Scratch: Connecting Teen Patrons with Next Steps, by Olivia Horvath
  • Chapter 54    Programming Stories: How to Animate with Code, by Austin Olney

Part IV    Programs for Adults

  • Chapter 55    Scratch Coding for Adults: Creating a Collectible Game, by Karlene Tura Clark
  • Chapter 56    Learn with An Introduction to JavaScript, by JoAnna Schofield
  • Chapter 57 and Libraries: Programming Partnerships to Teach Adults, by Esther Jackson and Rashad Bell
  • Chapter 58    MakeCode with Circuit Playground Express: Physical Computing for Adults, by Chad Clark
  • Part V    Creating Circulating Collections
  • Chapter 59    Rotating Kits for Easy STEM Programming, by Kelsey Hughes
  • Chapter 60    Creating a Tech-Related Circulating Collection, by Michael P. Sauers


Ellyssa Kroski

Ellyssa Kroski is the Director of Information Technology and Marketing at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 60 books, including Law Librarianship in the Age of AI for which she received AALL's 2020 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at Drexel and San Jose State Universities, and an international conference speaker. She received the 2017 Library Hi Tech Award from the ALA/LITA for her long-term contributions in the area of Library and Information Science technology and its application. She can be found at:

"Beginners who aren’t sure where to start and experienced facilitators will both find a bounty of ideas in these pages.”
Booklist (starred review)