BTP LogoBloomington, Indiana (May 21, 2014) – Monroe County Public Library and the Bloomington Technology Partnership (BTP) today announced a new partnership that will allow all county residents to learn computer programming skills at no cost. The two organizations have teamed up to fund an annual membership for Monroe County library cardholders to access robust training software.

The Library has signed an agreement with Treehouse, an online platform that teaches people how to design and develop websites and mobile apps. Treehouse is designed to prepare participants for jobs in software development, web design, application development and other computer technology-related occupations. Classes include coding languages like HTML, CSS, PHP and Ruby as well as iPhone and Android apps.

“Libraries and schools across the country are seeing great results with Treehouse,” said library director Sara Laughlin. “Individual subscribers currently pay $300+ a year for access. Thanks to our partnership with Bloomington Technology Partnership–and their grant from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County–the Library is able to offer the exact same Treehouse content for free to all library card holders in the county.”

The BTP contributed funds to the countywide membership as part of a grant from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County for a computer programming school set to launch in June. “Unlimited access to Treehouse for the entire county presents new possibilities for creating a more technically knowledgeable workforce. We are pleased to work with the library to get our own coding initiatives up and running,” said Katie Birge, Director of the Bloomington Technology Partnership. The BTP’s programming school will utilize Treehouse for its courses and will hold weekly class sessions with mentors who are experts in various types of programming skills.

“Our programming school will be offering courses based on the programming skills identified as most in demand by local tech employers,” said Birge. “Treehouse’s course listings and self-guided learning tools are a great fit for our program, and we look forward to using the platform.”

Access to the Treehouse system for Monroe County residents is free with a valid Monroe County library card and will be available as early as next week. For more information about the initiative, please visit the Library’s website at mcpl.info/treehouse. For more information about the Bloomington Technology Partnership’s upcoming programming school, please contact kbirge@bloomingtontech.com.

About the BTP

The Bloomington Technology Partnership fosters the growth of Bloomington’s emerging high-tech economy. The BTP is a public-private initiative funded by the City of Bloomington, the Indiana University Office of Engagement and the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). The BTP strengthens Bloomington’s tech economy through talent recruitment, networking opportunities, and technical assistance. For more information, visit http://bloomingtontech.com.

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