New York Public Library offering free computer coding classes

Lauren Glassberg Image
Monday, May 11, 2015
New York Public Libraries offering free computer coding clases
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Lauren Glassberg has the details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Computer coding is a booming profession, and the New York Public Library is offering free classes.

They're in high demand, with hundreds already participating and signing up. But time may be running out.

Technical terminology once sounded like gibberish to everyone involved, until they started Project Code and began to learn the language of computers.

"At the beginning, I was like what did I get my self into," artist Yolene Legrand said.

But 10 weeks later, she is speaking that language. And that's a good thing, because she'd like to redesign her website featuring her art work and doesn't want to spend the money to hire a professional.

"When I heard it was free, I said are you sure there's no catch, no surprise?" she said. "And they said no, it's totally free."

The New York Public Library offers 80 Tech Connect classes at more than 80 branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, and the timing isn't by chance.

"We're really coming up as a tech community," Project: Code's Steven Deolus said. "They just want to know if i learn a but about coding, can I actually be a part of that new thing that's actually growing."

About 70 percent of the students are women, many of whom are looking to change careers.

"I wanted to reinvent myself as a web and app developer," student Lenora Richmond said. "And (it's a) great opportunity for women who really have struggled to get into this industry."

The goal was to double the number of classes offered, but on May 7, the New York City Council cut the library's budget by $10 million. And now, the fear is that the classes will be downsized.

"Operating expenses to run programs like these are really, really important," Tech Connect's Brandy McNeil said. "And we really need the funds in order to keep something like this going."

And these people are counting on it for the future.