On the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer.
Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer.

Dear Internet,
Would you not agree it is bizarre that the day I make a donation to the Ada Initiative, is anniversary of the death of its namesake, Ada Lovelace? (Not to be confused with Linda Lovelace, who interestingly when she quit porn went on to attempt to get a CIS degree. HRM.)
Also! Two posts in one day! How can anyone live at that speed??
I want to clear up a few things that have been swirling around and present a few other things that have come up within the last 24 hours.

  • I had one person mention to this week they are receiving “complaints” that when I present myself professionally whether at conferences or writing about the gender tech issues, it is apparently under the guise as LibTechWomen and not as myself. While it is unfortunate that people think this, my presence at such events or my writing has never directly or indirectly implied I’m acting on behalf of the LibTechWomen group. I feel I’ve made this pretty clear, but whomever is speaking to this one person apparently does not think so. I actually address the very personal level of my involvement in a previous blog post how this passion of mine has become my mantle:

    Now that the conference is over, I am home and I have had a few days to simmer on the events of the week, I’ve decided to take up the mantel permanently on the topic. My reasoning for this is layered, but primary cause is I don’t think we’re doing enough in the profession to bring this to the forefront of our mind. I only tend to write about it when something has happened either to me or I’ve become impassioned for another and my opinion must be heard! I’ve noticed that others seem to act the same way, thus the discussion tends to dip and rise depending on what is getting peoples ganders up at the moment.

    While I’m sorry people feel I’m hogging the spotlight, I cannot be held responsible for what others think or do if my actions have been upfront, neutral, and honorable. I will, however, endeavour to continue to use neutral language and to make it clear I’m acting out of my own interests unless otherwise implicitly stated. I would suggest if you have any problems with ME you address them with me rather than going about by telling it to someone else as by now I’m getting it third or fourth hand. Be an adult. This is not high school.

  • Another concern brought up by the same person, was that I am not allowing other people “to shine” on this topic. I’ve never, ever proclaimed to be the expert on this topic, I just happen to be prolific and I’ve also had a decade of experience outside of the library industry in the tech fields. I’ve also said, directly and indirectly, my voice and view are not the only voice and view out there; I’m but one piece of the puzzle. Secondly, whenever I have gone forth and solicited for help or made suggestions, I have always added the caveat of suggestions to people to do this on their own individually or in the support of others. I am but one person. I am mindful this is not about me but about the larger issue at hand, but shit doesn’t get changed unless people put forth the effort and get the word out. Which means to me constantly talking, writing, and presenting on it. I’m thrilled that others are doing work to make changes, but I cannot be held to blame if they are not getting recognized in the same manner I am.
  • My professional site was originally designed to meet the requirements as a faculty member at MPOW, which includes documenting to the ninth degree every single thing I do professionally or related to my professional interests. Thus LibTechWomen/LibTechGender was set up as a descriptor and a catch-all of not only documenting what I’m doing, but to also act as a start page for me to point to for people interested in the topic. You can see that I include not only my own work the work of many other voices in the mix. This was wholly intentional. Apparently, again, some have felt I was masquerading this page as the “official” LibTechWomen group landing page, which has not only not been my intent or something I’ve actively promoted as such. The LibTechWomen group is in the process of putting together a professional face sometime in the near future, which should alleviate any future concerns.

Now that all out in the open and addressed, let us move on to some good news:

  • I was approached a few weeks ago by American Libraries Magazine to do an editorial  for an upcoming issue (which will be published sometime in mid-Spring) on the strength of my existing work on the topic of gender and technology.
  • I’ve been asked to be a panelist for an upcoming conference in January on the topic of women, technology, and gender issues. I’ve requested if the panel needs to be cut due to overwhelming response of panelists, I’d be happy to step aside and work from behind the scenes, but either way once that becomes solidified I’ll have more info on it.
  • My pre-conference proposal for Code4Lib looks like it might be a winner, so huzzah for that.
  • In addition to donating to Ada Initiative today, I also approached them on volunteering my time/energy/talents at larger level. Additionally, their founder is one of the keynotes for Code4Lib, which allowed me to feel comfortable asking for help for the pre-conference! Another huzzah for that!
  • Lastly, I’ve completely updated and revamped my LibTechWomen/LibTechGender page. Remember you can subscribing to the page’s RSS feed to get updates when the page itself is updated.

Phew! That was a lot. Now I go forth and start prepping for tomorrow’s dinner!

This day in Lisa-Universe: