Coding Classes 101

by Amanda May, Head Editor, INALJ North Dakota

Coding Classes 101

1da1d70Is coding an essential skill for information professionals to learn?

Well, I think that it really depends on how you look at it.  On one hand, I believe that information professionals do not need to know any programming languages in order to be successful.  On the other hand, I believe that a working knowledge of coding is beneficial to any information professional.    While many libraries utilize content management systems for their websites, these websites still require constant maintenance.

Do I think that information professionals need to know how to do a complete overhaul of a website?  No.  Do I think it may be necessary to do some tweaking of the code on a website?  Absolutely.  .  If something isn’t working right in a content management system, it may be necessary to utilize HTML or CSS to make the page work.

I took classes on coding in library school, but I know that’s not possible for everyone.  There are many websites on the Internet that teach you how to code, but here are five to get you started:

  • Codeacademy – Codeacademy has free online tutorials that teach you programming and markup languages, such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, and Ruby.
  • Code Avengers – Code Avengers offers free online tutorials that teach you the basics of web design and programming.  They have tutorials on HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.  The format is similar to Codeacademy but with a superhero theme.
  • Code Racer – Code Racer is a multi-play game that teaches you how to code a website using HTML and CSS.
  • Khan Academy – The computer science section of Khan Academy includes tutorials on programming basics.
  • Code School – Code School offers courses in programming and markup languages, such as Ruby, JavaScript, HTML and CSS.  Some of the courses are free, but others require a subscription for access.



Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.