By day, Sean Brown is a software developer specializing in video game development. By night, he lends his expertise to the Calgary Public Library, volunteering for coding programs for kids and teens.
It all started three years ago, when Sean graduated from university with a degree in Computer Science. He was looking to volunteer and knew the Library offered free coding programs. “It seemed like a really good fit,” he says.
Sean, who had no previous volunteer experience, quickly settled into the new role. He’s now contributed more than 250 volunteer hours through different Library tech programs at Judith Umbach, Crowfoot, and Central.
“I just like coming in and helping out,” Sean says. “It feels really good to go home from the end of a shift and think about all the people you helped.” Another benefit is meeting fellow volunteers, Sean says. “I’ve met a lot of really great friends from the programs.”
At Central, Sean has helped two new tech programs get off to a strong start. He volunteered during the pilot for the VR Explorers program, where kids join an immersive journey with Google Expeditions using virtual reality headsets.
He also volunteers every week as a Teen Tech Lab Guide for the new Open Lab program, where teens drop in and explore their interests through a range of technologies, from robots to sewing machines.
Sean helps teens learn how to code using robots that can be programmed to complete actions — like somersaults and headstands — and respond to interactions. He also enjoys mentoring more experienced teen coders and sharing what it’s like to work in the tech industry.
Maja Milavic, a volunteer coordinator at the Library, says Sean has excelled at each of the programs he’s volunteered with. He’s a reliable volunteer who is softspoken, kind, and easy to get along with.
“He’s there for the fun, the camaraderie, for helping teens, and for supporting the Library,” she says.
If you’d like to join the Library’s team of youth or adult volunteers, please call Volunteer Resources at 403.260.2632 or visit calgarylibrary.ca/volunteer.