January 8, 2015

Library partners with local software firm AWH to offer basic programming classes

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has partnered with Dublin-based software firm AWH to provide unique opportunities for library customers to learn basic computer programming andcoding skills.

“Columbus Metropolitan Library has a long history of providing resources to assist customers with their employment needs,” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “With this partnership, we move beyond job help and into workforce optimization.”

A pilot program, called dev:spark, was held in December, and consisted of four free, two-hour workshops led by AWH instructors at CML’s new Driving Park Branch. Eight students participated on a “first come, first serve” basis, and two were offered apprenticeships with AWH as a result of their work in class. The apprenticeship program, called dev:launch, is a paid opportunity in which AWH’s experienced team will mentor and train inexperienced people to become software developers.

“There are a lot of people with the attitude and aptitude to have careers in software development,” said AWH Principal Chris Slee. “They just need exposure to basic concepts to see if it might be a good option for them.”

AWH instructors are offering the class to new groups of waitlisted students in January.

For more information, visit devsparkcolumbus.com.

Founded in 1995, AWH builds software applications and careers. The company builds software applications for the web, mobile, enterprise, desktop and augmented reality. AWH builds careers through several initiatives, including: dev:launch (a developer apprenticeship program), dev:spark (a learn to code class) and i.c. stars |* Columbus (a digital skills training program). AWH also leads and supports several other initiatives including Startup Grind (startupgrind.com/columbus/) and Civic Hacks (civichacks.org). Visit awh.net to learn more.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.