Generation Code: Born at the Library

On 18 and 19 October 2016 we celebrated the surprising and unexpected ways in which European public libraries boost coding and digital skills with an interactive exhibition at the European Parliament.


  1. Bringing together representatives from twelve public libraries around Europe, Members from the European Parliament, kids, students and other visitors, Generation Code: Born at the Library showcased a world of time traveling, 3D printing, virtual reality tours, programming workshops, and robotic experiences!
  2. Public libraries from around Europe took centre stage in an interactive exhibition to show how technology-savvy they are.
  3. On the evening of 18 October, the exhibition was officially opened by HRH Princess Laurentien from the Netherlands, founder of the Reading & Writing Foundation.
  4. “Good ideas are often written on the back of envelopes”, the Princess said, inviting the audience to write down some thoughts on what role libraries could play in the modern world.
  5. Accompanied by the European Commissioner for Education Tibor Navracsics, HRH Princess Laurentien, then visited the exhibition.
  6. The opening was hosted by Antanas Guoga MEP, Michal Boni MEP, Sean Kelly MEP, Eva Paunova MEP and Catherine Stihler, and was joined by DG Connect Deputy Director General Claire Bury and IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner.
  7. In the presence of the hosts and guests, Public Libraries 2020 Director Ilona Kish and Catherine Stihler MEP officially launched the MEP Library Group
  8. The second day of Generation Code: Born at the Library was a great success with more than 80 MEPs passing by for digital making experiences.
  9. The relaxed and fun sphere at the Generation Code exhibition mirrored the safe and inspirational refuge that libraries across Europe offer.
  10. Many MEPs stopped by the Generation Code Photo booth to show their support for the important work of libraries in the EU.
  11. They were warmly welcomed by the library representatives from their respective home countries.