Croydon Central Library pioneers the first #Croydon #TechCity Tech Zone


By - Monday 9th January, 2017

New year, new philanthropic initiative for Croydon Tech City and co.


Photo by Nigel Dias, used with permission.

Libraries are integral to Croydon’s success

Nearly two million visits a year are made to Croydon’s libraries by Croydonians of all ages and backgrounds. To say that your local library is central to Croydon’s future is no overstatement.

Libraries are places that people go to for information. Books are only the tip of the information iceberg. More children are borrowing books from libraries than ever before – books of all kinds: paper and digital and audio. But libraries are also places where people who may not have computers or internet connections can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs or apply for benefits is increasingly migrating exclusively online. Libraries can help these people to navigate that world.

And with Croydon Tech City now the UK’s fastest-growing economy, it’s crucial that the borough’s libraries find their unique place in this exciting new world.

Croydon Tech City delivers tech skills to the community

Since its inception, Croydon Tech City has been focused on the objective of democratising tech skills and opportunities to the Croydon community: lowering the barriers to access so that young and old alike can participate and benefit from Croydon’s tech boom.

Historically, this has been done through our ‘Future Tech City’ initiative in which we aim to enable every local school to deliver tech and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) opportunities to local children. By working with Code Club, Apps for Good and more, plus creating a ‘Young’ CTC Network for secondary pupils, and apprenticeships at local companies, we aim to create a talent pipeline that will lead to a STEM skill surplus in Croydon over time.

Until now, Future Tech City efforts have largely been conducted in local schools where volunteers from the Croydon Tech City community deliver free extracurricular coding classes to children. However thanks to a dedicated group of Future Tech City volunteers (Sal Salahudin, Paul Sinnett, Marc Roberts and Marc Grossman), we have also been able to run weekly Code Clubs for primary aged children in Croydon Library every Saturday for the past three years.

The Croydon Tech City Tech Zone in Croydon Central Library

Photo by Allan Nimmo, used with permission.

Last summer, the opportunity to build a permanent tech facility for the community in Croydon Library arose in collaboration with Carillion Services and Croydon Council, and supported by the Sal, Marc, Marc, and Paul, who use the library each week.

From January 2017, Croydon Library in central Croydon will be home to a dedicated and branded ‘Tech Zone’ (complete in nifty Croydon Tech City orange) where Croydonians will find top-of-the-range computing equipment, 3D robotics, and a virtual reality headset.

The area will allow Future Tech City volunteers to deliver continued tech and STEM opportunities to local children and adults through free events, classes and workshops.

Thanks to Carillion, Croydon Council and Croydon Tech City, Croydon’s children will have now another reason to use their local library.


To learn more about Croydon Tech City, visit www.croydontechcity.com

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community, serving at Grace Vineyard Church and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training and a Linkedin lead generation service. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  • http://bikesy.co.uk TonyJames

    Well done guys, this is a great initiative. Not everyone can afford space to work and meet up with likeminded individuals in the current croydon shared work spaces so somewhere like this could provide an interesting flourishing tech eco-system for individuals in Croydon looking to get projects off of the ground.
    Regards
    Tony
    bikesy.co.uk

  • Andrew Dickinson

    excellent!

  • Sean Creighton

    I am sure that Stanley Jast, Croydon’s innovative and influential late Victorian and Edwardian Chief Librarian, would applaud this initiative if he was able to come back from the grave. See my piece on him at http://thecroydoncitizen.com/culture/edwardian-library-legacy-anglo-pole/