I don't think the answer to the questions of this thread is "off-topic". To
my mind, it's not. It's been a long time since Code4Lib has been solely the
venue of people who write code in libraries, nor solely the place of
discussion for code in libraries. This community has grown to encompass a
whole host of adjacent issues, not least of which include things like
psychological safety, diversity, and community-building in the library
technology space at large.
To that end, I think an empathetic and receptive discussion of sexual
harassment and assault is relevant, and necessary.
I share many of the same concerns that a lot of people do with how Sunni's
work emerged on the mailing list. I agree with what a lot of people have
said about the journalism ethics issues and concerns about identifying
contributors. But to the credit of many community members, especially
Natasha, they have done a good job of reaching out to Sunni and
communicating those concerns. And to Sunni's credit it seems like she's
been receptive to those comments and will hopefully take those lessons to
her next article.
As frustrating and difficult as the thread has been, however, I think it
would be wrong and shortsighted to use it as an excuse to shut down
discussion of sexual harassment in our community. It happens in our
workplaces and our departments. It happens at our conference. I like to
think that "we" are in a better place with respect to this than many other
similar communities, especially in light of things like the Code of Conduct
and our use of Community Support Volunteers at the conference, but I have
no direct evidence to know that we are "better" than anyone else. And I
don't think there's a way we could get a sense without a frank and open
discussion of the topic.
I can't speak on behalf of those who have experienced harassment within or
outside of our community. But I know that they are part of our community. I
don't know how best to make Code4Lib a safe and welcoming place for them to
share their experiences, but I know that we -- especially those of us who
have not had these experiences -- have to do it. And I'm pretty sure that
shutting the door on discussion of the topic is not the way.
On Tue, Jul 2, 2019 at 1:55 PM Christopher R. HOFFMAN <[log in to unmask]>
> Hi Richard, thank you for demonstrating why this is not a safe space
> for these kinds of conversations.
> On Jul 2, 2019, at 10:45 AM, richard
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >> I know many people are ready to see this thread stop, but do you know
> of a better forum?
> > You're a library information professional and don't have the skills to
> identify online forums related to libraries? Yikes! The first part of the
> name of this list is "CODE4" - that should provide adequate clue as the
> nature of appropriate topics for posts.
> > Finally, and this is to everyone who DOES have Internet research skills
> and the capacity to infer proper topics for the list based on its name,
> ignore inappropriate content that you can't regulate...DON'T FEED THE