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Santa Barbara Public Library Aims to Teach and Engage With Technology

The Santa Barbara Central Library has opened the new year with a slew of new programs and classes aimed at teaching and engaging through technology. As our communities continue to move into a world in which technology inundates, enhances, and possibly irritates our lives it is important that all individuals have the capacity to use and understand the tools and information available. To this end, the Central Library is offering activities for a variety of interests and ages.

Tuesdays are all about technology for youth. Throughout January Tech Tuesdays will be using Little Bits, easy-to-use electronic building blocks that can be used to create a wide variety of things, from robots to remote controlled cars to smart home devices. Bits simply snap together with magnets, making them easy to put together, providing the power to invent, and reinvent, almost anything. February brings Ozobots to Tech Tuesdays, small robots that aid in introducing youth to coding and related problem solving. The first Tuesday of the month is Take It Apart Tuesdays, and it is exactly what it sounds like. Enjoy the discovery and understanding that comes with starting with a whole object, such as a television or vacuum cleaner, and completely disassembling it. Kids will get hands on experience on how design and engineering fit together, and maybe get a little bit dirty in the process. Tech Tuesdays are all but the first Tuesday at 4:00 PM and Take It Apart Tuesday occurs the first Tuesday of the month at 3:30 PM.

The first Monday of each month is Open Maker Lab – individuals of all ages are welcome to explore the library’s 3D printing resources, and augmented and virtual reality systems. Explore virtual and augmented reality with the library’s Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality systems. The remaining Mondays are meant for youth to make along with the library. Participants in these Maker Mondays will bring to life bits of cardboard and tools from the MakeDo kits. Their creations can open doors to imaginative play where the participants can be protagonists in a hack-able world of their own making. Recommended for participants ages 7-12. All Maker Mondays are from 4:00 - 5:00 PM.

The newly formed Coding Lab is off and running. Occurring on Wednesdays from 4:00 - 5:30 PM and is targeted at those ages 10-17 years. In these labs participants will work through different coding, computational logic, and computer science activities and lessons. Scratch, Hour of Code, Code Combat, RoboCode and an assortment of programmable robots will be used in the labs. No previous coding experience is necessary to join Coding Club and no registration required, just come in and join!

While technology, through apps, devices, and programs, can enhance our lives, without a complete understanding of the functions, they can sometimes deplete our lives. The Central Library is offering technology classes that should help with this. January's series of classes was all about getting the most out of Google. The series of three included Google search tips and tricks and how to better use Google Drive and Calendar. The searching class will be repeated in February while the Google Calendar class is upcoming on January 23 at 11:00 AM. The final technology class of the month, on Tuesday, January 30 at 2:00 PM, will introduce patrons to the variety of technology tools the Library has available for learning a new language. In February, adults can look forward to tailored classes on Coding for Adults in which they will learn simple coding language and programming. Watch the SBPL calendar of events for these classes.

For those who want to explore absolutely everything tech the library has to offer, the Central Library will be hosting a Tour de Tech on Saturday, January 27 from 2:00 - 4:00pm. Attendees can guide a robot through a maze, work through science questions with LEGO robots, use coding to tell a story, build with electronic coding blocks, experience virtual reality, and more! Join the Central Library for games and challenges that promote learning.


To stay informed individuals can access the SBPL web calendar with all events, programs, and classes and/or sign-up for the SBPL newsletter.

  • Tour de Tech, Saturday, January 27, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, throughout the Central Library
  • Maker Mondays, Mondays, 4:00 PM, Tech Lab, Central Library
  • Take It Apart Tuesdays, first Tuesday of the month, 3:30 PM, Tech Lab, Central Library
  • Tech Tuesdays, all but the first Tuesday of the month, 4:00 PM, Learning Lab, Central Library
  • Coding Lab, Wednesdays, 4:00 PM, Tech Lab, Central Library

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.

Contact: Jen Lemberger, Programming & Marketing Librarian

Phone: 805-564-5621

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