Gilroy Library Begins FREE Innovative Robotics Program

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2016

Receives $15,000 Pacific Library Partnership Innovation Grant to Fund Program

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – April 7, 2016, A new robotics programming program will soon be coming to Gilroy, CA thanks to a $15,000 Pacific Library Partnership Innovation Grant received earlier this year by Santa Clara County Library District’s (SCCLD) Gilroy Library.   Awarded for its “STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Powered Robots and Beyond” program, Gilroy Library will use the grant funding to create and maintain an innovative robotics programing for both kids Grade K-5 as well as teenagers in Grade 6 and above.

               “This area, known worldwide as Silicon Valley, is an area where one would expect all kids to have an opportunity to learn 21st Century skills as soon as they enter kindergarten. However, that isn’t always the case.  With Gilroy Library’s new two-phase STEAM based robotics program, we are very pleased that kids of all ages will now have a chance to learn about robotics and programming,” stated Kelly McKean, Teen Services Librarian at the Gilroy Library.  The two phases consist of an introduction to robotics and programming philosophy and introduction to programming/coding languages and hands-on robotic programming.

               “We are extremely excited to present this Robotics Program to Gilroy residents.  It’s something that we wanted to do for some time, but the cost of obtaining the proper equipment and logistics of getting it up and running made it originally too expensive.  With this grant we’re able to not only purchase robots and computers for our teen program, but also create and offer an additional program to our younger residents Grades K–5,”stated Chris Brown, Deputy County Librarian for Santa Clara County Library District.

               The new robotic programs will be formulated with standards set by the Common Core (a set of high quality academic standards in mathematics and English that outline what a student should know and be able to do at the completion of each grade) and embraces the full concept of STEAM programming.  Students enrolled in Gilroy Library’s new robotic program will have the opportunity to learn a variety of new computer programming skills including a customized version of Google’s Blockly and Robot C.  Beginning this summer, children (K-5) who participate in Gilroy Unified School District’s Power School summer camp will be able to take part in the program.

In April, kids will have a chance to name one of the six robots used with Gilroy Library’s introductory robotic program.  During the summer, all 1st and 2nd graders in Power School summer camp will have an opportunity to sign up for robotics lessons using the “Dash and Dot” robot platform offered by Wonderworkshop.  A San Mateo based company, Wonderworkshop offers teachers a variety of lesson plans that contain STEM based interactive learning activities including coding.

               Kelly McKean and Lisa Duff, Librarians for SCCLD’s Gilroy Library and presenters for Gilroy’s new Robotics Program, will attend the Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon (CMU) University in June 2016 to learn how best to use and present the CMU Robotics Academy curriculum as well as the Lego EV3 robots utilized throughout the course.  They hope to launch the first Gilroy Lego EV3 robotics program in August 2016 at the Gilroy Library with the possibility of expanding the program to other SCCLD libraries.

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About the Santa Clara County Library District
The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 1.9 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work.

In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2014, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2014, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 225,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.3 million visitors who borrowed 9.4 million items, making it one of the most used resources in the region. Visit Santa Clara County Library District online at

Nancy Howe/Chris Brown /Lili Smith
Santa Clara County Library District
(408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3010/3014