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Library events help kids learn technology

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Teens in the area will get a chance to learn some new tech skills Tuesday night as the first of many events are starting ahead of Teen Tech Week nationwide.

Teen Tech Week is a nationwide event put on by the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Teen Tech Week isn’t until March, but kids are getting a jump start on one particular aspect of the program.

Teen Tech week features a YouTube video contest where young adults ages 12 to 18 can get a chance to “be the director,” and they can use library equipment to get a start on filming those videos Tuesday at the Rock Island Library’s Main Branch.

The theme of this year’s video contest is “be the source of change.” Contestants have until March to finish their videos, and during the week of March 5, the Putnam will show those videos on its big screen. Winners of the video contest will get $100.

It’s all part of the mission of Teen Tech Week, which is getting kids to realize what all the library has to offer in the way of technology.

“Schools have different levels of technology in the classroom, and obviously some have more than others, so this is a way that we kind of try and level the playing field. They can come in, they can use a camera. Some kids, they’ve got phones, they can shoot it on their phone. but if they want to come in here. If they want to use our editing software, that’s fine. It just makes it so they can create something and they can learn more about how online content is created,” said Rock Island young adult librarian Emily Tobin.

During Teen Tech week, the Rock Island library will show off some of its software to help teens learn about coding. There will be games they can play through coding. They can even start learning how to use coding to build an app for iPhone and Android.

“So there’s different platforms. There’s different things that kids can create, and they can also learn going forward in the future if they want to create this stuff professionally, this is what they need to start learning. So it’s a good kind of introduction to coding but just technology stuff in general,” Tobin said.

That coding event is coming up March 16.

“You be the director” is Tuesday from 6-7:30 p.m. It’s at the Rock Island Library located at 401 19th Street, Rock Island, IL. The event is for teens in grades six through twelve.

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