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CODE4LIB  December 2012

CODE4LIB December 2012

Subject:

Re: Question abt the code4libwomen idea

From:

Tim Donohue <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 18 Dec 2012 09:51:24 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (72 lines)

Hi MJ & All,

On 12/18/2012 4:42 AM, MJ Ray wrote:
> I sort of both do and don't.  I do appreciate that people are making
> the effort, but I do worry that other minorities are collatoral damage
> of some vociferous support for this larger-minority single-issue
> group, that few seem to be supporting a strong anti-discrimination
> line and that it's not really clear what libtechwomen is yet.

Everyone is definitely welcome to his/her own opinion. None of us are 
taking any offense to anyone expressing an opinion. By all means, it 
should be encouraged!

However, I think some/many are taking offense to the implication that 
'libtechwomen' is discriminatory or prejudice against men or minority 
groups just because its name includes "women". That sort of implication 
would be the same as stating that "code4lib" is discriminatory or 
prejudice against non-coders or folks who don't work in libraries. 
Neither of these is true. Neither group is actively discriminating 
against anyone else, and I believe that both code4lib & libtechwomen are 
attempting to be as inclusive as possible.

MJ, I definitely agree with you that other minorities (AVI folks or 
whomever) should be allowed/encouraged to have similar support groups 
(and perhaps a more general "code4libsupport" group could be of use). 
The existence of a "libtechwomen" group doesn't disenfranchise others 
from creating similar support groups, or even just joining libtechwomen 
and talking with them about other minority issues (which I'm sure they'd 
welcome).

In fact, the existence of one such support group should encourage others 
to create additional support groups. Each minority faces issues that are 
unique to their group. Women face their own unique issues in the 
technology landscape. AVI people also face their own unique issues in 
the technology landscape. It is true that there are surely common issues 
faced by multiple minority groups. But that doesn't mean that all 
minority issues for all minority groups must be discussed in a single 
support group.

To call a group discriminatory just because they initially planned to 
concentrate on specific gender issues is just wrong (in my opinion). 
#libtechwomen is a support group, who's primary focus just happens to be 
gender issues in the library technology field. libtechwomen is actually 
not even entirely a sub-group of code4lib, but seems to be fashioning 
itself as a general support group across other library technology groups 
as well. It's not trying to block other minority issues from being 
discussed, or turn away other minority groups or even majority groups (men).

If you want to discover for yourself, go take a look around at what has 
already begun with #libtechwomen. They are easy to find out there on the 
web:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/libtechwomen
IRC: #libtechwomen on irc.freenode.net
Website: http://libtechwomen.tumblr.com/

Honestly, if others out there in the code4lib world see the need for 
other support groups, I'd encourage you to speak out & help make it 
happen! Reach out on this list and see if others want to join you in a 
new support group. It can be as simple as creating a new IRC channel or 
similar. I think you'll find the code4lib community to be supportive in 
such ventures. I've always found this community to be surprisingly 
supportive as a whole.

I think that's all I have to say on this matter. :)

- Tim

-- 
Tim Donohue
Technical Lead for DSpace Project
DuraSpace.org

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