North Yorkshire libraries now have more than 400 BBC micro:bits (pocket-sized codeable computers) available for children to borrow to help improve their digital skills.

All 420 were donated by Micro:bit Educational Foundation as part of a worldwide drive to encourage children to get creative with technology and gain digital skills in clubs, schools and at home. They can be used for all sorts of digital creations, from games to robots to musical instruments.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “These are a fantastic addition to North Yorkshire’s library resources and further support the valuable work all our libraries do in assisting the development of digital skills in our communities. Many of our libraries already run successful computer coding clubs and the micro:bits offer all North Yorkshire children free access to learn how to code, create and have fun, improving their digital skills for the future.”

The micro:bits can be borrowed for free for up to three weeks with a library card and come with instructions. They have built-in displays, programmable buttons, motion detection, temperature and light sensors and can be programmed via any desktop or laptop computer or can be used with mobile phones or tablets using Bluetooth. Coding can be done using a choice of editors, including Python and JavaScripts Blocks.

Many libraries already run coding clubs, supported by volunteers. Contact your local library to see whether a club is available near you. If anyone would like to volunteer to run a code club, talk to your local library or visit www.codeclub.org.uk/start-a-club/volunteers for more information.