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Borrow a BBC micro:bit from your local library

Awen Cultural Trust is hoping to inspire a generation of computer coders, data programmers and digital pioneers, thanks to a new initiative to lend BBC micro:bits free of charge to library users across Bridgend county borough.

The tiny computers, donated by The Microbit Foundation, will allow people of all ages, whatever their experience, to unleash their digital creativity whilst in the comfort of their own home.

BBC micro:bits are handheld, fully programmable computers which can be used to make all sorts of creations, from musical instruments to robots, smart watches and fitness trackers. The device also features 25 LED lights that can flash messages.

As well as two programmable buttons that can be used to control games or pause and skips songs on a playlist, the micro:bits can detect motion and use a low energy Bluetooth connection to interact with other devices and the internet.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, which manages the library service on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council, said:

“Awen is committed to supporting children and adults to improve their digital literacy. Along with our very popular coding clubs, makerspaces and drop-in help sessions, the lending of micro:bits is another example of how our libraries are helping to improve access to, and developing people’s confidence in using new digital technologies. These skills will be vital for many jobs in the future, but they are also great fun for all ages to learn, so it’s never too late!”

Councillor Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: “This new service aptly demonstrates the wide range of facilities that modern libraries can offer, and I’m really pleased to see it being used to encourage more people to use their community branch.”

The micro:bits will be based at the libraries in Porthcawl, Pyle, Pencoed, Bridgend, Aberkenfig and Maesteg and, like a book, can be borrowed free of charge for up to three weeks at a time.

Pictured: Bethan Price borrows the first BBC micro:bit from Porthcawl Library